Move over Morricone! The record labels rescuing lost Italian B-movie scores
From the 1960s, Italy’s thriving film industry pumped out commercial movies that often had better soundtracks than they deserved. Once lost, now a new generation is keen to share their unique sound
The first time Silvano D’Auria watched the film La Mano Lunga del Padrino (The Long Arm of the Godfather) was at the Teatro dei Filarmonici in his hometown of Ascoli Piceno, Italy, in 1972, the year of its release. The multi-instrumentalist had composed all the music for the low-budget crime flick, its title an obvious attempt to forge artificial links to Hollywood hit The Godfather, and the theatre was packed with an audience there to support a son of the city.
D’Auria had been recruited by the movie’s director, Nardo Bonomi. “He was always smoking this big cigar, he was very chill,” D’Auria recalls today. Bonomi showed him some scenes and the script, and D’Auria got to work. The result is a gorgeous set of peppy bossa nova, baroque jazz, mild psych, and the soaring, wordless vocals of singer Edda Dell’Orso.