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Label:
Name: FILM SCORE MONTHLY
Number: FSM1405

Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)

Composed by: Nathan Van Cleave

View CD Page at FSM Site (More Details)

Science fiction has been a staple of cinematic storytelling since Georges Méliès’s A Trip to the Moon in 1902. It has also inspired some of the medium’s greatest music. With this release, Film Score Monthly makes available a pioneering but lesser-known classic in the space opera genre that is worthy to stand beside more iconic titles from the post-Star Wars era.

Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) was the brainchild of Ib Melchoir (Angry Red Planet), who conceived it as the first in a series of literary classics updated to the 20th century and set in outer space. It was directed by Byron Haskin (Conquest of Space) and featured stunning Martian vistas designed by art directors Arthur Lonegan, Hal Pereira and Al Nozaki (The War of the Worlds). It starred Paul Mantee as a marooned astronaut and Victor Lundin as the humanoid escaped slave who becomes his man “Friday.” Adam West of Batman fame also appeared in the film as Mantee’s co-pilot.
 
The extraordinary musical score for Robinson Crusoe on Mars was composed by Nathan Van Cleave, who first launched himself into science fiction with his score for Haskin’s Conquest of Space (1955). Throughout his career he exhibited a special proclivity for enhancing both the fantasy and the humanity of outer-space drama.
 
For most of its length, Robinson Crusoe on Mars is a one-man show in which the music serves as an additional character to keep the story lively and moving forward. Van Cleave’s score benefits immensely from his well-developed sense of tonal color.  It is exceptionally well-orchestrated—mostly by Fred Steiner. The modest orchestra of 24 players (including two electronic organs) is used to create a vast array of fascinating timbres that manage to capture all the colors and moods of the harsh Martian terrain as well as the hopes and frustrations of the stranded hero.
 
This premiere release of the complete score to Robinson Crusoe on Mars is newly remixed from the original 35mm three-track scoring masters preserved in recent years on 2” analog tape by Paramount Pictures. The 20-page booklet features notes on both film and score by genre specialist Randall Larson; it is lavishly illustrated by designer Joe Sikoryak with posters, pre-production graphics and copious film stills.
 
track list

    Click on track TIME for MP3 sound clip.

    Robinson Crusoe on Mars

    Original Music by Van Cleave, Conducted by Irvin Talbot

  1. Seal and Main Title 0:58
  2. Fires of Mars 1:01
  3. False Alarm 0:50
  4. Martian Night 1:25
  5. Search for Shelter 5:07
  6. Search for Partner 4:06
  7. Enter Mona 0:30
  8. Homeward Trek/Return to the Cave 3:08
  9. Alarm Clock/Alone on Mars/The Flutestone (overlay) 1:50
  10. Dinner for Two 1:20
  11. Water 1:07
  12. Lonely Lights 1:36
  13. My Echo, My Monkey and Me 0:43
  14. Martian Matzo Balls/The Dream 3:29
  15. Strange Grave 1:34
  16. Enter Friday 1:20
  17. Guest in the Cave/And So to Bed 4:05
  18. Language Lesson 1:06
  19. Search for Partner (excerpt)/Pit of Death 2:14
  20. Ask Them/Storm’s Aftermath 4:45
  21. The Attack/Along the Ledge 3:13
  22. On to the Ice Cap/Friday’s Sacrifice 3:56
  23. Water Hazard 0:56
  24. Snow Storm 1:50
  25. Finale/End Title 4:06

    Total Time: 57:11

    Source Music

  26. Selection for Tape Recorder 1:11
  27. Bagpipe No. 1, 2 and 3 (consisting of "Dixie" by D.D. Emmett) 0:56
  28. Organ—23rd Psalm 0:29

    Total Time: 2:41

    Total Disc Time: 59:58


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Reviews and Comments: (1)
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Posted by William Donahue on February 15, 2017 3:11 PM
The film, itself was very moving, inspiring and exciting to a 12 thru 16 year old. Paul Mantee was a tremendous actor and I followed his career through out the years, becoming very close to him via "Skype" and the Internet, during the last 2 years of his life, especially after he had his stroke and could not act any longer. He should have become a major star (in my opinion), but studio politics (at Paramount) messed that up. He was considered by Producer, Director Howard Hawks for major roles in RED LINE 7000, EL-DORALDO (both Jimmy Caan roles), he was also under major consideration (at Batjac Productions) for the Tom Tyron role in IN HARMS WAY, when it was in pre-production at Paramount Pictures as a Super Panavision 70mm, Technicolor, Cinerama, roadshow attraction. Paramount cut out over an hour of filmed footage. This footage explored the relationship between Admiral Torry and his PT boat son, Jeremiah, Jeremiah and Ensign Dorn, Lieut. MacConnell and his wife, Kirk Douglas, as a wartime Womanizing Serial Killer, first ever depicted on screen (but that was too much for the studio to tolerate). So they were going to pad the film with more action, more pacific war chaos in a lengthier, complex, more drawn-out exciting surface navel engagement plot. But when other studio's roadshow attractions didn't met their expectations. Paramount (got scared) re-wrote, re-cast certain roles, and the entire production was re-edited and cut down to a size suitable for them to get the movie exhibitor to s-q-u-e-e-z-e an additional showing each day. So much for Mr.Paul Mantee's big b-r-e-a-k! Paramount said they were planning a sequel to RCOM, to be titled "The Galaxy of Robinson Crusoe", in which "Kit Draper" was supposed to return to Earth with Friday, show the emotional conflict & interaction of the Authorities arresting Friday (National Security-MJ-12, all that jazz) while Draper was declared a National Hero, promoted to Rear Admiral (wrestling with his conscious) and with Friday's help, contacts his home world circling the star AMALON (in the Constellation of Orion) where Draper helps rescue Friday from the Area-51, Site Y location bad guys and together they all go back to Friday's home world, where Draper discover Friday is a Prince on his world, a symbol of the resistance fighting the aliens who Draper first encountered, mining Mars of its valuable minerals. On this alien planet, Draper discovers romance and more details about the aliens and their nefarious intentions, learning Earth is the next world the Aliens plan to conquer and drain of its resources. But alas, because of the less than expected grosses at the box office. The Sequel was cancelled. All this; 12 years before Star Wars. Hummmm, I could see Mantee, in the role of Han Solo. But his approach would have been a more dark, dangerous Solo, mellowing, his heart softening as the series unfolded.

The film is well photographed, they got a lot of things right, except for the oxygen bit. It's plausible, yet
with what we know now about Mars,...we have "The Martian". Adam West as Colonel Dan Macready, was a surprise in a serious, straight (pre-batman) role. I Would have liked to have seen more of him. The Alien Mining Ships were worked over, modified, modernized Martian War Machines from THE WAR OF THE WORLDS!

When I was a lonely 12 year old (just moved to a new city) I memorized every line of Draper's dialogue, used to pretend that I was marooned on Mars all alone. That movie helped me deal with my loneliness.

EXCELLENT SCI-FI OF THE 1960'S!

My only objection is that they left-off the 45 rpm song titled ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS, (its on the Laser Disc release). it was a catchy, nice little song that could be played over and over again. Made you remember the film long after its first exhibitor run.

NOTE: Various props, costumes,...etc. All were used in other Paramount Pictures, such as "Project X" with Christopher George. THE WHEEL Space Station, from THE CONQUEST OF SPACE, is still spinning around in Paramount's Prop Warehouse, hanging suspended by a wire from a rafter in the ceiling!

I wanted to become an Astronaut, but what happened to the Space Race, hell what's happened to our Space Program. We can't go back to the Moon, the Aliens up there say, NO, HANDS OFF! DON'T COME HERE AGAIN!!!!!

Will D.

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