Dimitri Tiomkin’s score for D.O.A. is now available for the first time on compact disc. Ray Faiola and Craig Spaulding produced the soundtrack, which is being released by Screen Archives Entertainment.
Rudolph Maté directed this film noir suspense thriller, released by United Artists in 1950. The cast includes Edmond O’Brien as an accountant desperately in search of the killer who lethally poisoned him. D.O.A. was the first in a trio of films produced by brothers Harry and Leo Popkin, with music by Tiomkin. In his audio and music notes, Ray Faiola writes that working for independent producers such as the Popkins allowed Tiomkin to both direct and conduct his own music. Mike Keaney, author of Film Noir Guide, provides detailed notes on the film and its production history.
The thirty-one tracks time out at just over fifty-seven minutes. Tiomkin’s diverse score, from prototypical 1950s horror in “Strange Sickness” to the Sturm und Drang of “Taken for a Ride,” takes listeners on a roller-coaster ride through various styles. Fans of dance music will enjoy the fantastic rhythms of “Hotel Rhumba” and “Another Rhumba.” Tiomkin was an early practitioner of placing theme music in the source score, as he does in “Juke Box Theme,” a light dance arrangement of the film’s love theme. And Tiomkin’s interest in jazz comes to the fore with “Fisherman’s Jive,” a lively, buoyant track for jazz combo that showcases his talent in the genre.
The source material for the D.O.A. soundtrack was obtained from disc recordings in the Dimitri Tiomkin Collection at the Cinema-Television Library at the University of Southern California, thanks to the efforts of Olivia Tiomkin Douglas, Patrick Russ, and Ned Comstock. As is often the case with independent productions, these may be the only discrete music tracks that survive. Ironically, had these acetate reference discs not been handed off as a courtesy to Tiomkin by the producer, we would not be able to enjoy his music in our homes or on our iPods some fifty years after it was recorded.
Screen Archives Entertainment and Chelsea Rialto Studios, in association with Volta Music, have announced this is the first in a series of scores by Tiomkin that they will jointly bring to market. Order yours today at www.screenarchives.com. Listen to four sample tracks at www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm?ID=7873