The Inn of the Sixth Happiness/ Trapez (Classic Original Soundtrack Album)

Composer & Conductor:Malcolm Arnold
Conductor:Muir Mathieson
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Cat No: FILMCD2008
Format: Audio CD (Stereo & Mono)

Release Date:22 July 2015

RRP: £5.99

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The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
Released in 1958 by 20th Century Fox and directed by Mark Robson (who received an Academy Award for Best Director nomination) with cinematography by Freddie Young. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness is set in the 1930s and based upon Alan Burgess book The Small Woman (1957), itself based upon the true story of Gladys Aylward (played by Ingrid Bergman).

Although the film was a success, including the second most popular film in UK in 1958 and generating international interest in her work, Gladys Aylward was not happy with the inaccuracies of the movie. Aylward was short with dark hair and a cockney accent, nothing like the tall, Swedish Ingrid Bergman. Due to the time constraint of the film, even though the film is 158 minutes long, much of the struggle of Aylward to fulfil her wish to travel to China and the dangerous, complicated travels across Russia and China were not included.

The film was shot in Britain at the MGM Elstree studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. With location shooting in London, with the Snowdonia National Park and other locations in North Wales being used for the locations in China. Most of the extras used in film came from Liverpool, which has one of the oldest Chinese communities in Europe. With Longmoor Military Railway in Hampshire being used for the Chinese railway station, with the British Army soldiers dressed as extras for that scene.

1958 was a particularly busy year for Malcolm Arnold not only composing (and also now conducting) his soundtracks, but also his classical work. He was unable to collect his Oscar for The Bridge on the River Kwai due to work commitments. He started to prepare for The Inn of the Sixth Happiness by first visiting the MGM Elstree studios in April to view the incomplete film and acquired a copy of Alan Burgess book. In August he started serious work on the soundtrack, meeting with Ingrid Bergman to decided on which children's song was to be used in the film, with them deciding on Knick, Knack, Paddy Wack. By September, the director still could not decided where he wanted the music. When he decided, Arnold and his secretary Dorothy Morris Payne had 10 days to complete the score prior to a five day recording session. The soundtrack was completed in mid October. Arnold won an Ivor Novelllo award for it.

The film is based upon Max Catto's novel The Killing Frost, with Liam O'Brien writing the adapted screenplay. Set in Paris, former trapeze aerialist and star Mike Ribble (Burt Lancaster) suffered life changing injures while attempting the highly dangerous triple somersault. He retired from the trapeze and became a circus labourer. Tino Orsini (Tony Curtis), arrives from New York, a son of a trapeze artist attempts to persuade Mike to train him to be only the sixth man to have completed the triple somersault. Ribble sees great promise in young, brash Orsini and thinks his protégé is capable of the triple somersault but only if he gives him rigorous training.

A new third member joins their circus act, the manipulative acrobat Lola (Gina Lollobrigida), who starts to distract Orsini. A love triangle then develops. Trapeze was filmed entirely in Paris, including at the Cirque d'hiver, and at the nearby Billancourt studios. Lancaster was a former circus acrobat, performed many of his own stunts, though the most dangerous (including the triple) were done by technical consultant Eddie Ward from Ringling Brothers Circus.

Malcolm Arnold's soundtrack for the film featured an eclectic combination of musical styles ranging from Jazz (Juke Box), French music (Tino's Arrival in Paris) to contemporary dance music (Lola's Theme). To help the audience to identify with circus, both traditional pieces (Julius Fucik's Entry of the Gladiators, Sousa's Marches and Strauss' Blue Danube) and the newly written music in a similar style (Fanfare and Elephants' Waltz) were used. The soundtrack showcased Arnold's talent, musical range and instinct required for film music.

Track Listing
The Inn of Sixth Happiness
2Journey To China
3Bringing In The Mule Train
4The Meeting Of Gladys And Linnan
5Jeannie Lawson Passes On
6Prelude (Prison Riot)
7In The Garden Of The Inn
8The Invasion
9The Parting (Theme Melody)
10Children's March From Yangcheng
11This Old Man
14Lola's Theme
15Fanfare And Elephants' Walk
16Mike And Lola's Love Theme
18Juke Box
19Tino's Arrival In Paris
20Above The Ring
21Washington Post March
22Entry Of The Gladiators
23Blue Danube
24Stars And Strips Forever