Deadfall

cover art for Deadfall OST cover art for Deadfall CD

Original Soundtrack LP

1968
Lyric by Jack Lawrence

LP: 20th Century Fox S-4203

  1. My Love Has Two Faces (3:45)
    [vocal by Shirley Bassey]
  2. The Meeting (2:43)
  3. Statue Dance (2:40)
  4. The Last Deadfall (6:12)
  5. My Love Has Two Faces (3:15)
  6. Romance for Guitar and Orchestra (14:07)
    [solo by Renata Tarrago]

 

FSM Reissue CD

1997

CD: Retrograde FSM 80124-2

  1. My Love Has Two Faces (3:45)
    [vocal by Shirley Bassey]
  2. The Meeting (2:43)
  3. Statue Dance (2:40)
  4. The Last Deadfall (6:12)
  5. My Love Has Two Faces (3:15)
  6. Romance for Guitar and Orchestra (14:07)
    [solo by Renata Tarrago]
  7. My Love has Two Faces (3:32)
    [alternate male vocal by an unknown artist]
  8. My Love has Two Faces (3:18)
    [alternate instrumental]

The Movie

This Bryan Forbes film is pretty obscure—at least in the US. It's about a cat burgler (Michael Caine), a man who recruits him for a job (Eric Portman), and his wife (Giovanna Ralli). Like most Bryan Forbes movies, it's odd. The problem for me was that most of the good stuff was in the first act and then it unravelled into a mess and never got going again. The "deadfall" is Caine's ability to grab and hold onto a windowsill while he's falling from an upper story, but the photography and editing ruin the effect.

According to the liner notes to the FSM reissue, the part most people remember about this movie is Barry's music, and by far the best part of the movie is the signature piece, "Romance for Guitar and Orchestra," which is being peformed by Renata Tarrago and orchestra (lead by Barry himself) while Michael Caine tries to break into a safe. It really is interesting and remarkable. Unfortunately, that bit occurs about a third of the way into the film.

Bonus goodness for people with sharp eyes: John Barry steps on the train of Renata Tarrago's dress as she walks by.

I won't spoil the ending, but I suggest highly that you don't read the liner notes on the CD if you haven't already seen the movie, because it gives away the big, shocking reveal at the end of the film. Not that it's really such a rock-your-world revelation anyway, but there it is.


The Music

The big thing to this score was the "Romance for Guitar and Orchestra." It runs 14 minutes and took the entire B side of the LP. The heist in this movie was set to occuring during a concert, so Forbes wanted a piece that could be performed as a stand-alone orchestral piece, while also using it to underscore the burglary. So the piece had to do double-duty.

Two other versions of "Romance for Guitar and Orchestra" appear on compilation albums. "The Classic Film Music of John Barry Volume 2" has a version that's about four minutes shorter but sounds very close to the soundtrack version. The "Ready When You Are, J.B." cover is a 2-½ minute single. It's similar in tempo and style (he didn't make a pop song out of it) but it's just the main theme.

The other thing that makes this memorable is that it's John Barry on-screen conducting the ensemble. The only other time (of which I am aware) that he appears in a movie is The Living Daylights.


Release Notes

The LP originally came out with the movie and subsequently disappeared. Film Score Monthly reissued it in CD format in 1997 as part of their Retrograde Records label. It is still available from them. (I liked their Retrograde catalog. They only had three albums but I bought them all.) There's also a single with the Shirley Bassey title song.