Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jack Giant Killer Whoops It Up

This may be carrying trivia too far, but why not?

I recently unearthed my old VHS tape of JACK THE GIANT KILLER, THE MUSICAL (from the very early days of the Disney Channel back in Lancaster, Pa.) The original GIANT KILLER (1962) is a variation on the popular Ray Harryhausen  stop-motion Dynamation films of the era. Stars Kerwin Mathews, Torin Thatcher, and director Nathan Juran also add to the 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1958) ambiance. Jim Danforth helped with stop motion efx in JACK.

     Hung Up: Torin Thatcher and Kerwin Mathews in the original film. The handsome, soft-spoken Mathews was introduced in Columbia's FIVE AGAINST THE HOUSE, a noir classic currently released on DVD.

Leonard Maltin's 2001 Movie & Video Guide comments: "Marvelous Fantascope special efx make this costume adventure yarn (in the SINBAD tradition) great fun. 

"BEWARE reissue which was dubbed into an ersatz musical!"

The "ersatz" musical make-over is credited as
“Music Processes Produced by Edwin Picker and Moose Charlap”

Charlap is also credited with the (new) original score and partial lyrics.

Picker is also credited as Editor, and Sandy Stewart as co-lyricist.

The original (original 1962) score was by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter whose really excellent work on VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA was finally released in a previously unheard soundtrack CD version by Film Score Monthly a few years ago.

 The Mirror Cracks as Judi Meredith turns from scarlet temptress back into nice peasant girl.


Whoop Up! 

Charlap is probably best-known for another cult (and not so ersatz) musical, the notorious WHOOP-UP, the score of which includes “Love Eyes” with the great lyric (by Norman Gimbel):

“Love Eyes (I mean you)
You and them Levis,
You’ve been eyein’ me since you walked in.
Your glances speed my heart and heat my skin.”

Not to mention:
“My lipstick’s wet
And waitin’ for your smear....”

Aside from the definitive Connie Francis delivery of this hot number, the Polydor CD  re-issue of the original MGM Records Original Cast album (circa 1988) has nine other bonus tracks. These include Charlap and Gimbel’s virtuoso performance of “Men,” the style of which seems have inspired most of Robert Preston’s numbers in THE MUSIC MAN. Curious.

Charlap also contributed a few songs to the Mary Martin PETER PAN.

There’s probably a lot more to say about WHOOP UP and JACK THE GIANT KILLER, but never mind. 

Ross Care 



Whoop-Up SEARCHSearch Page
Music:  Moose Charlap
 Lyrics:  Norman Gimbel
Book:  Dan Cushman, Cy Feuer, Ernest H. Martin
Premiere:   Monday, December 22, 1958
Shubert Theatre, (New York)      Performances:  56

Original Broadway Cast (CD)
Recording year:  1958
Language:  English
Label:  Polydor 837196
Length:  74:51
Tracks:  28
Conductor:  Stanley Lebowsky
show Singer List
show Song List
Album Cover