Tuesday, August 4, 2015


(Post 2 of 10)

Paisan is Roberto Rossellini's series of vignettes set in Italy during the end of the war. These stories run the gamut of human emotions: An American soldier attempts to befriend an Italian peasant girl leading to tragic consequences, a black American soldier and an orphaned Italian boy form an unlikely friendship, an American soldier tries to reconnect with a woman he has fallen in love with, a nurse tries to find her freedom fighter boyfriend, three army chaplains spend the night in a Catholic monastery and the final episode involves a skirmish with tragic consequences at the end of the war.

These stories all come together neatly and have a strong dramatic impact. I think it is a even richer film than Rossellini's more famous Open City.

               From the Soundtrack of All This and World War II

The soundtrack to All This and World War II featured selections from the two most successful musical acts of the 70's, Elton John and The Bee Gees.

The inclusion of Elton's version of Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds was kind of a no-brainer as he had already scored a number one hit with the song the previous year. Elton was also good friends with Beatle John Lennon and the two of them recorded a live version of The Beatles I Saw Her Standing There on the B-side of Elton's Philadelphia Freedom.

Elton John with John Lennon

Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds

The Bee Gees put out some pretty good Beatles influenced folk/pop music during the 60's and 70's. They achieved their greatest success during the late 70's with their songs from the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever.

Their greatest debacle of the decade was their involvement with Peter Frampton and others on Robert Stigwood's bloated epic Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band featuring the music of the Beatles in a most bizarre musical (Even more bizarre than All This and World War II!).

Unfortunately, their fairly bland versions on All This and World War II of She Came in Through the Bathroom Window, Sun King, Golden Slumbers and Carry That Weight foreshadow that later film. They aren't helped by the overdone orchestral arrangements either.

The Bee Gees battle the Beatles during the 70's
in the pages of Dynamite.

Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight

Sun King

She Came in Through the Bathroom Window

...and lose the war after the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts
Club Band

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