Sunday, February 5, 2012

movies: a wild wild boar hunt

"Home From the Hill" (1960) stars Robert Mitchum, Eleanor Parker, George Peppard and a very young George Hamilton possibly in his first film and reminding some of us of how slim and endowed with hair we once were. Early in the movie, we see Hamilton as Mitchum's teenage son, Theron, with hounds and gun in pursuit of a dangerous wild boar. Never personally interested in guns and hunting, I was still on the edge of my comfy chair during this sequence. My heart was in my throat at the end of it, and this scene is merely foreshadowing of things to come in a story of tortured family history in a southeastern Texas town.

The score composer was Bronislau Kaper, a new name among film composers for me. Rich and romantic, the score has a great main theme and certainly builds up the excitement during the pursuit and confrontation with that boar.

Mitchum must have been busy around that time: He had to go to Australia with Deborah Kerr and Peter Ustinov to film "The Sundowners", also released in 1960. This is a very absorbing story of a sheep drover family on the move through lovely Downunder scenery lush with white gum trees. The composer here is a little more familiar: Dimitri Tiomkin, employing and developing at least two Aussie folk songs in his score.

(My copies of the DVD issues are part of a Robert Mitchum collection from Warner Brothers, found at Daedalus Books here in Columbia.)