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World Premiere Release of Bernstein's SATURN 3 Score

By Randall Larson     September 26, 2006


SATURN 3 soundtrack
© Intrada Records
Elmer Bernstein's score for Stanley Donen's 1980 science fiction film, SATURN 3, has been released by Intrada Records. It's a world premiere recording of one of the legendary composers' rare science fiction scores. Kirk Douglas and Farrah Fawcett starred as a pair of lovers living at a scientific outpost on a moon of Saturn in the far future, whose life together is threatened by the arrival of a maniac (Harvey Keitel, his lines allegedly dubbed by Roy Dotrice) and his murderous robot companion.

"Elmer Bernstein offers perhaps his most complex score in distinguished career," said Intrada's Doug Fake. "Massive brass, divisi strings, array of woodwinds, piano, xylophone, harp, solo soprano, male chorus plus unusually large percussion section feature... The score opens and closes in an epic manner with dynamic brass fanfare. In between are mysterioso cues, virtuoso action sequences plus in highlight haunting music for 'Alex' that ultimately became wildly popular "Taarna" theme for composer's later HEAVY METAL score.

"The film was an extremely troubled production," noted Scott Bettencourt at filmscoremonthly.com (FSM had a hand in discovering the original tracks). "The screenplay was by acclaimed novelist Martin Amis..., and production designer John Barry (STAR WARS, SUPERMAN) was set to make his directorial debut, but, after conflicts with Douglas, Barry left the project, and its producer, veteran director Stanley Donen (a surprising choice to helm an R-rated sci-fi horror film) took over as director.

Interestingly, much of Bernstein's musical efforts on this score were deleted from finished film. "Elmer Bernstein's score was perhaps the most stylistically bold in his career," Bettencourt continued. "So bold, in fact, that Donen dialed most of it out incorporating orchestra and vocals, symphonic scoring and more modern styling, and a love theme that didn't survive the final cut of the film, so Bernstein reused it as Taarna's theme in his classic HEAVY METAL.

Intrada's disc is the first ever legitimate release of Saturn 3 and the latest entry in the label's Special Collection series. It features the complete score mastered from the composer's own recently discovered two-track stereo tapes. This is said to be the definitive presentation of a powerhouse score in stereo, complete with all soprano overdubs, percussion overlays, cues deleted from film, and more. The release is limited to 2,500 copies.

www.intrada.com

- partially via www.filmscoremonthly.com

Cinescape's Music News provides weekdaily news and views on film music, game music, progressive rock, and other notable musical genres, culled from a variety of sources.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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wessmith1966 9/26/2006 8:28:01 AM
I remember seeing this with my dad in the theater. I was just a kid and so happy that I got to see Farah's breasts. I think it was the first time I saw a woman's breasts outside of a Playboy magazine! LOL! I don't remember the music being all that special; more a take off of Star Wars with maybe a little 2001 thrown in. The movie, from top to bottom, wasn't very good, but then again how good can a movie about a horny robot really be?
browbeat 9/26/2006 10:32:35 AM
And I thought I had rented everything in the sci-fi section of the local video rental shop. Ooops. Is this movie any good? (Aside from Farah's breasts).
wessmith1966 9/26/2006 11:14:55 AM
browbeat...No, it's not really good; scale of 1-10 I'd give it a 5. The robot aspect of it was pretty cool. I won't ruin it for you, but that part makes it a little interesting.
browbeat 9/26/2006 12:30:55 PM
okay thanks. =D
whatgives73 9/26/2006 3:39:36 PM
I liked this movie when I was younger, I might ahve to look for this movie at the DVD store. browbeat, this is one of those movies that never got the chance in Sci Fi like it should have. I thought it was really good. I have not seen The last Starfighter or Dark star in a while, I need to have a sci-fi weekend
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