Montopolis Reinvents a 99-Year-Old Movie

Feb 20, 2015

Justin Sherburn and his band Montopolis have been performing live film scores for a few years now, creating original music for silent films and documentaries. For their next project, though, they're playing the music of another composer, the legendary Ennio Morricone. In fact, the project began with Sherburn's desire to pay tribute to Morricone and grew from there. 

He selected the 1916 silent film western 'The Return of Draw Egan' as a canvas, largely because it contains all the elements you'd expect to see in a classic western (gunfights, love interests, bad men trying to go straight). Then he decided to add an extra layer to the project, by changing the existing title cards to something a little funnier, creating what is essentially a Mystery Science Theater treatment for the silent film. Once he sat down to start writing some comedy, Sherburn came to an important realization: he's not a comedy writer.

That's when Chad Nichols (of Foleyvision) and Elizabeth Jackson (of Darling New Neighbors) entered the scene. With professional funny people on hand to provide the comedy, things really started to come together.

Though 'The Return of Draw Egan' is a western, and Morricone is probably best known for his work on western soundtracks, Sherburn chose to include a wider range of Morricone works in his live score. Folks expecting to hear the hits will be satisfied, but the audience will also be treated to some of Morricone's work that they're less familiar with.

'The Return of Draw Egan' will screen at the North Door on March 1 and 8.

Draw Egan Trailer from Justin Sherburn on Vimeo.