Dimitri Tiomkin’s landmark score for High Noon will be available for the first time on compact disc. This is the second in a series of Tiomkin scores painstakingly restored by Chelsea Rialto Studios and released by Screen Archives Entertainment, in association with Volta Music. As with last month’s D.O.A. release, the source material for the High Noon 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. Ray Faiola and Craig Spaulding produced the CD. Film historian Rudy Behlmer provides detailed notes on the film and its production history in a lavish 32-page color booklet.
The thirty-three tracks time out at just over one hour and include a demo recording and rehearsal of “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’.” In addition to the dramatic underscore, listeners will now be able to own the famous main title ballad as sung by Tex Ritter in the film. The Ritter recording, released some fifty years ago, was a studio version that sounds similar to but is not the same as the version heard in the film. Film and music buffs will recall that Frankie Laine’s recording of the song was released prior to Ritter’s. Later performances by guitarist Chet Atkins, pianists Ferrante & Teicher, and the exotica combo the Three Suns, among others, brought the tune to an ever widening audience.
Fred Zinnemann directed this classic Western, which starred Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. The film was released by United Artists in 1952. According to his autobiography, Tiomkin convinced associate producer Stanley Kramer to allow him to write a main title ballad that would be sung, whistled, and played by the orchestra throughout the film, even though singing and talking (dialogue) did not mix, according to the rules of filmmaking at that time. For his efforts, Tiomkin earned two Academy Awards, one for dramatic music score and the other for the popular song “Do Not Forsake Me.”
This release undoubtedly will be highly sought after, since for various historical reasons the soundtrack for High Noon has never been issued in any format. Screen Archives Entertainment (www.screenarchives.com) will begin taking and fulfilling orders on December 18. No advance orders will be taken for the disc, which is priced at US$19.95.