2010 August 16 • Monday
The 126th Soundtrack of the Week is Lalo Schifrin's music for The Wrath of God.
Mitchum is a priest with a machine gun. What else do you need to know?
This is another American western that draws inspiration from spaghetti westerns, so the machine gun is probably borrowed from Django. (You can see the Django machine gun scene in The Harder They Come.)
The Wrath of God also has a Mission: Impossible sort of story as Mitchum becomes the leader of a team that must infiltrate a fortress and destroy the local dictator. Who better to score it than Lalo Schifrin, composer of the Mission: Impossible theme (and much of the other music)?
Quite a bit of the music reminds me of Schifrin's Mission: Impossible scoring.
The first several tracks on the CD are swinging Latin American-derived pieces. The music takes a turn with "El Viaje/Cordona", which begins with a haunting 6/8 melody and segues into driving action/suspense music. "Capturados/Presidio" continues the tension.
The music continues in this vein with several rewarding digressions. There's a Herrmannesque harp part in "I Wish I Had a Lot of Things", great guitar work throughout (including a great solo guitar piece performed by Tommy Tedesco), and interesting use of the cimbalom, one of my favorite instruments.
This is one of Schifrin's best scores, one that I enjoy hearing again and again.