To lead off our final set of CD Club releases for 2004 comes this Deluxe Edition of one of the great historical epic film scores of the 1960s. Twentieth Century-Fox undertook a truly monumental production in order to bring Irving Stone’s epic historical biography to the screen. Starring Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison, and directed by Carol Reed (The Third Man, 1949), the film did an outstanding job of bringing the pageantry of the Renaissance to life while telling the tale of the celebrated ceiling.
Baddest Love Jams, Vol. 2: Fire & Desire assembles 15 romantic favorites from the Motown vaults, drawn from the late 1960s to the early '80s. Thematic connections aside, there's little linking the songs together – too much sonic variation to effectively establish the mood – and most selections aren't representative of the given artists at their best; besides, Motown already released Let's Get It On. Honestly, what more of an aphrodisiac do you need?
Alex North had his roots in the American stage but achieved his greatest fame in the epic film genre: his scores for Spartacus (1960), Cleopatra (1963) and The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) are beloved for their scope and grandeur. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was to be another North epic but ended up with Stanley Kubrick's selections of classical music. Later in 1968 North was able to use some of his 2001 ideas in M-G-M's The Shoes of the Fisherman, a colossal modern-day tale about the first Russian Pope. The Shoes of the Fisherman was based on a novel by Morris L. West and starred Anthony Quinn as Kiril Lakota, a political prisoner who rejoins the Vatican after his release. When the Pope dies, Kiril emerges as an unlikely successor, and must set the course for the Vatican's role in a current world crisis. The film also starred Laurence Olivier as the Soviet Premier, David Janssen as an American journalist, and Oskar Werner as a Jesuit philosopher and friend of Kiril's.
The Dead is a 1987 film directed by John Huston, starring his daughter Anjelica Huston. The Dead was the last film that Huston directed, and it was released posthumously. It was adapted from the short story "The Dead" by James Joyce (from his short works collection Dubliners), and nominated for an Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Costume Design.