The Betsy


Rerecording by Nic Raine and the City of Prague Philharmonic

CD: Prometheus XPCD 177

  1. Main Title
  2. Crash / To the Mansion
  3. He and She / Call It Betsy / It's the Car
  4. Multi-Image
  5. Angelo's Theme
  6. Win One, Lose One / You Always Know
  7. Bobby Visits / Back On Payroll
  8. Grandfather / It's All in the Family / Working On Betsy
  9. What Took You So Long? / A Toast
  10. Blackmail / What Happened? / Loren's Suicide
  11. In Bed
  12. Angelo is Beaten / Warren's Murder
  13. What Took You So Long?
  14. Samon Gets It / Angelo Takes Over
  15. End Credits

r The Betsy

The Movie

This should have been a tv miniseries—it might have worked in three or four episodes over six or eight hours; but in the 2-hour format it failed. Too bad, too, considering its nearly all-star cast. Laurence Olivier is the patriarch and founder of a big Detroit auto maker. Now 86, he's old and feeble, but you still get a very good sense of the force of will and sharpness of mind that made him. He's retired but still meddling; he wants to make a "universal" car—a huge seller like the Model T or the Volkswagen Beetle. He's named it The Betsy, after his granddaughter (Kathleen Beller).

His ace in the hole is a high-efficiency, low polluting engine. But he needs to get it developed as a practical car and manufactured by the company his grandson, Robert Duvall, now controls.

So enter in Tommy Lee Jones as the head of product development, who goes to head to head against Duvall. Throw in Katherine Ross as Duvall's mother, Jane Alexander as Duvall's estranged wife, and Lesley-Anne Down, who is torn between Duvall and Jones.

You had a good cast of characters and a lot of conflicts. The structure was there but the screenplay just blew like a hurricane. Bad dialog. Badly structured scenes and a herky-jerky pace that was often aimless. So instead of having something intriguing, people were jumping in and out of bed with each other and the whole thing ended up looking like a bad episode of Dallas. What an incredible waste of talent.

The Music

A few years ago someone wrote to me and asked if the music were available, and I thought she was crazy. But I hadn't seen the movie. The music is great. Like the acting and the photography, the music is a hundred times better than the movie deserved. The music is delicate and subtle and sweet, for the most part.

Release Notes

Nic Raine and the City of Prague Philharmonic recorded the score for this and released it through Prometheus Records in 2014. If you want the score, this is as good as it gets. It's always possible that someone may get the masters and the rights and release an original soundtrack, but it's unlikely.

A bootleg of the title theme shows up on the album Great Action/Horror Themes (LP: GSF 1002). The theme is also included on Nic Raine's Walkabout.

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