Another favorite the Summer of 1978 is today's featured film chosen for Soft Rock Week, Foul Play. Written and directed by Colin Higgins as a comedic homage to the films of Alfred Htchcock, Foul Play was Chevy Chase's first film after he became a breakout star on Saturday Night Live. Steve Martin had read for Chase's role of police detective Tony Carlson. Higgins wrote the role of Stanley Tibbets for Tim Conway but when Conway turned it down, Dudley Moore was cast in his first U.S. film before going on the achieve even greater fame with roles in 10 and Arthur. Goldie Hawn's Gloria Mundy role was first offered to Farrah Fawcett-Majors, who was forbidden from accepting the role by the producers of Charlie's Angels.
|pay close attention to the two women playing Scrabble in the film|
Foul Play is a funny, playful comedy thriller with chemistry between the likable leads. It is one of HERC's go to "have you seen this?" films when guests are bunking at The Hideaway. The supporting cast is not too shabby either: Burgess Meredith, Billy Barty, Brian Dennehy and Dudley Moore. Charles Fox composed and conducted the film's score.
|official 2009 reissue of soundtrack on CD limited to 2000 copies|
The soundtrack album was released a couple of months after the film and, in addition to Fox's score, featured two songs performed by Barry Manilow: "Copacabana (At The Copa)" and the film's theme song "Ready To Take A Chance Again". The album made it #107 on the Top 200 and spent seven weeks total on the charts.
Manilow's "Copacabana" was released as the third single from Even Now (Feb 1978). The single rose to #6 on the Easy Listening chart and #8 of the Hot 100. It was the last of Manilow's singles to sell half a million copies and earn Gold status.
"Ready To Take A Chance Again" was released as a single in August 1978; after the movie but before the soundtrack album. It reached #5 on the Easy Listening chart and #11 on the Hot 100. At the beginning of the film, as the song is heard, it is credited as having been written by the film's composer Charles Fox (music) and his partner Norman Gimbel (lyrics). The next on-screen credit says the recording was "created by Barry Manilow and Ron Dante" and the credit that follows that says the song is "sung by Barry Manilow." The song would appear on Manilow's next release, the double album Greatest Hits, which appeared in November 1978. An instrumental version of "Ready To Take A Chance Again" appears in the movie as well as an abbreviated Vocal Reprise at the film's end. Both of those tracks also appear on the soundtrack album.
An even more popular song was heard in the film but not released on this film's soundtrack album although it was included on the year's biggest selling album:
In 2009, the Foul Play soundtrack was issued on CD for the first time in a limited run of 2,000 copies as the 88th disc in the Intrada Collection. The disc quickly sold out and fetches premium prices on the secondary market despite general agreement among fans and collectors it does not sound as good as it should.
Thankfully (and surprisingly), the Foul Play soundtrack IS on Spotify. Enjoy!