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FSM resurrects a delightful fantasy score—and offers a tribute to the great composer Angela Morley (1924-2009)—with the premiere CD of Captain Nemo and the Underwater City (1969), a Jules Verne-inspired family adventure produced at M-G-M’s British studios, starring Robert Ryan, Chuck Connors, Nanette Newman and Luciana Paluzzi.
Angela Morley (a/k/a Walter “Wally” Stott, as billed on the film) was a remarkable English composer, arranger and musician with a long history in the U.K. record and film industries and, more recently, U.S. television such as Dallas, Hotel, Falcon Crest. She received Oscar nominations for her adaptation work on The Little Prince (1974) and The Slipper and the Rose (1976); wrote the admired score to Watership Down (1978); and contributed to the orchestrations of some of John Williams’s best-known scores such as Star Wars, Superman and The Empire Strikes Back.
Morley’s charming symphonic score to Captain Nemo and the Underwater City highlights the film’s fanciful underwater seascapes with a mixture of classical and modernist approaches. The main theme is a buoyant waltz (evoking the Victorian era) and the atmosphere generally light, though it darkens and pulses for the film’s adventure and suspense (such as scenes involving the undersea “Mobula” monster). Like many “B” sci-fi/fantasy films, this production may have fell into relatively obscurity, but its score captivated youngsters who caught it on television and searched in vain for a soundtrack album—until now.
FSM presents the complete score to Captain Nemo (recorded in England) newly mastered from the original ½” three-track stereo tapes. Liner notes are by Jeff Bond and Alexander Kaplan.