Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2009 November 23 • Monday

The eighty-eighth Soundtrack of the Week is this double CD of Cannon for Cordoba and From Noon Till Three, both scored by Elmer Bernstein.

From Noon Till Three is another Charles Bronson/Jill Ireland movie. I haven't seen it but the liner notes suggest that it's an unusual western, about a romance between a bank robber and a widow that somehow becomes a popular legend, complete with best-selling novel and hit song.

The main title, a gentle lullaby in 3/4 time, makes it clear that this isn't The Magnificent Seven. Following that come several atmospheric "suspense" cues, then a bit of more familiar Mexican folk-tinged music.

In general the mood is pastoral, romantic and wistful. The cue "Doing It" seems intentionally to recall Bernard Herrmann's moving theme for The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (a theme Herrmann also used for his Wuthering Heights opera).

There are several versions of the movie's hit song, "Hello and Goodbye", including one sung by Jill Ireland and one performed by the song's creators, who appear in the movie: Elmer Bernstein on piano with Alan Bergman singing.

Bronson does not appear in Cannon for Cordoba. George Peppard is the star of that film, which features a less unusual soundtrack, all driving rhythms and soaring melodies with a lot of Mexican-influenced tunes and obligatory atmospheres of tension.