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BSD Film Room: Euphonium

BSD Film Room

Clarence LeRoy Van Cleef graduated Somerville (NJ) high school early, in September 1942, in order to enlist in the US Navy at age 17. He spent most of the next three years aboard the USS Incredible, as a sonarman, hunting Nazi submarines in the Mediterranean. By 1952, he’d broken into Hollywood, landing roles in major films such as High Noon, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

In the mid 60s, Van Cleef returned to Italy, this time as an actor, starring in several “spaghetti western” films that remain classics today. Below is a clip from Sergio Sollima’s The Big Gundown, circa 1966.

That scene gets stolen by Ennio Morricone, who didn’t appear in any of the shots, because he wasn’t an actor. Rather, Ennio composed the now famous tune which conveyed the suspense. If you recognize it, despite never having seen any spaghetti westerns, it’s likely that you’re a Tarantino fan. Quentin borrowed it for The Bear Jew scene in his film Inglorious Basterds.

Adagio, a hint of backing strings and voices, a subtle nod to a Spanish guitar early, each piled onto another and built into a massive crescendo, forming a dais for the blasting, almost obnoxiously brassy - eh, what instrument is it? It’s pitched a little low for a b-flat trumpet. Ennio - who just passed on July 6th at age 92 - was an Eye-talian, so it probably wasn’t a trombone. And because no composer has ever written anything interesting for a baritone, Film Room thinks it’s a euphonium. That’s our guess, at least. Let us know if you agree or disagree in the comments.

Foosball offensive linemen - apart from the left tackle - make a fine parallel to the euphonium. By those who know, be they composers or coaches, great offensive linemen are highly prized, being relied upon to fulfill critical, challenging roles. Yet, the average fan couldn’t pick one out of a lineup of four sousaphones and a tuba.

Penn State’s 2020 offensive line figures figured to fulfill the hopes and dreams of every BSD pundit since the dawn of Penn State foosball. That is, these boys can could have mashed. Let’s take a look at Film Room’s favorite.

Kill The Lights

Of course, our favorite is CJ Thorpe, #69. He’s a Philosophy major. But more than that, he’s a merciless, grizzly-sized cannibal, mauling his victims, and gnawing on their heads.

His feet are more than good enough to pull, find his mark in space, and adjust on the fly. The beauty, though - the unspeakable beauty - CJ does not merely “find his mark”. No, friends. He launches the dude - in the gif below, it’s Michigan linebacker Noah Furbush - a solid 4 yards. Sends him into low Earth orbit at impact, on a got-to-have-it third down last season.


Hit The Lights

What a bummer, not getting to watch CJ murder opponents this fall. Fortunately, CJ made a habit of destroying dudes whenever he stepped onto the field, and marvelously violent gifs abound. Please share some of your favorites below.