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FLICKS FILM AND VIDEO NOTES : Ribald Reprint : The re-edited 1963 comedy 'Tom Jones' will be shown and its music composer will speak at Ojai.

November 29, 1990|LEO SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

On Sunday, the Ojai Film Society will show the updated print of the 1963 British sex comedy "Tom Jones," starring a 27-year-old Albert Finney and featuring Lynn Redgrave in her movie debut.

The movie received Academy Awards for best picture, best director (Tony Richardson) and best screenplay, and earned Finney a nomination of his own.

It also earned an Academy Award for best score for John Addison, whom film society Director Mike Janover has invited to speak before and after Sunday's 4:30 p.m. showing at the Ojai Playhouse.

Addison has written about 70 movie scores, including those for "The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner" and "A Taste of Honey." He has also composed a number of scores for stage and television. He won an Emmy in 1985 for his work for "Murder, She Wrote" and this year received an Emmy nomination for the "Phantom of the Opera" miniseries.

Ironically, this will be only the second time that Addison will have seen "Tom Jones" in a theater.

"I suppose I saw it in 1975 or '76 when I first came out to Hollywood to live. Again, that was because someone asked me to come down and talk about it," he said. "I think the thing that struck me was the way the audience acted as if the film had been a brand-new film. Maybe it helped that it was a period piece."

Addison said he was fortunate to have the chance to write the score for "Tom Jones" because the music plays an important role in the film. "The score has 18th-Century elements in it," he said. "We used a harpsichord a lot."

To maintain accuracy, Addison said he even hung out with the cast "to be sure if anybody whistled or hummed anything it was something genuine, from the 18th Century."

The new version of "Tom Jones" was issued last year after being restored and re-edited. Seven minutes of the film were cut and Addison's score received a technological overhaul to update the music.

He said the original music was in mono and Richardson and the MGM studio "thought it would be wonderful to produce a sort of stereo version. I was pleased with the result of the soundtrack. By modern standards I improved on the original score."

And that's saying something. "After all, I got an Oscar for it so it must have been more or less all right," he said.

These days Addison is spending more time writing concert music, something he was unable to tackle while living in Los Angeles. In 1988, he moved to Mammoth Lakes and his work environment changed.

"In L.A., I didn't find the atmosphere conducive. L.A. is about films, really," he said. "Mammoth Lakes is a skiing resort, but not sort of a smarty-pants type of skiing resort. We built a house up here with a fantastic view. I believe there are a few show business people up here, but they don't come up here to talk about it."

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