New Twilight Time DVD's with isolated score tracks
The Bridge at Remagen (1969) stars George Segal, Ben Gazzara, and Robert Vaughn in this tale of a desperate battle in the waning days of World War II. Segal is a war-weary combat team leader charged with taking a bridge over the Rhine during the Allies’ final push into Germany; Vaughn is his German opposite number, who’d rather blow up the bridge than have the Americans capture it. John Guillermin (The Towering Inferno) directs; the film was shot by the masterful veteran Stanley Cortez and features a score by the one and only Elmer Bernstein.
Director Samuel Fuller uncorks a mad Cold War adventure with Hell and High Water (1954), shot in CinemaScope even as it takes place mostly on a submarine commanded by Richard Widmark at his toughest. He and his cohorts are bound for the Arctic, hoping to uncover and thwart a plot to start a nuclear war with an atomic incident that will be blamed on the United States. Bella Darvi, Victor Francen, and Cameron Mitchell also star; super-cinematographer Joe MacDonald is behind the camera; and the score is by the one and only Alfred Newman.
Writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s adaptation of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American (1958) gives us a very early look at the burgeoning tragedy of Vietnam. It focuses on a jaded English journalist (Michael Redgrave), based in Saigon and more or less settled in with his Vietnamese mistress, Phuong (Giorgia Moll). Then an apparently idealistic young American aid worker (Audie Murphy) arrives, and all bets are off: when the jealous journo learns that the Yank may actually be a spy, he sets in motion a series of terrible events. Highlighted by a moody score from Mario Nascimbene.
Jackie Chan became an international star via this pair of Hong Kong kung fu/comedy classics, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and Drunken Master, both released in 1978 and both featuring Chan as an initially bumbling but finally brilliant martial artist. Both spotlight fresh refinements on Chan’s then-developing style, combining acrobatic fighting, comic timing, use of madly improvised weapons, and innovative stunts, all performed by Chan, himself.
Adapted from Peter Maas’ best-seller, The Valachi Papers (1972) tells the true story of Mafia informant Joseph Valachi, superbly incarnated here by Charles Bronson. A low-level gangster associated with the Genovese crime family, Valachi moves from punk to full-fledged gangster over the course of the brutal narrative, handsomely directed by Terence Young. Also starring the great Lino Ventura, Jill Ireland, and Joseph Wiseman, and featuring an effective score from Riz Ortolani.