Praise the Music

Irene Cara goes into a studio this week to record "No One but You," the love theme from the Christian-funded feature film "China Cry"--which has been in release for more than three weeks. The song will be hurriedly edited over the credits of 200 existing prints of the film as they are in transition to new theaters.

The belated, highly unusual move will also result in a single to be released by Warner Alliance, along with the soundtrack album, when the movie broadens its release in January.

"No One but You" was originally created as an instrumental, part of the score by composers Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn. Response was so strong to the instrumental, says distributor Tim Penland, that Kasha was asked to add lyrics. He wrote the theme about timeless love immediately following the death of his brother, producer-director Larry Kasha, on Sept. 29.

Inserting Cara's vocal will involve "a simple edit" costing about $75 for each print, says Penland, a sound investment if the song gets radio airplay or a best song Oscar nomination.

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"China Cry" is the true story of Nora Lam (played by Julia Nickson-Soul), a dedicated Chinese Communist in the 1950s who risked her life by openly converting to Christianity. Her romance with a fellow "comrade" figures heavily in the story.

Filmed for $6 million and aggressively promoted on producer Paul Crouch's Trinity Broadcasting Network, the picture has earned roughly $2 million in its first 20 days of release, currently on 120 screens in about 25 cities.

"We're thrilled with the way it's played," says Penland, noting that he's working with a promotion budget of only $2 million that must stretch through the spring as the picture plays out.

Christians have been strongly supporting the film, he says, but he also insists "that a general audience is coming.

"We feel we're reaching out beyond the Christian audience."

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