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Inside Daisy Clover (1965) was one of André Previn’s last film scores, and also one of his best: an expansive, quasi-musical song-score for the “fictional biopic” starring Natalie Wood as Daisy Clover, an overnight singing sensation in 1930s Hollywood who struggles against the dark forces of showbiz.
Inside Daisy Clover was based on a novel by Gavin Lambert and brought to the screen by the producing-directing team of Alan J. Pakula and Robert Mulligan. In addition to Wood, the film stars Robert Redford (in an important early role) as a charismatic, bisexual movie star, Christopher Plummer as the tyrannical head of “The Swan Studio,” Roddy McDowall as Swan’s attaché, and Ruth Gordon as Daisy’s eccentric mother. The film received mixed reviews but has become a cult classic for its vivid performances and cynical depiction of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
André Previn was the best-possible choice to score Inside Daisy Clover, capable of both the film’s modern psychological scoring and authentic recreations of Golden Age movie musicals. (In addition, Previn, like the Daisy character, famously began his career as a teenager.) The composer and his lyricist wife Dory wrote three songs for the film: “You’re Gonna Hear From Me,” “A Happy Song” (deleted from the final cut, debuting here) and “The Circus Is a Wacky World,” orchestrated with gusto by Alexander Courage in the vibrant M-G-M musical tradition. Between the dynamic songs and Previn’s intense, sensitive and ineffably melodic underscore, Inside Daisy Clover is a masterwork and, though not his last film work chronologically, creatively the climax of Previn’s Hollywood career before he devoted his energies to other musical pursuits.
Previously released on LP in 1965, Inside Daisy Clover here receives a definitive 2CD presentation, remixed and remastered from the original ½" Warner Bros. three- and four-track stereo scoring masters. The recording was made by the legendary Dan Wallin and is amongst the cleanest and most vibrant ever presented on FSM. Disc one features the complete, chronological film score as well as a bonus section of alternate, early versions of cues. Disc two contains the LP assembly of the score as well as demos, source cues and alternate recordings of the songs; although Natalie Wood had hoped to do her own singing for the film, a professional Hollywood voice double (Jackie Ward) was hired to complete Daisy’s image as a singing prodigy. Disc two features Wood’s original, unused song performances as well as alternate takes by Ward.
As usual with FSM’s 2CD sets, the two discs contain nearly two-and-a-half hours of music—and the 32-page booklet may take that long to read, containing an essay on the film and score by Scott Bettencourt and complete track-by-track commentary by Lukas Kendall.