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A Mummy Question


slaytonf
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One of the great Ur-horror movies that had a pivotal role in establishing the genre, and spawning so many wretched offspring. I have learned, where I do not know, that there were some scenes cut from The Mummy to satisfy censors. I forget what they related to. Was this so, and is this we are watching tonite a restored version, and if not, is there a restored version?

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What really enhances the extraordinary mood of THE MUMMY is the haunting musical score.

 

 

I believe THE MUMMY is the first of Universal's horror classics that began to use music as an enhancer since both DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN only used music to introduce each film and to end them.The Swan Lake excerpt at the beginning of these movies is beautifully effective, especially for THE MUMMY>

 

 

One of the best ever musical scoring of a Universal horror classic can be heard throughout THE BLACK CAT (1933). I wish these scores were available on CD.

 

 

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> {quote:title=princessananka wrote:}{quote}

> What really enhances the extraordinary mood of THE MUMMY is the haunting musical score.

A totally agree too!

THE MUMMY is always the first example I think of when the subject comes up of one's favorite music score for a film not intended to be a musical.

 

And did you know that, because Universal didn't really have a big music department yet the guy they gave the job to, to write the score for the movie was the guy who'd been doing cartoon music for them as well as writing stuff like the titles music tunes for comedy shorts: James Dietrich.

There's a bit of music in the movie written by others too, such as Heinz Roemheld, and even the 1931 popular song "Beautiful Love" by Victor Young. But most of that distinctive memorable and unique music that in my opinion has helped the movie become such a classic was written by James Dietrich...and he didn't even receive onscreen credit!

 

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Can you imagine if some doofus cast someone other than BORIS KARLOFF in this film? Wouldn't have been that creepy.

 

 

I think this movie, more than *Frankenstein* cemented Karloff's reputation as the Grandfather of all horror movie creepy characters. And he really set the bar high.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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True, Sepiatone. It's a shame he and Lugosi couldn't have shared the spotlight, since they were both very talented, albeit limited, in what they did but very good at it. I imagine the studio loved to encourage such rivalries, even if Lugosi couldn't handle it.

 

Nope, this was NOT a part John Wayne could have handled.

 

BTW, who was The Mummy? I take it that it wasn't Glenn Strange? :)

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Great info, MusicalNovelty regarding the musical scoring of THE MUMMY i had never heard of James Dietrich but it's fascinating that he would have come from writing cartoon music and for short subjects to something so unforgettable and classical as this movie scoring. I wonder if he also created the fantastic score for THE BLACK CAT?

 

 

What makes THE MUMMY a true great classic is the once-in-a-lifetime performance by Boris Karloff. His voice alone stays in your mind, especially when he's asked his name by David Manners and Karloff turns that hideous looking face and says: Ardeth Bay." When his voice narrates to Helen Grosvenor about her life as Princess Ananka, he sounds like someone dead. His voice is so deep and poignant and haunting.

 

 

We can only wish that someday someone will find the 30 to 45 minutes of deleted footage of the heroine's past reincarnations. Some of the stills of Zita Johann's past lives in the movies can be found on various websites.

 

 

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The Mummy and The Black Cat are two great, perfect films, in every way. But I love the follow-up Mummy movies as well. However I've always felt that the death of *Tante Berthe* in *The Mummy's Curse* is one of the great disappointments of cinema. Such an endearing character, played to perfection by Ann Codee: she sings a great song, is sympathetic and helpful to Princess Ananka, then BAM: killed by Kharis. It's just not fair.

 

 

 

 

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> {quote:title=princessananka wrote:}{quote}

> Great info, MusicalNovelty regarding the musical scoring of THE MUMMY i had never heard of James Dietrich but it's fascinating that he would have come from writing cartoon music and for short subjects to something so unforgettable and classical as this movie scoring. I wonder if he also created the fantastic score for THE BLACK CAT?

No, the score for THE BLACK CAT was done by the great Heinz Roemheld with orchestrations by Clifford Vaughn. Roemheld's adaptation and interpolations of classical themes were reprinted and re-recorded many times over for myriad Universal features and serials. Most of the original music was public domain. However, when Universal was informed that Tchaikovsky's ROMEO AND JULIET was still protected and they would have to pay license fees, Roemheld turned the melody around and came up with his original theme "Cat Love". I finally located a recorded orchestral arrangement of the Lizst B minor sonata, the primary melody of which is Karloff's theme in the picture.

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Wow, Ray, what a goldmine of info you've given us!

 

 

Thanks so much for letting us know more about the musical scoring of THE BLACK CAT. I noticed its usage in numerous other Universal productions--it was so striking and unusual and very haunting. The score enhanced that mystical ambiance of a Germany just before World War II. Often I've just listened to the score while doing other things. Without that music, there would have been no BLACK CAT!

 

 

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Princess, I agree about the music setting the tone for THE BLACK CAT, along with the set design--astounding!!! And of course the presence of Bela and Boris (with Boris' makeup and costuming and staging really looking super sinister! This became, after a while, my favorite from the early horror classics of Universal among a lot of heavy hitters like THE MUMMY, for example. I dig them all though, really!

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> {quote:title=Swithin wrote:}{quote}The Mummy and The Black Cat are two great, perfect films, in every way. But I love the follow-up Mummy movies as well. However I've always felt that the death of *Tante Berthe* in *The Mummy's Curse* is one of the great disappointments of cinema. Such an endearing character, played to perfection by Ann Codee: she sings a great song, is sympathetic and helpful to Princess Ananka, then BAM: killed by Kharis. It's just not fair.

>

>

>

And she doesn't even receiving billing!

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A bleated thanks to you SonOfUni. . . . . From what I read, the cuts scenes were a small loss. They would have lengthened what is already a distracting expository scene. It disrupts the flow of the movie and seems to have been added as filler to lengthen the film. The information could have been communicated better as part of other action.

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> {quote:title=princessananka wrote:}{quote}

> Wow, Ray, what a goldmine of info you've given us!

>

> Thanks so much for letting us know more about the musical scoring of THE BLACK CAT. I noticed its usage in numerous other Universal productions--it was so striking and unusual and very haunting. The score enhanced that mystical ambiance of a Germany just before World War II. Often I've just listened to the score while doing other things. Without that music, there would have been no BLACK CAT!

>

 

Glad to see that there are others who notice and love the music in these old films as much as I do.

And thanks to Ray for another of his always fascinating and informative posts!

 

For all fans of the music in the 1934 BLACK CAT who may be wondering what any certain pieces are called, or who'd like to follow along while watching the movie and learn each title as they're heard, here is a complete listing of all the music in the movie (taken from the official Universal Music Cue Sheet, dated May 4, 1934):

(All compostions by Heinz Roemheld unless otherwise noted).

 

1. Main Title "The Black Cat". (Heinz Roemheld).

2. Hungarian Rhapsody 3# in D Major. (Liszt. Arranged by Roemheld).

3. Jazz Karikaturen. (Huntley).

4. Hungarian Train.

5. Les Preludes. (Liszt. Arranged by Roemheld).

6. Rakoczy March. (Liszt. Arranged by Roemheld).

7. Prelude. (Chopin. Arranged by Roemheld).

8. Sonata in B Minor. (Liszt. Arranged by Roemheld).

9. Cat Neutral.

10. Sonata in B Minor. (Liszt. Arranged by Roemheld).

11. Cat Love Theme.

12. Unfinished Symphony. (Schubert. Arranged by Schiller).

13. Cat Love Theme.

14. Fantasy.

15. Dialogue.

16. Cat Love Theme.

17. Dialogue.

18. Morgue.

19. Fantasy On Two Liszt Themes.

20. Dialogue.

21. Introduction to Quintet.

22. Piano Quintet (Schumann. Arranged by Roemheld).

23. Tasso. (Liszt. Arranged by Roemheld).

24. Cat Scream.

25. Sapphic Ode. (Brahms. Arranged by Roemheld).

26. Introduction and Religioso.

27. Emeline.

28. Karloff Theme.

29. Cat Love Theme.

30. Hungarian Burlesque.

31. Hungarian Burlesque.

32. Introduction.

33. Dialogue.

34. Light Agitation.

35. Cat Foreboding.

36. Cat Suspense.

37. Cat Love Theme.

38. Karloff Theme.

39. Tasso. (Liszt. Arranged by Roemheld).

40. Piano Quintet. (Schumann. Arranged by Roemheld).

41. Doric Toccata. (Bach. Arranged by Roemheld).

42. Tasso. (Liszt. Arranged by Roemheld).

43. Cat Crawl.

44. Sapphic Ode. (Brahms. Arranged by Roemheld).

45. Tasso. (Liszt. Arranged by Roemheld).

46. Les Prelude (Liszt).

47. Adagio in A Minor. (Bach. Arranged by Roemheld).

48. Rhapsody. (Brahms. Arranged by Roemheld).

49. Allegro Appassionato.

50. Tasso. (Liszt. Arranged by Roemheld).

51. Sonata in B Minor. (Liszt. Arranged by Roemheld).

52. Cat Interlude.

53. Tasso. (Liszt. Arranged by Roemheld).

54. Cat Threat.

55. Cat Love Theme.

 

Selections number 5 and 46 are probably the same compostion, but are listed as I have posted: "Preludes" and "Prelude".

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OMG, MusicalNovelty what a simply fabulous service you've provided for all of us movie music lovers! I think that you and the very gifted RayFaiola should form a partnership to provide us with a continuing answering service for our questions about movie scoring in the golden days.

 

 

Now, I can listen to the BLACK CAT score and understand the beautiful sources that's used throughout. I remember one viewer on some other board carping about the music. This amateur critic said "all that old-fashioned music" ruined the movie. I think both this score and the one for THE MUMMY are extraoardinary because little Universal studio had nowhere the music departments of the giants like MGM, Warner Brothers, etc. We now know that unknown James Dietrich created the unforgettable score for THE MUMMY. We can only wonder about his background and to what happened to him.

 

 

Heinz Eric Roemheld was obviously the perfect screen composer for Universal because of his Germanic background and the very Teutonic-influenced masterpieces that he scored for THE BLACK CAT and others. I wonder how he felt when James Whale chose Franz Waxman to compose the score for THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. And Frank Skinner/Charles Previn who created the score for SON OF FRANKENSTEIN. Had Roemheld passed away by then?

 

 

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> {quote:title=princessananka wrote:}{quote}

> OMG, MusicalNovelty what a simply fabulous service you've provided for all of us movie music lovers! I think that you and the very gifted RayFaiola should form a partnership to provide us with a continuing answering service for our questions about movie scoring in the golden days.

>

> Heinz Eric Roemheld was obviously the perfect screen composer for Universal because of his Germanic background and the very Teutonic-influenced masterpieces that he scored for THE BLACK CAT and others. I wonder how he felt when James Whale chose Franz Waxman to compose the score for THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. And Frank Skinner/Charles Previn who created the score for SON OF FRANKENSTEIN. Had Roemheld passed away by then?

>

 

Thanks for the nice comments. Glad you appreciated the Black Cat music cue list. That was a lot of typing!

Interesting what you said about Ray - I actually do already know him. Good guy, and he certainly does know his stuff about films and film music!

 

You wondered about Heinz Roemheld...after 1933 he went to work at other studios, most prolifically Paramount and Warner Bros. He passed away in 1985 at age 83.

Here's an idea of how many hundreds of films he worked on!:

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006257/

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> {quote:title=princessananka wrote:

> }{quote}Now, I can listen to the BLACK CAT score and understand the beautiful sources that's used throughout...

> I think both this score and the one for THE MUMMY are extraoardinary...

> We now know that unknown James Dietrich created the unforgettable score for THE MUMMY.

 

After posting the BLACK CAT music cue list, I can't neglect the great music for THE MUMMY (after all, that's the movie this thread is supposed to be about).

 

So, from the original Universal music cue sheet for THE MUMMY, dated June 21, 1933 here is a listing of all the music used in THE MUMMY:

 

(All selections composed by James Dietrich unless otherwise noted).

 

1. Le Lac Des Cygnes ("Swan Lake"). (Tschaikowsky).

2. The Mummy. (James Dietrich).

3. The Mummy.

4. Arabian Work Song (vocal). (James Hassan).

5. March Funebre. (Heinz Roemheld).

6. Beautiful Love. (Gillespie, Young, Van Alstyne, King).

7. Viennese Waltz. (Heinz Roemheld).

8. Beautiful Love. (Gillespie, Young, Van Alstyne, King).

9. Im Ho Tep.

10. The Pool.

11. Whemple.

12. Lento #1. (Heinz Roemheld).

13. Scene Tragic. (Michel Brusselmans).

14. Lento #1. (Heinz Roemheld).

15. Scene Tragic. (Michel Brusselmans).

16. March Funebre. (Heinz Roemheld).

17. The Pool.

18. Whemple.

19. Im Ho Tep.

20. Whemple.

21. The Mummy.

22. Egyptian March.

 

There doesn't seem to be much info out there about James Dietrich. His real name was Claire Lilburn Dietrich. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri on October 30, 1894 and died in Los Angeles on November 7, 1984 at age 90. He came to Universal to work on the 1930 musical revue feature THE KING OF JAZZ and then stayed on to compose music for Universal cartoons and shorts. He was quite busy until about 1940 when he seems to have disappeared from the movie business. I don't know what he was up to after that.

 

He composed more music for THE MUMMY than we get to hear in the movie. Director Karl Freund and Carl Laemmle reportedly disliked some of his compositions and had them replaced by the Roemheld selections and the piece called "Scene Tragic" by Michel Brusselmans, a Belgian composer. One piece written by Dietrich that was not used was entitled "Waltz, Love and Death On a Fountain".

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>per musicalnovelty:

>Karl Freund and Carl Laemmle reportedly disliked some of his compositions and had them replaced by the Roemheld selections

 

Does that mean those compositions were never recorded and are not available for listening?

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