Reintroducing Phillip Marlowe by Thomas Kiefner (February 1, 2002)
Lukas Kendall at Film Score Monthly has issued us another gem. Farewell My Lovely was another film about the Raymond Chandler character Phillip Marlowe, this time portrayed by Robert Mitchum. It is actually a reissue of a film Murder My Sweet from the 40's starring Dick Powell. In my modest collection of film soundtracks I have many as I call them gumshoe soundtracks, but this in my opinion is the cream of the crop. I know that many of you would say Body Heat or maybe Chinatown or perhaps Taxi Driver. The Marlowe theme begins with a muted trombone and piano to give us the main theme, followed by a jazz group and then the silky sax and strings. It is a hauntingly beautiful theme that you here on several tracks for a moment or two and of course the end title.
The femme fatale Mrs. Grayle is given her own theme also petite and soft. What I thought was a perfect touch was the use of a bass clarinet to add a wonderful touch to the theme. The use of the jazz orchestra, along with the strings on some of the selections gave it an extra special touch. There are two big band type selections that were used as source music in the film. And yet when called upon David Shire used the avant-garde type music effectively. The CD also includes the soundtrack from the film Monkey Shines which I will touch upon at some later date. As with all of the Film Score Monthly Cd's that I own, the liner notes and information are superb and detailed. As soundtrack collectors we need to do all we can to support a company such as this,which gives me what I want,which is quality older film soundtracks at a fair price. I strongly recommend that you purchase this soundtrack.