A definitive 1960s soundtrack comes to CD at last: Wait Until Dark (1967), the brilliant, moody and haunting score composed and conducted by Henry Mancini.
The name Mancini resonates today as a master of light pop and comedy. One of the touchstones of his career -- and of movie music itself -- is MOON RIVER composed for Breakfast at Tiffany's and conveying the beauty and heart of Audrey Hepburn. However, Mancini was endlessly inventive and relished the opportunity to showcase a darker and more dramatic side of his ability. One of the best chances came on another, very different Audrey Hepburn movie, Wait Until Dark, and he did not disappoint.
Wait Until Dark was a suspense masterpiece starring Hepburn as a blind housewife who is terrorized by three hoods (Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna and Jack Weston) trying to retrieve a heroin-filled doll from her New York City apartment. Based on a stage play by Frederick Knott, the film features an engaging battle of wits between Hepburn and the thugs, and a truly terrifying climax as the nighttime confrontation foretold by the title comes to pass.
Mancini's score is a masterwork of color and mood, playing a haunting, minor-mode melody (in the style of Experiment in Terror) over a brilliant device: two pianos, tuned a quarter-tone apart, with the wrong notes eerily echoing the right ones. Combined with Mancini's melodic instruments -- sitar, electric harpsichord, electric guitar, and a whistler in the main title -- this recurring theme backed by the quarter-tone pianos (the Theme for Three) turns his familiar big band style on its head.
A second major theme in the score (titled WAIT UNTIL DARK, and sung in the end credits) is a more familiar kind of pop Mancini composition for Hepburn's good-hearted character, not quite MOON RIVER but more in that style. The score also includes several upbeat source cues in the loungey Mancini tradition.
However, it is the music for the film's climax -- dark, oppressive and terrifying -- that will thrill fans of Mancini's dramatic scores such as Lifeforce. As Alan Arkin makes his frontal assault on the blind but not entirely helpless Hepburn, Mancini's throbbing strings and eerie sounds leave the viewer in a state of panic that one of the world's most famous leading ladies is about to have her throat slit.
This premiere release of Mancini's complete original soundtrack to Wait Until Dark is remixed from the original 1/2inch three-track scoring session masters recorded at Warner Bros. Liner notes are by Lukas Kendall.
＊FILM SCORE MONTHLYより抜粋
Come On Louie/The Doll 1:49
Main Title 4:11
Don't Make Waves/Big Drag for Lisa 3:26
Light Relief 1:09
Radio Source/He's Got Time 3:04
World's Champion Blind Lady 1:24
Phono Source I 3:02
Phono Source II 1:43
Pick Up Sticks 2:24
The Doll Again 3:19
Watch the Booth/It's for You 1:25
Chair Kicker 4:42
Bulbus Terror 3:53
Gassy!/Strum Along/The Doll 3:37
Cutting Roat a New One 1:50
You're Doing Fine 1:15
Wait Until Dark 2:15
Alternate Main Title 2:06
He's Got Time (alternate) 0:39
Piano Tests 2:30
Total Disc Time: 50:33
Song: WAIT UNTIL DARK Music by Henry Mancini, Lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans