Henry Mancini was perhaps cinema's most popular composer during the 1960s after hits such as "Days of Wine and Roses," "Moon River" (from "Breakfast At Tiffany's"), "Charade" and others. But though Mancini had composed the eerie, jazz-influenced "Experiment In Terror" score in 1962 and his music for this thriller -- in which Audrey Hepburn plays a hapless, blind innocent terrorized by a trio of thugs led by Alan Arkin as a sadistic killer -- includes one of his usual lush, romantic ballads (heard over the end credits), the score itself, showcased by the movie's evocative, hair-raising main title, is atypical of the composer. With its insistent, dueling pianos (one slightly out of tune with the other, virtually making the hair stand on end), off-kilter lone whistle, and unusual instrumentation augmenting a large string section, this is Mancini at his suspenseful best. The score went unreleased until FSM (Film Score Monthly) issued a long-desired collector's edition in 2009. Listen to music from "Wait Until Dark"
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