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Kritzerland is proud to present a new limited edition soundtrack release to one of the most beloved classics ever:
Music Composed by David Raksin
Laura—both the 1944 film and the immortal David Raksin score that supports and, in the opinion of some, lends it classic status—is the ultimate in noir-ish Hollywood glamour: a dark masterpiece that somehow transcended all the difficulties strewn along its path to production to become one of the great exemplars of the accidental artistry of a largely commercial studio system. With a brilliant cast, including Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, and Judith Anderson, and sublime direction by Otto Preminger, Laura, based on the novel by Vera Caspary, is as iconic a film noir as there ever was. The film is filled with classic bon mots, most of them coming from Clifton Webb as the acerbic Waldo Lydecker. “I should be sincerely sorry to see my neighbor’s children devoured by wolves,” or “I don’t use a pen, I write with a goose quill dipped in venom,” or “I cannot stand these morons any longer. If you don’t come with me this instant I shall run amok.”
The film, which runs a brisk eighty-eight minutes, was nominated for four Academy Awards – Clifton Webb received a Best Supporting Actor nomination and the others were for screenplay, director, art direction, and photography. It took home the prize for Joseph LaShelle’s velvety beautiful black-and-white photography. But what becomes a legend most? In the case of Laura it is clearly one of the greatest movie themes ever written. Laura was David Raksin’s first major composing assignment and he delivered the goods, with a breathtakingly beautiful monothematic score that fits Laura like a glove. Shockingly, there were twenty best score nominations in 1944 and Laura was not one of them. But the theme and the score have endured and grown even more popular over the years. Many singers have recorded the song (with its lyric by the great Johnny Mercer), and there have been an equal number of instrumental and jazz covers – in fact, during Raksin’s lifetime it was said to be the second most recorded song in history.
In tandem with the film’s release on Blu-ray, we are thrilled to present for the first time on CD, the complete score for Laura. The previous CD release on Arista, which has been out of print for many years, was missing about ten minutes of cues. Additionally, what was presented was compiled into a twenty-seven minute suite with no track breaks – one long track. That release was taken from a reel-to-reel tape, but for this complete release the original elements were used. Additionally, we include as a bonus some test demos and the entire suite from the previous release. In total, eighteen tracks of prime David Raksin, and a score that truly stands the test of time.
Laura – a movie and musical masterpiece.
Laura is limited to 1000 copies only. The price is $19.98, plus shipping. CD will ship the second week of March but preorders placed at Kritzerland usually ship one to five weeks early (we’ve been averaging four weeks).