First-ever release of rowdy, playful Elmer Bernstein soundtrack to Jeremy Joe Kronsberg picture with Tony Danza, Danny DeVito, Jessica Walter… plus Bobby Berousek’s Orang-utans. Every composer does something just for fun; this was Bernstein’s foray. Kronsberg had ample experience with orange-furred simians, having featured one in his scripts for Clint Eastwood’s highly successful Every Which Way But Loose and Any Which Way You Can brawler comedies. This time Kronsberg had three to work with! Circus, zoo backgrounds inspired Bernstein to fashion comic score with one foot in circus locale, other foot in zany jazz-come-rock territory. Bouncing, energetic main theme anchors while pulsating songs, vibrant instrumentals get spotlight. Bernstein even finds time to write in his trademark vernacular with moments both gentle, rousing. However, comedy stays name of the game. Score presented in dynamic stereo from 2″ 24-track masters stored in pristine condition in Paramount vaults. Project supervised by Lukas Kendall, liner notes by Jeff Bond.

The 1981 Paramount Pictures film Going Ape!’’s most prestigious contributor was veteran composer Elmer Bernstein, who was in the midst of his comedy cycle that began with Animal House in 1978 and Airplane! in 1980.  In spite of being a goofball comedy, Going Ape! required music from Bernstein that was deceptively complicated— with a great deal of thematic material— and saw the composer collaborating with the filmmaker on enough songs to nearly qualify the movie as a musical.  Bernstein’’s score (sourced here from 2” 24-track masters) is full of the engagingly good-natured comic writing that made the composer such a perfect fit for the genre. He even adapted Nino Rota’’s theme from The Godfather to play as muzak in two restaurant scenes, not-so-subtly reminding the audience of actor Frank Sivero’’s connection to the classic gangster films.

The story of Going Ape! focuses on Foster Sabatini (Tony Danza), the son of circus impresario Max Sabatini, who inherits three orangutans, along with five million dollars, after his father dies. There’s just one catch—if he gives the simians away or any of the orangutans die over the next three years, all the money will go to the zoo. Stuffy zoological society president Gridley (Joseph Maher) is determined to make just that happen, and he encourages his dimwitted associate Brandon (Rick Hurst) to work on the problem. Brandon hires two equally dimwitted former mafia hit men, Joey (Art Metrano) and “Bad Habit” (Frank Sivero) to arrange for some “accidents” to befall Foster and his new orangutan family.

Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 308
Date: 1981
Time: 1:16:39
Tracks: 32


01. Circus—Love Max (2:38)
02. Meet the Apes (2:11)
03. It Ain’t Who’s Right, It’s What’s Right (2:16)
04. Conspirators (2:08)
05. Suddenly (4:05)
06. Duck Soup (3:32)
07. Grim Brother Grimm (3:40)
08. Cyrano (1:32)
09. Bittersweet (2:31)
10. Gurney—Zelda (1:57)
11. Gas (2:38)
12. Kidnap—Escape (1:54)
13. Chase Is On (6:59)
14. To Hospital (2:38)
15. End Shot (2:19)
16. Rescue (2:42)
17. One Way Street (2:12)
Total Score Time: 48:24

The Extras
18. Circus (1:11)
19. From Beyond (0:53)
20. Meet the Apes (1:49)
21. It Ain’t Who’s Right, It’s What’s Right (instrumental) (2:16)
22. Chicken Soup? (1:12)
23. Grim Brother Grimm (alternate vocal) (3:39)
24. Meet the Apes (1:16)
25. Bittersweet (instrumental) (2:45)
26. Love Theme From The Godfather (Nino Rota) (2:40)
27. To Hospital (1:30)
28. One Way Street (instrumental) (1:41)
29. It Ain’t Who’s Right, It’s What’s Right (short version) (1:11)
30. Grim Brother Grimm (alternate vocal, short version) (2:30)
31. Love Theme From The Godfather (accordion) (Nino Rota) (2:40)
32. One Way Street (short version) (0:30)
Total Extras Time: 28:08