North To Alaska Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score North To Alaska by Lionel Newman.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 100
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 14.03
Album Excellence: 100%
North To Alaska is a 1960 comedic western film directed by Henry Hathaway and starring John Wayne, Stewart Granger and Ernie Kovacs. The script was based on the play Birthday Gift by Ladislas Fodor. When George Pratt (Stewart Granger) and Sam McCord (John Wayne) strike gold in Alaska, they must struggle to keep their fortune because of the constant interference from Frankie Canon (Ernie Kovacs), who wants to claim the gold for himself. After being ordered to find George’s fiancée in Seattle, Sam discovers that she has already married another man. Unable to deliver George’s fiancée, Sam decides to bring him a prostitute named Angel (Capucine). The score is composed by Lionel Newman.
In 2013, Kritzerland Records released a nice little CD called “John Wayne At Fox: The Westerns”. On it were The Comancheros by Elmer Bernstein, The Undefeated by Hugo Montenegro and North To Alaska by Lionel Newman. I will probably get to the others as well, but first up is Newman’s North To Alaska. It’s the same program as the 2011 Intrada release. I also believe this is the first Lionel Newman score I review on the site. Cake all around! The score opens with ‘Go North’ and it is what the synopsis describes, a take at comedic western. Both genres are carefully included and it’s a fun little cue. It’s in fact better than just a little fun. It’s glorious music from a classic era of film music. It’s romantic and sweet as well as funny. Next up is ‘Angel’s Theme’ a sweet and funny theme. It has the sound of late 50s romance and that’s a sound I cherish. I get nostalgic when I hear music like this even though I didn’t live in that era. There’s something warm and inviting about the music. It embraces me as much as I embrace it. ‘Scenic View’ is more romance, perhaps romance towards the great outdoors, the scenic America. Either way, it’s beautiful and unlike the previous cue, this one has more of a western feel to it.
Comedy turns to romance turns to comedy again with ‘Baked Alaska’. This is a fun saloon cue, one that I would expect playing in a dusty drink hole. What I enjoyed most from this score though are the romantic cues and there are quite a few of those. Comedy is taking a backseat to romance and the score is all the better for it. It’s simply a brilliant score, bringing back fond memories of the culture of the time. Get it if it’s still available.
2. Go North
3. Angel’s Theme
4. Scenic View
6. Baked Alaska
7. Love In The Air
8. Northern Lights