Press Release from Saimel:
Un giorno da Leoni (1961) directed by Nanni Loy and starring Renato Salvatori, Carla Gravina, Tomas Milian, Nino Castelnuovo and Saro Urzì.
The main protagonists are three ordinary young Italian men, more or less anti-heroes, who at first just want to save their own skin without taking any particular position or having any patriotic ideals, but who are then forced by the circumstances of the war and by the German oppressors to take over responsibility and to carry out an heroic act. Carlo Rustichelli’s music -even more so than the one by other Italian film composers- always sounded characteristically Italian, he had an inimitable lyrical symphonic style and an immense melodic gift. Un giorno da leoni is a prime example of this. The main theme has that typical Rustichelli touch with its melodic beauty and its discrete elegance. It is one of those touching themes which goes straight to the heart. Through this music which throughout the score recurs in many subtle variations. All in all, Rustichelli has written a lovely, haunting and highly emotional score dedicated to the spirit of the partisan soldiers which now gets its world premiere on this CD.
In addition our CD also contains as a bonus the first ever release of the rather short score - with a duration of about 20 minutes- which Rustichelli wrote for the 1968 war movie La battaglia di El Alamein. Directed by Giorgio Ferroni (under the English pseudonym of Calvin Jackson Paget), the movie which dealt with the 1942 battle between Rommel and Montgomery in North Africa from an Italian point of view had a quite interesting international cast of Italian, French and British actors starring Robert Hossein, Michael Rennie, Frederick Stafford, George Hilton and Enrico Maria Salerno.
Almost from the outset a mood of despair and hopelessness is established which is also underlined by Rustichelli’s ominous and suspenseful music with its string tremoli and threatening chords and with the mysterious sombre humming of a male choir. Music is used very sparingly throughout the first half of the picture with many short and disjointed cues so that we have decided to combine some of them to somewhat longer tracks. Besides an oriental dance in a bar and a Scottish bagpipe tune which is imitated by two electronic organs, there is also a nice solemn orchestral variation with male choir and high strings of the famous Italian “Rusticanella” theme.
Due to the age of this soundtrack the original mastertapes had some defects and anomalies which we tried to correct as best as possible during the mastering process. Although the sound quality in some tracks could not be improved, we have nevertheles decided to include them in this edition for their historical and musical value.