A score that I have long wanted to have a release on compact disc or at least be made available on digital platforms is The Adventurers from 1970, which had a score by Antonio Carlos Jobim and additional music by Eumir Deodato. Ok, I admit its probably not the greatest soundtrack in the world, but there are certainly some nice pieces included in its running time, the soundtrack did have a release on LP record back in 1970 on the Paramount label, which was a brilliant label and released a number of albums including Waterloo, Borsalino, and Monte Carlo or Bust during the 1970’s. It was a label that seemed to just vanish without trace after a year or so. The Adventurers was based upon the Harold Robbins novel of the same name and was the second movie in that year to hit cinema screens based upon the writings of Robbins the other being Stiletto which also sadly seemed to flounder at the box office, but at least the score from this is available.
The score for The Adventurers has a fusion of styles within it, with the composer employing romantic and lush interludes with dramatic and fast paced action cues that are all held together by jazz influenced compositions. The score also includes a rather clumsy sounding military march, and various tracks such as That Ole Black Magic, and Corteguay that were utilized as source music within the storyline and are given the Jobim/Deodato treatment which is instantly recognizable.
This is an entertaining work if nothing else, but there are a handful of stand out tracks which have a resounding and lasting impression upon the listener, Dax Rides being one of these, and although it’s rather brief running in at just over a minute and a half, it makes a lasting imprint upon any listener because it encompasses a handful of styles in such a short space of time. The cue opens with a laid-back jazz samba type vibe, but this mood soon alters as the pace is increased and the composer brings into the equation percussive elements which are driving and supported by horns and strings giving it a more urgent feel, but all the time the jazz style is still present and being incorporated into the fabric of the piece.
The score also boasts a rather haunting love theme for two of the central characters Dax and Amparo, that contains whispering woods, that are at times breathy and sensual, and a lilting and affecting guitar solo which is underlined by strings. It’s unbelievable that this has never been released on CD because it’s not only a good soundtrack as in the music supports the storyline adding depth and atmosphere, but it’s an entertaining listen which I would imagine would appeal to more than film music fans.
Jobim is known more widely for his samba influenced compositions such as The Girl from Ipanema which he co-wrote and became one of the most recorded songs of all time. Although he was not what we would call a film music composer his music has featured in numerous movies and continues to do so even now nearly thirty years after his death. It would be a fitting tribute to a composer of his caliber and popularity to issue this score, but that’s down to record labels I suppose, after all we are just the people who buy them.
Directed by Lewis Gilbert, the story focuses upon the wealthy playboy son of an assassinated South American diplomat, who discovers that his father was really murdered on orders of the corrupt president of the country, a man who was supposedly his father’s friend and who, in fact, his father had helped put into power. He returns from living a jet-set life in Europe to lead a revolution against the government, only to find out that things aren’t quite as black and white as he had assumed. It’s a movie that many now feel was unfairly criticised at the time of its release. Filled with intrigue, action, and romance, it is an entertaining movie and one that many have enjoyed re-discovering in later years and given a chance to truly appreciate its many interesting points. But saying this the movie which was thought to be a disaster at the box office was rated eleventh in the ratings for the year 1970 in the USA.
The cast was impressive to say the least, with Charles Aznavour, Candice Bergen, Ernest Borgnine, Olivia De Havilland, Rossana Brazzi, John Ireland, Fernando Rey, Leigh Taylor Young and Bekim Fehmiu. The movie was originally rated “R” in the U.S. in 1970, with some of the violence and sex was cut to be re-rated “PG” for a 1972 theatrical re-release. Paramount pictures then decided to restore the cut footage (and the “R” rating) in the 1992 video release. Interesting points related to the film are that both Alain Delon and George Hamilton were originally cast in lead roles but turned them down as did Ali McGraw and Mia Farrow. There is so much to this movie and so many styles and rich attributes to its score you should try and catch it.