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jamesrspencer

The score to Hitchcock's FRENZY (1972)

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I'm sad that the Hitchcock class is coming to an end as I have enjoyed it immensely and hope TCM will do the following:

 

1.  Have ongoing classes like the Hitchock Class

2.   Create a low cost online streaming site like Netflix... so more people including myself can watch TCM daily.  I refuse to pay $140 in Long Beach, CA just to get 1 channel TCM.  Crazy (I don't watch most of the mindless tv programming that is out there. 

 

Concerning the score to Frenzy.  

 

There are some interesting facts people might not know:

 

Henry Mancini was originally commissioned to write the score to Frenzy.  (The music survives) Here is a link so you watch the alternate version with Henry Mancini's score which I prefer to Ron Goodwin's (Who also wrote a very good score)

 

 

Mancini's score to me is darker combining organ fugal counterpoint in a very 'stuffy' British style. I love the rich polyphonic writing. 

 

I find it interesting to think if Hitchcock was a bit more prolific in the later years if he worked with Mancini.. what kind of duo they would have been artistically?  Mancini of course wrote themes like the Pink Panther, Charade, Mr. Lucky etc.   I think as a composer he would have worked well with Hitch. 

 

Goodwin's score on the other hand works extremely well too with a patriotic hymn feel that is more upbeat and good natured.  Hitch went with Goodwin as it created more contrast and dark humor.  Ron was a British composer that scored over 100 movies.  Alas he is not well known in America. 

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A few of us in America know of Ron Goodwin. Where Eagles Dare (his best), Battle of Britain (again replacing another composer - this time, Sir William Walton), and Force 10 From Navarone to name a few.

 

Sadly Frenzy has never been released on LP or CD. There is one track, the main title only, which shows up on a number of Goodwin and Hitchcock film compilations, but nothing else.

 

Mancini's rejected main title does show up on a Mancini compilation, "Mancini in Surround."

 

 

http://www.soundtrackcollector.com/title/23083/Frenzy

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Thanks JamesRSpencer for providing the youtube video. My daughter and I are doing the class together and felt compelled to go on the message board for the first time because we hated the Ron Goodman opening score to Frenzy.  We thought it was too bombastic and didn't fit the setting of modern (1972) London.  We had previously read that Mancini had been fired.  We get that this was a triumphant return to London but didn't quite get the humor that Hitchcock was trying to achieve with Goodman's majestic, coronation march-like opening.  We both really liked Mancini's darker opening, and it seemed much more appropriate.  Thanks again for posting the link to this video.  

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Thanks loemsch , for your thoughts.  I"m so in agreement with you.  I so prefer Mancini's score for Frenzy.   It feels very dark, foreboding Jack The Ripper -retro Gothic Victorian with the pipe organ and fugal development.  In fact Stephen Sondheim said that Mancini's score influenced his musical Sweeney Todd (which also opens with creepy pipe organ).   The Goodwin score is very pompous over patriotic British  (which is what Hitch wanted to create the ironic dark humor of the opening scene).   

 

I'm not a big fan of Frenzy to be honest.  I don't like that Hitch gets so graphic in the rapes etc.  It starts to feel cheesy 70s horror/suspense like any other B movie over the psychological mastery of early works like Vertigo and Psycho.  

 

Henry Mancini got screwed a couple of times in scoring..  Orson Welles rejected Mancini's score to Touch of Evil.  (which had this amazing bebop frenetic jazzy score with drumming) in favor of almost no score.

 

Many of the greatest film director's like Hitch were not master musicologists and often made mistakes in judgement.  In fact Hitch originally didn't want any music at all for the shower scene of Psycho.. and Herrmann knew better wrote it anyway and pushed for the music....... Imagine how mediocre Psycho would have been without the music score?      

 

Thanks again!  

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