Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Johnny Mandel - Harper Mainstream S-6078 (1966)

This is a different kind of cat named Harper... and excitement clings to him like a dame!

Private eye Lew Harper shows up early at the Southern California estate of Elain Sampson. She offers a drink, he declines, "I thought you were a detective," she says. "New type," Harper answers. Paul Newman memorably plays that new type in Harper, based on Ross MacDonald's The Moving Target. The first detective film in Newman's then 23-film career (he later reprised Harper in The Drowning Pool), Harper revitalized the genre. Newman's sleuth chews gum fast...and slips out of jams even faster as he unravels a twisted case of kidnapping and murder. William Goldman's clever screen-play throws quips and a parade of LA-LA-Land characters Harper's way. There's a woman of means (Lauren Bacall), a gun-toting attorney (Arthur Hill), a poolside gigolo (Robert Wagner), a boozy ex-starlet (Shelley Winters), a jazz junkie (Julie Harris), Harper's estranged wife (Janet Leigh) and the unholy order of the Temple of the Clouds (led by Strother Martin). Each may possess a clue. Or a bullet for Harper.

For me, this soundtrack has it all. A groovy main theme, a couple of cracking vocal numbers by Ruth Price and soul superstar Sam Fletcher, beautiful jazz ballads penned and played by Andre Previn and the obligatory mod-swinging crime tunes. A really great listen all the way through, the epitome of cool!

1) Harper (Main Title)
2) Quietly There
3) Magnus Cum Louder
4) Livin' Alone
5) Harper Does It Better
6) Mexican Breakfast
7) Sure As You're Born
8) Harper's Ferry
9) Temple Of The Clouds
10) Bel Air
11) Finale (Susan)


Quimsy said...

Marty Weil said...

It's great to see ephemera like this in the spotlight. The items I feature on dovetail nicely with this post. Just wanted to say I enjoyed seeing this featured on your blog. Very interesting. Nice work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this one. I'm a HUGE fan of Crime Jazz from 50's TV,movies and beyond.

Now To The Power Of Now said...

Great movie & if I remember correctly the score is very much a part of the ambience. Nice.

ScoreBaby said...

Please repost. Thought I had this, and now I can't find it.

Calmos said...

A re-up to spare time to Quimsy (to make us discover other wonderful almost unknown excellent music):

Thanks Quimsy for your taste! You made me discover so much!

ionplayer said...

Thanks quimsy and calmos, much appreciated.

bartok said...

thanks a lot mates

Anonymous said...!download|543p4|174595800|Harper_J_M_.rar|72736|0|0

C.L. Rogers said...

Can yo reupload this?