A romance destined to change the history of Europe comes to life in a powerfully acted and lavishly produced historical drama. Marlon Brando stars as the overreaching military genius, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Jean Simmons as Desirée, the young beauty whose love haunts him for a lifetime. Their story is set against the turbulent late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when the General took command of France and made a continent the bloody playground for his ambitions.
Desirée (1954) was director Henry Koster’s first film to follow his enormously successful production of The Robe (1953). The score for Desirée was composed by the incomparable Alex North. North’s knack for coming up with the most heart wrenching and poignant melodies is on grand display here. Desirée is of strikingly different character than North’s other historical epics such as Spartacus, Cleopatra and The Agony and The Ecstasy. This is, by far, the most intimate of them. North’s score also features a wonderful waltz by Fox music head, Alfred Newman.
As one of the most important composers to ever work in Hollywood, every score on North’s filmography represents an essential piece of film music history. We are thrilled to finally add Desirée to our long-standing and continuing series of Alex North restorations and preservations.
1. Main Title (Alfred Newman) (1:40) 2. Adolescence (1:01) 3. Desiree & Napoleon (Plaisir D’Amour) (Giovanni Martini) (2:24) 4. La Marseillais (Rouget de Lisle) (1:30) 5. Youthful Diary (:59) 6. Napoleon’s Arrest (1:06) 7. Proposal (3:24) 8. Paris (:12) 9. The Entrance (2:44) 10. Unrequited and Cradle (5:26) 11. Reflections (1:24) 12. Wooed (3:25) 13. Piqued (2:23) 14. Te Deum (Roger Wagner) (2:19) 15. Proclamation and Desertion (3:45) 16. The Medals (1:20) 17. Arrival (:28) 18. Etiquette (1:38) 19. Desiree Waltz (Alfred Newman) (3:53) 20. Montage (1:13) 21. Transition (1:51) 22. Decision (:59) 23. Denouement (2:50) 24. Farewell (1:57)