Composed and Conducted by Henry Mancini

In 2002, Intrada premiered Henry Mancini’s score to Silver Streak.  At that time, the original scoring sessions, captured by Dan Wallin on 35mm magnetic film and vaulted by 20th Century Fox, had suffered so much damage and deterioration over the first twenty years that when Intrada first presented the music, it was necessary to release the entire score in mono sound from the composer’s own 1/4″, 71/2 IPS, fulltrack safety copies of the music, with only the surviving highlights appearing in stereo. Neither the main nor end titles—as well as several other cues—were salvageable. Now, some 14 years later under the careful, steady hand of restorationist Chris Malone, Intrada is able to present the score in stereo.  Some may note this release has a shorter running time than that first Intrada CD, but that is because the current condition of the stereo elements no longer requires duplication of music from the mono sources.

Henry Mancini wrote his score for Silver Streak with the triple purpose of highlighting outrageous comedy, illuminating tender romance and underscoring thrilling action—three tasks not easily combined. He met the challenge by writing just two themes — one flexible enough to handle the majority of the dramatic and comedic needs and one to highlight the romance. He obtained further contrast through changes of style, color and tempo—even while the harmonic vernacular of both themes remained constant. The results suited the picture to perfection and every facet of Mancini is represented in this sparkling score.

The story of Silver Streak is deceptively simple—or is that simply deceptive? Book editor George Caldwell (Gene Wilder) is traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago on the famed Silver Streak passenger train. His relaxing ride is disrupted by the abrasive Bob Sweet (Ned Beatty), a salesman who attempts to tutor the mild-mannered editor in the fine art of picking up women. While Sweet fails miserably in his attempt to play pick-up artist, Caldwell connects with Hilly Burns (Jill Clayburgh), an art historian’s assistant who’s traveling with her boss, Professor Schreiner. Things seem to be looking up until their first night together, which is rudely interrupted when Caldwell spies the professor outside the compartment window, his apparently murdered body falling off the train…

“This is terrific!” So exclaims angry Gene Wilder after being thrown off the train. You’ll say it as well but in joy: Henry Mancini’s great Silver Streak soundtrack is now in stereo! When Intrada first premiered the score in 2002, damaged master elements prevented much of the CD from being presented in stereo. In fact, many highlights, including the main and end titles, could only be offered in mono from the composer’s personal tape. Now, with technology today allowing considerable advances in audio restoration, and with restoration wizard Chris Malone climbing aboard, Intrada is now able to present the score in stereo… main and end titles included! (Running time is no longer padded to include cues in mono.) Arthur Hiller directs this popular 1976 comedy/romance/action-thriller, Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Pryor, Patrick McGoohan star, 20th Century Fox presents and audiences have tickets to a wild ride from Los Angeles to Chicago via train, auto, airplane… even foot!

Henry Mancini tackles the challenge of corralling three disparate story elements into a single cohesive score, courtesy his rhythmically infectious, melodically sweeping main “train” theme, haunting love theme and exciting action music. In between these ideas are individual cues for numerous Richard Pryor antics plus dramatic cues for suspenseful scenes. Mancini creates a score as varied and flavorful as the highly successful film it’s written for! Sensationally funny, excitingly sensational script by Colin Higgins suggest wild Alfred Hitchcock ride but Mancini avoids tipping hat to Bernard Herrmann, instead writing what he does best: richly tuneful melodies, colorful orchestrations, pulse-pounding action sequences. Lengthy, exciting “Runaway Train” music is an action highlight of the composer’s entire career. As the film’s original advertising tagline states: “By plane, by train, by the edge of your seat… It’s the most hilarious suspense ride of your life!” The movie was a runaway success for 20th Century Fox. Henry Mancini was a big part of that success. Henry Mancini, Jack Hayes orchestrate, Henry Mancini composes, conducts.

Label: Intrada 7148
Date: 1976
Time: 48:54

01. Main Title (3:18)
02. Something For Jill (3:56)
03. Hilly’s Theme/Bye Bye Professor/Lie Down George (7:37)
04. This Is Terrific (1:58)
05. The Fun Of Flying (1:53)
06. Club Car Rock (0:42)
07. Sneaky George (1:18)
08. Scenic Route (2:58)
09. I’ll Try (1:03)
10. Gold Teeth (0:52)

11. Son Of This Is Terrific (1:11)
12. Redneck Blues (1:08)
13. Pure Pussy (1:21)
14. On To Kansas City (Hilly’s Theme) (2:10)
15. Shoe Shine (1:32)
16. Men’s Room Rock (3:39)
17. Hilly’s Theme (1:41)
18. The Swirl Effect (1:54)
19. Runaway Train (6:01)
20. End Title (2:23)