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Released by Special Arrangement with Turner Classic Movies Music
Miklós Rózsa scored two films for M-G-M in the mid-1950s set in exotic locations: modern-day Colombia for Green Fire (1954) and post-WWII India for Bhowani Junction (1956). Each movie required foreign sounds, yet the resultant scores are as different as night and day: grandiose symphonic scoring for Green Fire, and atmospheric, indigenous tracks for Bhowani Junction.
Green Fire is an action-adventure romance starring Stewart Granger as an emerald prospector and Grace Kelly as the owner of a Colombian coffee plantation. Granger finds an abandoned emerald mine and is determined to unearth its treasure, but his efforts put all involved in peril. Rózsa's stirring symphonic score features a rarity for him: a title song (with lyrics by Jack Brooks) created from the gorgeous main theme, which is otherwise used in everything from love scenes to the high-adventure thrills. FSM's premiere release features the complete underscore in stereo—long sought by Rózsaphiles—with bonus tracks of source cues and instrumental alternates of the main and end titles.
Bhowani Junction, directed by George Cukor, stars Ava Gardner as a half-caste torn between three loves amidst the English withdrawal from India. The film was shot on location in Pakistan and is a tactile portrait of a country reaching its boiling point. In keeping with the naturalistic presentation, the music is as much of a "non-score" as Rózsa ever composed: almost entirely source music, written in a faux-Indian style. His exotic backings are melodic and atmospheric, but sound unlike any of his traditionally dramatic scores. The cues are presented largely in stereo, with a bonus track culled from monaural masters.
FSM's CD of Green Fire/Bhowani Junction features the two sides of '50s Rózsa "exotica," from dramatic, symphonic strains of Green Fire to the offbeat stylings of Bhowani Junction. Liner notes are by Lukas Kendall.