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The Rose Tattoo
(1954)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
Alex North

Album Produced by:
Robert Townson
Tom Null
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Only 1,000 copies were printed as the fifth entry in the Varèse Sarabande CD Club. It sold at a highest value of $75 in the 1990's.
Awards
AWARDS
Nominated for an Academy Award.




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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... only if you have been previously entertained by Alex North's early combinations of Golden Age romanticism with jazz and dissonant tones.

Avoid it... if you prefer neither Golden Age styles and their inherent archival sound, nor North's ability to meander between genres within the same score.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,057
WRITTEN 8/9/97, REVISED 5/27/06
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North
North
The Rose Tattoo: (Alex North) During the production of great literary adaptations in the 1950's by Paramount and other studios, Alex North was the up and coming composer of choice. North's scores for Death of a Salesman and A Streetcar Named Desire in 1951 qualified him for what critics lauded as one of the better literary adaptations of the period, 1954's The Rose Tattoo. Tennessee Williams' original story is a lesson in symbolism, with a tattoo of a rose serving as the primary representation of love and perfection. The plotline centers around a feisty widow in the process of self-punishment for the loss of her perfect husband, and the complications of the heart that result when new men walk into her life. With the concepts of the story restrained to a stylized theatrical level, the setting of Alabama and the conservative art direction are overshadowed by individual performances, including Italian actress Anna Magnani, whose difficult transition to an English language film was awarded with an Oscar. Burt Lancaster's attempts to handle the melodramatic Mediterranean-style dialogue as the male lead are often criticized, however. The emotional roller coaster of a story (somewhat in the soap opera realm) led to a diverse score by North, who even went so far as to address the Italian heritage of the lead character. North was already --in the early 1950's-- a wildcard composer who could shift tones at ease within the same score, and The Rose Tattoo is one of those efforts that maintains many of the established norms of light orchestral love scores of the Golden Age while challenging listeners with ethnic and genre-bending flavors. One reason, perhaps, for this move by North was a conscious effort by the composer to compensate for the film's primary reported weakness, which is the compact and claustrophobic existence of the story in a stage setting. The shuttered home of the widow and its low ceilings, along with a rather stale mono soundtrack, necessitated some flair to go along with the Italian actress' obvious passions, and North delivers to some extent.



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VIEWER RATINGS
78 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.14 Stars
***** 15 5 Stars
**** 22 4 Stars
*** 15 3 Stars
** 11 2 Stars
* 15 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 30:21
• 1. Serafina (3:56)
• 2. Floozie (4:40)
• 3. Lament (2:39)
• 4. Com e Strano (2:43)
• 5. Thorn of the Rose (1:47)
• 6. Arrivederci (2:22)
• 7. Amami, Caro (3:14)
• 8. Caprice (1:13)
• 9. Rosario (2:31)
• 10. Lothario (2:01)
• 11. Gioconda (3:15)

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NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes detailed information about the score and film. All copies were numbered. The cover art is identical to that which appeared on the original LP release.
Copyright © 1997-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Rose Tattoo are Copyright © 1990, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/9/97 and last updated 5/27/06.
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