One of the benefits of producing the FSM CD catalog was that I got a hell of an education in weird and obscure movies from the past.
I don’t know how useful this has been to anything else I’ve done, but it certainly helped give me an understanding of pop culture and how it changes over the generations. And it made me feel connected to the older generations of fans, who grew up with this stuff and adored it for what it was.
A totally bonkers score—and film—that we released not once, but twice, was Miklós Rózsa’s to The Power (1968), directed by Byron Haskin (The War of the Worlds) and produced by George Pal (The Time Machine).
First we added the old Citadel album master to our release of Atlantis: The Lost Continent by Russell Garcia (also a Pal film).
Then, when we did the 15-disc Miklós Rózsa Treasury—containing everything unreleased we could find from his work for M-G-M—initially we were going to add a complete Power from acetates. But the studio turned up the original three-track 35mm mag—and it sounded great!
I don’t remember much of the film except that, for all its flaws (it’s a bit of a mess), it’s vibrant, engaging and helped a ton by Rózsa’s full-throated symphonic score, featuring the Hungarian cimbalom (on-screen, too, see the above clip).
Last week while organizing my electronic files, I found this letter from George Pal to Films in Review film music critic Page Cook—enjoy, for what it’s worth: