Mr. Cellophane

In a location adjacent to a place in a city of some significance, what comes out of my head is plastered on the walls of this blog.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The only one who has this. (Fake Out)

As I've mentioned before, I love film music. Over the years, I've collected a number of soundtracks. There are those rare titles in my collection that I never hear anyone talk about. This is my way of shining a light on those ne'er-mentioned releases.

Okay. Confession time: I have never seen the movie Fake Out. I only first heard about it from flipping through Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide (2003 edition; newer printings have omitted it). I haven't the foggiest as to who owns the rights, so who knows it it will ever be released on DVD. It might have received a VHS release, but who's to say for certain? Has it ever even aired on television? (There are clips of it on YouTube, but not the whole thing. Weird.) According to the write-up in the package, which definitely doesn't sound like it was written by the director's mother, the "handsomely produced and swiftly directed" film concerns "a young star performer called Bobbie Warren (Pia Zadora) at Las Vegas' Riviera Hotel...(who is) thrown in a woman's prison until she agrees to sing about her mobster boyfriend".

Clearly, I'm missing out on a lost masterwork of cinema.

Anyway, the score was composed by Arthur B. Rubinstein, fresh off of his debut collaboration with Yale classmate John Badham, Whose Life is it Anyway. Though a distinctly minor project, Rubinstein gave it his all. Having never seen the film, I haven't the slightest idea how the many melodies that the composer wrote correspond to the events in the film, so bear with me.

The first track, "Main Theme", is a jaunty piece, utilizing everything from electronics and upbeat horns to descending harp runs and twinkling piano, creating a bustling atmosphere.

Horns, pizzicato, chimes and winds figure into the light suspense of "Audition" before the main theme returns in a slowed-down oboe rendition. I can only presume that "Where Heavies Pedal" was composed for a romantic scene, with its light guitar noodling blossoming into swelling strings. The mood doesn't last too long as a new melody for piano and wavering strings asserts itself. Piano, harp and flute pipe in near the end, adding a layer of unease.

"Main Theme for Fake Out" (yeah, that's not confusing) introduces a heroic melody on electronics that a) seems to prefigure the likes of Blue Thunder and b) bears a slight resemblance to "You Are My Sunshine". (Note: "Lock Me In" is pretty much the exact same track.)

Loungey saxophone and trumpet work earmarks the cheekily-titled "Music to Die By". "Shower Play", meanwhile, establishes a feeling of suspense with its creepy high strings and its descending five-note statements on piano and saxophone. ("Fake-Out Reprise" is the latter half of this track, unaltered.)

Orchestrationally, the composer finds ways to amuse himself, such as with the track "Periscope (Ride a Car Top)", which slinks along with abbreviated electric guitar riffs and harsh harmonica leading to clarinet and bouzouki (perhaps a nod to co-star Telly Savalas's Greek heritage?), before returning to a faster take on the "Main Theme". "Dead Wig" utilizes bongos and strings, along with pitter-patter winds, no doubt to underscore a character's misdeeds.

There are also a couple of songs to enjoy. "Come Clean"/"Turnaround" (yeah, someone was drunk when they mastered this album), recapitulates the "Main Theme" as a wonderful piece of lounge/disco pop. I'm not sure who performed it, though. It might have been Miss Zadora, but it sounds more like Cynthia Morrow, who would later performed the songs in Rubinstein's WarGames. The ballad "Those Eyes" (which I'm sure Pia performed) is a bit cheesier, especially when the tempo picks up, but it's still listenable.

I get the sense that the people at Laserlight Records knew that the movie they were producing the soundtrack for was a dud, so they seemed content to do the bare minimum, but still, that such a forgotten (and likely forgettable) movie got a soundtrack release at all is to be commended. Just reach into your pocket and root through your change. Before shipping and handling costs, you'll likely have enough to afford a copy of this soundtrack from



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