Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Further John Barry appreciation: Deadfall (1968)

In the 1960s, John Barry became identified with the James Bond franchise while also working steadily on many other films: epics like Zulu, costume dramas like The Lion in Winter, lower-key-than-Bond spy stories like The Ipcress File, pop fare such as Born Free, and more. He was prolific, and sometimes giving films better music than they deserved. One of those was Deadfall (1968), a crime story with Michael Caine as a cat burgler, Giovanna Ralli as a woman the burglar falls in love with, and Eric Portman as her husband, who for his own reasons doesn't entirely mind that Caine is a burglar or in love with his wife.

Barry and his director, Bryan Forbes, decided to try an experiment: a long sequence intercutting between Caine and Portman breaking into a Spanish villa and a concert hall audience appreciating a concert piece, with said concert piece also underscoring the robbery. Barry wrote Romance for Guitar and Orchestra, with a general plan he and Forbes had agreed on so that the piece would have a certain musical shape that would, if all went well, fit the visuals once the movie was edited together. It was a complicated way to create a stretch of film and a stretch of music, but the result is the one sequence of Deadfall that's worth a damn.

And that sequence is on YouTube.

Yes, that is John Barry himself conducting the Romance.

I've been listening to the score to Deadfall tonight. This is the right night for that. And for much of this morning I kept remembering other John Barry music: his theme for Two-Socks in Dances With Wolves.

Rest In Peace, Mr. Barry.
Tags: music

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