THE PROUD AND THE DAMNED.

This soundtrack is not yet available, this is an exclusive review of the forthcoming release on Kronos Records as part of the labels famous Gold Collection.

Coming soon from Kronos records is a soundtrack that is a little obscure, although being not that well know for me makes it even more attractive, and to be honest it’s a wonderful sound that has been realised by composers Gene Kauer and Douglas M Lackey for the 1972 western The Proud and the Damned.  On listening to the score I was impressed at the variety and also the overall sound of the work, at times I was reminded of the work of Jerry Fielding (The Wild Bunch) and also there are moments within the score that evoke composers such as Charles Gross (Valdez is Coming) and to a degree Manos Hajidakis when he scored the Terence Stamp western Blue and Frank De Vol and his work on Alzana’s Raid.  

The composers have fashioned a pleasing score that has to it two distinct styles one being a South American or Mexican/Latin persona, the other having to it a more Americanised and dramatic flavour. This is a movie that did not get that much publicity when it was first released back in the early 1970’s in fact I think I am right when I say I do not think it has been shown on TV or if it has this must have been a few years back now. The composing duo scored a long string of films together, which included Agent for H.A.R.M. (1966) Brother of the Wind (1973) Across The Great Divide and Adventure Family (1977). I love the way that the music supports the action within the movie and adds delicate undercurrents to the proceedings. The score is filled with passion and a sense of adventure, it literally overflows with beautiful melodies and Mariachi/flamenco/Latin styled cues that make for a worthwhile listening experience.

Main Title.

Guitar provides the foundation for most of the cues, the composers utilizing the instrument to the maximum to convey a sense of melancholy and drama. The music is beautifully interwoven into the storyline and underlines the growing friendships that are beginning to flourish between the villagers and the band of Confederate soldiers that have crossed over the border from Texas into South America in 1870 to escape the aftermath of the civil war, only to become embroiled in another conflict in Columbia  Chuck Connors heads the cast, with support from Aron Kincaid, José Greco, Henry Capps, Smokey Roberds, Peter Ford, Andres Marquis, and Cesar Romero!

Directed by Ferde Grofé Jr who was also responsible for the story The five ex-Confederate mercenaries and American Civil War veterans Sgt. Will Hansen (Connors) Ike (Kincaid), Hank (Cap’s), Jeb (Roberds)), and Billy (Ford)) no sooner ride into Columbia and are ambushed by Columbian government troops who force them to meet General Martinez, the evil, cold-hearted dictator of their country. Martinez sends them to San Carlos, a town where rebel forces are preparing to start a civil war against Martinez’s army. The Texans are instructed to live among the rebels, and report back to Martinez what they discover. Martinez warns them that they’ll be severely punished if they fail him.

The next day, while on their way to San Carlos, the gang run into a family who are on their way to the same town. They offer to escort them to the town and Will takes an interest in the daughter, Mila. They all ride into San Carlos, meet the governor, and rent a cabin. Will and Mila sneak out to spend the night together. Mila’s father becomes angry when he finds out and beats Mila and cuts off her ear. Will in a fit of rage then shoots Mila’s father.

Will and his men are detained over the killing and find themselves unable to report back to Martinez. Will and Mila are banished from the town the townspeople are angry over Will killing Mila’s father. Will and Mila are then taken captive by Martinez, who hangs Will for disobeying his orders. Mila rides back to town to get Will’s friends, who give him a funeral, and vow to avenge his murder. They join the rebels in a battle with Martinez’s army and drive them back. They later ambush Martinez and the rest of his surviving soldiers in a canyon, joined by the rebel army’s captain. During the fight they manage to kill Martinez, but all are gunned down by his soldiers except for Billy, who was thrown from his horse in the mele and knocked unconscious. The film ends with Billy riding off into the sunset.

The soundtrack has never been released before and Kronos records are proud to be able to bring you the premiere release of this exciting score, it will be a limited edition of just 300 copies, so get your pre-orders in ASAP. Highly recommended.  

HANG.

http://kronosrecords.com/KG43.html

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