In the golden age of Hollywood, comedy rarely was better than when Jerry Lewis took his act to the silver screen. With a knack for moving kinetically through zany situations, Lewis earned high regard as a movie star, first with his inimitable partner, singer Dean Martin, on stage, radio, television and film, and ultimately on his own in the 1950s, 1960s and beyond. The newest archival soundtrack release from Kritzerland brings two soundtracks from some of Lewis' first solo projects to CD for the first time anywhere.
The Delicate Delinquent was Lewis' first movie after the then-contentious split between himself and Martin. Released in 1957, it starred Lewis as Sidney L. Pythias, a janitor mistaken for a juvenile delinquent and taken in by a cop (Darren McGavin) who vows to put him on the road to social responsibility. (The officer doesn't immediately know that this is Sidney's plan all along, no matter what his truly delinquent friends have to say about it!) The tale of "the teen-age 'terror' who scares nobody but himself" was a massive success upon release. A jazz/blues-influenced straight score by Buddy Bregman - hot off his successful run as arranger/conductor for three phenomenal LPs for Verve Records (Ella Fitzgerald's Sings The Cole Porter Songbook and Sings The Rodgers & Hart Songbook and Bing Crosby's Bing Sings While Bregman Swings) - does a fantastic job of punctuating the comedic elements of the film while still being a great listening experience on its own.
Three years later, Lewis filmed Visit to a Small Planet, his final film for producer Hal B. Wallis, after which he began pursuing his own projects, including Cinderfella, The Bellboy and The Nutty Professor. Loosely based on a Gore Vidal play, Lewis causes hijinks as Kreton, a visitor from space who attempts to assimilate with a human family. The tuneful score for this picture was penned by Leigh Harline, whom Disney fans will doubtlessly know as the songwriter behind the tunes for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the immortal "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinocchio. Harline's score, punctuated by a seven-note main theme and the use of theremin, adds a nice flavor to this sci-fi/comedy romp.
Both scores are presented on this disc in stereo from the Paramount vaults; limited to 1,000 copies, it's going for $19.98 at Kritzerland's website. It's expected to ship the second week of December, though label preorders are, on average, about four weeks ahead of time. Hit the jump for the full track list!
Buddy Bregman/Leigh Harline, Visit to a Small Planet/The Delicate Delinquent: Music from the Motion Picture (Kritzerland KR20026-7, 2013 - original films released 1960 and 1957)
- Seal and Main Title
- Crazy Driver
- To Earth
- Arrival on Earth
- The Confederate/Pull My Leg
- Delton’s Visit
- Eighty-Six Azalia/Sloppy Barrier – Sloppy Mind/Eighty-Six Little Camera
- Wig and Dart//Mayberry’s Lamb, Dog, Cat and Mouse
- Squirting Camera, Etc.
- Spelding Hits Barrier/The Ceiling
- Kreton’s Cop/Ellen’s Cop/Easy Eight/Dog and Cat
- Slow Bus to Memphis (Victor Young)
- Spelding’s Lamb/Abercrombie’s Thought/Mary and Her Lamb/Rising Table
- Hungry Brain #1 (Fast)/Hungry Brain #1 (Slow) (John Mandel)
- Desdemona’s Lament (Pomus/Shuman)
- Hungry Brain #4 (Dance) (John Mandel)
- Almost in Your Arms (Livingston/Evans)
- Floating on Air/That’s What He Thinks
- Pain and Chase/Goat Butt
- Tear Gas/Conclusion
- VistaVision Logo (N.L. Van Cleave)/Prelude
- Sidney’s Secret Love
- Bridge to Street/Record Shop
- A Near Miss
- The Cop
- Garbled Clarification/Police Academy
- Training Montage
- The Pistol Shot/Mr. Togo
- The Bout
- It’s a Boy
- The Fight
Tracks 1-20 from Visit to a Small Planet. Composed and conducted by Leigh Harline except where noted; Tracks 14-16 conducted by Johnny Mandel.
Tracks 21-33 from The Delicate Delinquent. Composed and conducted by Buddy Bregman.
All tracks previously unreleased.
Rob Maurer says
I'm waiting for the day they dig into Paramount's vaults and officially release the "Nutty Professor" score/soundtrack. THAT one, I'll line up for in a heartbeat.