CineSavant Column

Tuesday September 1, 2020


Dick Dinman’s radio show confronts the heat rays and disintegrator beams this week, with his DVD Classics Corner on the Air look at the new Criterion disc of The War of the Worlds. The featured guest interviewee is Andrea Kalas, Senior VP of Asset Management and Paramount Archives Head. Will they Survive The War of the Worlds?  The discussion gets into issues about restoring Technicolor films, things like registration of the 3 color images. A selection of Dick’s older Classics Corner on the Air shows are available at this WMPG Website.

The images are now all over Facebook but can be sourced back to the Classic Horror Film Board, where a member named ‘Rakshasha’ gave fans an early peek at the restoration of Michael Curtiz’s 2-Color Technicolor horror thriller Doctor X from 1932. That’s Fay Wray pictured, with ‘important but suspicious researcher’ Lionel Atwill and ‘irrepressible reporter’ Lee Tracy, he of comic relief fame. Rakshasha says the the refurbishing of this scary-comic classic is being performed by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, and promises that more details are coming soon.

Earlier this year we were blown away by the restoration job on Michael Curtiz’ classic Mystery of the Wax Museum, as was released on a great Warner Archive disc. The news then was that COVID might have stopped work on other projects. So we hope it’s continuing apace, and we’ll be receiving another happy surprise next Spring. As the Full Moon Killer says, “Long Live the Synthetic Flesh!”

In watching the extras on his new disc of the Hammer Phantom of the Opera, the all-knowing, all-wise advisor and contributor Gary Teetzel heard something that sent him on yet another web search:

“In the disc’s featurette on Edwin Astley’s music score, it is mentioned that a ‘Liberace-like’ arrangement of the main aria written for the film’s ‘Joan of Arc’ opera had been released as a single by Coral Records. Of course, I had to seek it out. It’s mentioned that it was arranged by a guy named Stanley Paul. Well, it turns out that Paul Stanley of KISS appeared in a production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Phantom, so a search of ‘Stanley Paul Phantom of the Opera’ yielded a large number of links about that. But eventually I was able to find the Astley recording. Thanks to collector Kirk Henderson, we can hear it”:


Phantom of the Opera (1962) Joan’s Aria (45 rpm record)


“I’m pretty sure that this is the first record tie-in with the release of a new Hammer film; I’m not sure there were any others until Lust for a Vampire’s infamous “Strange Love” appeared on the B-side of a single in 1971. I’m not aware of “Black Leather Rock” or the songs from Lost Continent, The Vengeance of She or Moon Zero Two getting released as commercial singles. A cursory search of the Discogs database turned up nothing, but I suppose it’s possible that 45’s of other Hammer songs exist.”

“But my research did turn up what is apparently a private pressing by Hammer’s Phillip Martell, fascinating disc with music from Hammer’s Kiss of the Vampire, These are The Damned and She. Did Martell create it just as a keepsake to give to James Bernard?  Were they trying to interest a record label in releasing some of their scores? We may never know”:


Suite From  She  + Music from
Kiss Of The Vampire  and  The Damned


Thank you Gary… and thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson