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Intrada: GOING APE [1981] - Elmer Bernstein

The 1981 Paramount Pictures film Going Ape!'’s most prestigious contributor was veteran composer Elmer Bernstein, who was in the midst of his comedy cycle that began with Animal House in 1978 and Airplane! in 1980.  In spite of being a goofball comedy, Going Ape! required music from Bernstein that was deceptively complicated— with a great deal of thematic material— and saw the composer collaborating with the filmmaker on enough songs to nearly qualify the movie as a musical.  Bernstein’'s score (sourced here from 2” 24-track masters) is full of the engagingly good-natured comic writing that made the composer such a perfect fit for the genre. He even adapted Nino Rota'’s theme from The Godfather to play as muzak in two restaurant scenes, not-so-subtly reminding the audience of actor Frank Sivero'’s connection to the classic gangster films.

The story of Going Ape! focuses on Foster Sabatini (Tony Danza), the son of circus impresario Max Sabatini, who inherits three orangutans, along with five million dollars, after his father dies. There’s just one catch—if he gives the simians away or any of the orangutans die over the next three years, all the money will go to the zoo. Stuffy zoological society president Gridley (Joseph Maher) is determined to make just that happen, and he encourages his dimwitted associate Brandon (Rick Hurst) to work on the problem. Brandon hires two equally dimwitted former mafia hit men, Joey (Art Metrano) and “Bad Habit” (Frank Sivero) to arrange for some “accidents” to befall Foster and his new orangutan family.

INTRADA Special Collection Vol. 308
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Just Announced, really excited about this one... it was a fun film about apes and had a great cast. Now so many great composers, here we have one of the best Elmer Bernstein, who was part of so many great scores and here is going to be another classic!
Jeremy [Howlin' Wolf]

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