Aldrich or Die Tryin’

EMPEROR OF THE NORTH POLE isn’t sufficiently late Aldrich to normally warrant inclusion in The Late Show — the big guy had a good few raucous hours in him yet — but it’s the penultimate edition of Forgotten By Fox, and so it’s allowable, I think.


6 Responses to “Aldrich or Die Tryin’”

  1. chris schneider Says:

    Yes, yes … De Vol. But you have to give De Vol credit for the “I’d Rather Have The Blues (Than What I’ve Got)” song in KISS ME DEADLY. That song makes up for a lot of later missteps.

  2. Tony Williams Says:

    DeVol’s work as composer is very underrated and needs further study. His modernist drum-roll accompaniment to Rod Steiger’s excessive performance in THE BIG KNIFE work very well. Also, I detest the term “hagsploitation” in terms of the Davis films. Although utliizing Gothic melodrama deliberately and using two of Welles Mercury Theatre players as support, these films are more poignant examinations of the dysfunctional family syndrome that leaves emotional wreckage decades after the original damage. Access to critical works shuld be helpful once this pandemic goes away.

  3. Jack Lechner Says:

    I remember picking up a newspaper in the South — can’t remember which city — and seeing an ad with a completely different title and campaign for the film. It had been retitled “Shack!”, and the image was a full-body photo of Borgnine wielding chains. I’ve looked, but can’t find the image anywhere online.

  4. True, Chris, that’s a fine song, and works with the film in really good ways (ultimately it comes to refer pointedly to radiation sickness).

    Borgnine as a two-fisted action hero working for the railroad is a movie series someone should have made!

  5. Aldrich’s relationship with De Vol may be a bit like Lean’s with Jarre — some early, successful collaboration blinded the director to the composer’s later faults.

    The music in this one has a Disney family-friendly vibe, and when it comes on merrily after we’ve just seen a hobo cut in half by a train, and while his bisected corpse is STILL IN VIEW, I choked.

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