Music Webmaster Len Mullenger


David A HUGHES & John MURPHY Stiff Upper Lips OST

EMI Premier Soundtracks 495529 2 [49:55]



Classical Music Excerpts include: Rossini (arr Pourcell): La Danza; Overture: The Thieving Magpie; Overture: William Tell. Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana (Intermezzo). Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2. Puccini: O Mio Babbino Caro (Gianni Schicchi); Tosca - Mario Cavaradossi?... A Voi. Mahler: Adagietto from Symphony No 5. Handel: - Water Music. Vivaldi: - Four Seasons.

Stiff upper lips seems to be a film very much in the Carry On... tradition: with a subtitle of "I Want My Sexual Awakening And I Want It Now!" and seaside postcard lines like: "...they should run as God intended - bare cheeked, stark naked and buttocks all a tremble" how could it not be? The film which stars Peter Ustinov and Prunella Scales, with Sean Pertwee, Georgina Cates and Samuel West is described as a tongue-in-cheek send up of Merchant Ivory-style costume dramas. Apparently it was a major hit at the international film festivals. Its central theme is a repressed Edwardian family's chaotic grand tour across three continents and the omnipresent class prejudices and divisions of the time. As the farcical plot unravels, Emily the daughter is struggling with her burgeoning sexuality. Hughes and Murphy's music is a brazen send-up of many musical styles including the work of composers such as: Eric Coates, Ennio Morricone, Frederick Loewe, Percy Grainger and Nino Rota etc. Excerpts from the classics are also quoted as above. Those with a thin sense of humour should be warned that they may well be shocked at hearing the following dialogue between a frustrated butler whose staff has all been dismissed and his Ladyship:- "Your idiot family's quite barking mad!"; "Hudson, is this why you've been urinating in the soup again?"; "There will be worse to the main the pudding if I don't get a break!" All this rivetting conversation over a very famous piano concerto! You have been warned! But seriously, the classical music excerpts may encourage further listening and exploration of the repertoire.

Ian Lace

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