man_called_noon_a8935Is it a Spaghetti western? Is it an American western? Or maybe it’s a British western, (yes the British have made westerns). When you look at the directorial and producer credits for this movie it looks like it’s the latter to be honest. A MAN CALLED NOON was released during the summer of 1972, and although the movie did not enjoy much success at the cinema box office, it is nevertheless an entertaining and at times thought provoking sagebrush saga. Directed by British filmmaker Peter Collinson who’s other film credits include THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE and the taught quite harrowing physiological thriller FRIGHT and produced by the larger than life Euan Lloyd, who was connected with films such as THE WILD GEESE, THE SEA WOLVES, PAPER TIGER and the over the top western CATLOW. So A MAN CALLED NOON was something of a departure for these two movie makers. The film boasts an impressive cast line up, which includes Richard Crenna, Stephen Boyd, Farley Granger and the beautiful Rossana Shiaffino. The films storyline is somewhat more involved than your normal run of the mill western, it has an intriguing plot which is based upon the writings of author Louis L’Amour. Filmed in Spain and meticulously photographed by John Cabera. A MAN CALLED NOON is an entertaining movie that is more of a thriller than a shoot em up, although saying that there is a considerable head count of deaths notched up when it comes to the gunfight sequences. The musical score is courtesy of Luis Enrique Baclov, the style which he employed on this movie is I suppose is slightly different from his earlier efforts within the western genre, ie; DJANGO, QUIEN SABE and THE PRICE OF POWER and I think it is possibly A MAN CALLED NOON that was Baclov’s stepping stone to the current sound and style that we expect from this Maestro. The score is a work of numerous styles, which include an almost sweet sounding melody  that the composer utilises as the heart of his soundtrack building the remainder of his strong thematic material around it and from it, this is performed by strings which at times are enhanced by the wonderfully unique and wordless   soaring  vocalising of Edda Dell Orso.  Baclov employs a  a style and creates a sound that  is not a million miles away from Morricone’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST and also is a style he revisited in his own score for THE GRAND DUEL. Then we have the darker more sinister side to the score which manifests itself in cues such as ‘Fire and guns’ and ‘In the fortress’, again there is a gentle nod in the direction of Morricone when the composer employs this type of scoring. The sounds are far from melodic and at times just vaguely musical, but match the action perfectly creating the desired urgent atmosphere that is required for the scenes. We also have an almost comic sounding style which raises its head within cues such as RIMES a theme for Stephen Boyd,s character, where the composer incorporates a ticking clock effect alongside a banjo and harmonica that combine to create a jaunty theme which ambles along at a steady but somewhat awkward sounding pace. Then there is a fourth style to this work, which is completely removed from the previous three, this is utilised in tracks such as ‘Following The Horse’ and ‘Highlands’, Baclov evoking a South American flavour and sound with the use of Pan Pipes and guitar, in fact if one were to listen to track number three, ‘Highlands’ without knowing what movie it was from, I am sure you would probably ask “is this from CHE”? This is sadly a movie that has been more or less forgotten, overshadowed by other examples of the genre that were released during the same period, a film which is hard to obtain on video or dvd, and only very rarely shown on cable television. The score too I feel is sadly overlooked and again forgotten by collectors, you would think that with all the re-issues of Italian film music recently, someone would have looked at A MAN CALLED NOON and thought, now there’s a good soundtrack, lets release an expanded version, but I suppose this version and the subsequent re-issue which has the same tracks will have to do for now. I recommend this score wholeheartedly, and also suggest you try and take a look at the movie.

One thought on “A MAN CALLED NOON.”

  1. This was oe of the first Spaghetti Western LPs I bought back in the early ’80s. You can tell it’s not an American composer right off and it’s a solid film to boot. Still one of my favorite scores today.

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