Digitmovies, with collaboration of Gruppo Sugar, continues to explore the territory of the Italian Peplum by issuing as volume XXV the complete edition in mono of the OST by Angelo F. Lavagnino for the movie Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei
(Aka The Last Days
of Pompeii”). It was directed in 1959 by Mario Bonnard (together with an uncredited Sergio Leone) and produced at the CEA soundstages in Madrid and Cinecittà in Rome. Although initially directed by Mario Bonnard, the film was completed by Sergio Leone, for whom this was his directorial debut (previously he had been assistant director or director of the second unit). Due to an illness, the first director had been forced to abandon the project, but the young Leone with respect for Bonnard did not want to appear in the credits. The cast consists of Steve Reeves, Fernando Rey, Christine Kaufmann, Charles Tamberlani, Mino Doro, Mimmo Palmara, Guillermo Marin, Angel Aranda, Antonio Casas, Vicky Lagos, Barbara Carroll, Mario Morales, Ignazio Dolce. The centurion Glauco Cesonio (Reeves), who comes back from Palestine to his native Pompeii, finds the city in shock due to the criminal enterprises of a gang of thugs and looters who murder the members of the wealthiest families. In this way the family of Glauco was killed, who in the throes of a feeling of revenge goes to meet the architect Ascanio (Marin). But the latter is influenced by his wife Giulia Lavinia (Baumann) and the high priest of Isis (Rey). All the while the rumbling of Mount Vesuvius is increasingly threatening ... At the time of the film’s release no record album at all with music by M ° Lavagnino was issued, but in 1984 C.A.M. issued a 33 rpm LP in their limited edition Phoenix series (PHCAM 03) with 15 tracks (in fact the “Main Title” was repeated at the end of side B so that we have left in their place only 14 tracks which end with the “ Finale “). The same material has been re-released on CD in 1995 (CAM 493273-2) and more recently on CD CAM / Sugar (Sugar 24). For our CD we had access to the master tapes of the original session in mono masterfully conducted by Carlo Savina
which allowed us to locate about 22 minutes of extra music that leads us to a total duration of 62:57. M ° Lavagnino with his unique style has created a symphonic OST where love themes alternate with dramatic motifs, sometimes macabre, sometimes mysterious, as ideal background for the sad fate of the people of Pompeii. A proper rescue and preservation of the Italian Golden Age and the musical art of Angelo F. Lavagnino.