Toto D'arabia


2010 release. Digitmovies releases, for the very first time on CD, the complete original soundtrack by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino for the movie Totò D'arabia (Aka "Totò Of Arabia") directed in 1964 by Spanish director Josè Antonio De La Loma with screenplay and scenario by Bruno Corbucci and Giovanni Grimaldi and starring the great Italian comedian Totò (stage name of Prince Antonio De Curtis), Nieves Navarro (aka Susan Scott), Fernando Sancho, Georges Rigaud, Mario Castellani, and Luigi Pavese. In the movie, Totò plays a former Italian soldier who is now working as a servant at the British intelligence service and is then upgraded to secret agent with the name of Agent 008 with the purpose to persuade the ruler of Shamara, sheik Ali El Buzur to yield oil to the United Kingdom. After a short stay in Barcelona to get further information, Totò moves to Kuwait where he succeeds in defeating the Egyptian, Turkish, and Russian secret services. To outdo the CIA, Totò uses the thirty wives of the sheik who at the end he will adopt and as El Buzur II he will run Shamara's refinery from Naples. The movie is a parody of the David Lean classic with similar situations and settings, and Lavagnino himself has written a theme which in a burlesque way quotes the famous motif by Maurice Jarre. For this CD, Digitmovies has used the original session master tapes recorded in mono sound, but they discovered two tracks which were mixed in stereo and which could be added as a coda to the mono OST. After an introduction that quotes the theme by Jarre, a theme for harpsichord and orchestra with a Spanish flavor appears. Lavagnino has written a very varied OST: A theme à la James Bond and several suspense tracks performed by few instruments, but very effective at the same time for mystery and spy scenes, alternated with tracks of various genres like funny little marches, Spanish music for the scene placed at Plaza del Toro in Barcelona, a sad western Deguello, romantic music for orchestra, and belly dances. The movie and this CD close with the "Finale" which after a romantic intro features a merry Tarantella as a tribute to the mythic Totò.