Chris' Soundtrack Corner proudly presents Daniele Patucchi's masterful score to LE ULTIME ORE DI UNA VERGINE. In the 1970s, the genre of Italian melodramas found new and innovative ways to discuss heavy topics against the backdrop of romantic stories. Until abortion was made legal in 1978, Italian filmmakers shot dramas centering around the issue with varying degrees of good taste. LE ULTIME ORE DI UNA VERGINE (THE LAST HOURS OF A VIRGIN; also known as UN DOPPIO A METÀ and DOUBLE BY HALF in the American market) is one of the more constructively made examples of these abortion dramas.
The film was co-written and directed by Gianfranco Piccioli and employs a relatively small cast, including Massimo Farinelli as Enrico, a photographer; this was his last movie. Laura, his pregnant girlfriend, is played by American-born actress Sydne Rome, best known as the fetish-geared archaeologist hypnotized by Donald Pleasance in PUMA MAN (1981). Enrico's duplicitous journalist friend Roberto is portrayed by Don Backy.
But for fans of film scoring, there's only one real star in the movie, and that's the underappreciated composer Daniele Patucchi – one of the lesser-known (and less frequently released on record) composers of the Italian silver age. The score's central theme is introduced in "Titoli" and is written for the female character – curiously enough Patucchi titled it "Sydne's Theme," labelling it after the actress rather than the character's name. There are also brilliant recurring motives for other aspects of the story. "I mendicanti" collects several cues that use the same propulsive energy for a montage highlighting the various swindles all captured with a POV-style. The score also offers a few suspense cues, and in what is arguably the film's weirdest moment, Enrico attends a magic show and Patucchi provides a more-or-less self-contained cue for one of the story's visually most interesting sequences. The CD has two bonus sections, opening with the so-called record versions of certain cues, which includes the unused version of "Tema per Sydne," which was slated to appear on the soundtrack but was actually removed from the film. The second half of the bonus section includes all the source music heard in the movie.
Though this is a premiere release of the film's soundtrack, a few tracks have been released before on various library compilations of Daniele Patucchi's music. Now, for the first time, Chris' Soundtrack Corner presents the score in a single package, as this Patucchi masterpiece deserves much more than having its parts scattered among various library LPs. When the cues are heard together, the score's strengths become undeniable. The album is produced by Christian Riedrich and mastered by Manmade Mastering. The CD is accompanied by a 12-page illustrated booklet featuring detailed notes by Gergely Hubai.