- Composed by Alfred Newman
- Kritzerland / 2011 / 64:08
A World War II espionage thriller released in 1962, The Counterfeit Traitor stars William Holden as an American-born Swede coerced by the Allies into spying on the Germans. It was very well-reviewed upon its release but rather got lost amongst other, higher-profile films at the time. In the decade leading up to his final score, Airport (also directed by this film’s George Seaton), legendary composer Alfred Newman wasn’t especially prolific – just seven scores during that time. But he’d lost none of his powers, fitting some fantastic music into that time. I love the energetic opening to this score – busy and dynamic, typical Newman.
The bulk of the score is made up of a mixture between very dark suspense music and variations on a memorable love theme. The suspense music is decent enough, particularly when it builds into brassier, edgier material (as it frequently does) – though sometimes it doesn’t quite have the energy to be fully engaging. The score’s real quality comes from that love theme, particularly the way Newman develops it over the course of the score. The famous Newman Strings are there, but it’s not all about ravishing beauty, the composer taking the listener on a real dramatic journey through the variations on the theme, from carefree love to anguish and tragedy. Sound quality is generally excellent (though a small number of tracks were a little damaged) and it’s an impressive score – not, for me, prime Newman, but there’s more than enough wonderful music here to satisfy any fan of the composer. *** 1/2