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Walter's Song


Dothery
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For a long time now I've noticed something I've never heard anywhere else: a song that signals a partcular actor in a film. This morning I was watching "Flight Command," and spotted it again. I hadn't seen the picture before, but when Ruth Hussy was standing there thinking about her absent husband, suddenly "My Wonderful One" began playing behind the scene and I thought immediately, "The husband must be played by Walter Pidgeon." Pretty soon it played it again when she was thinking about him, and darned if he didn't turn up in the next scene.

 

This is the only instance I've ever been aware of where the actor carries his song from picture to picture like this. He sang it in "Julia Misbehaves" with Greer Garson playing the piano. He hummed it in "Design for Scandal." It pops up in the background of several other pictures where he appears. Does anyone know if this sort of thing was common, that the musical director would accommodate someone by playing a "theme" song somewhere in the movie for him or her? Of course, Walter was a singer above everything else, and he'd obviously be interested in the scoring of a film, but I don't think he had the clout to order it. Don't get me wrong; I do know that if a studio owns a song they use it whenever they feel like it, and their songs come up here and there in a lot of their movies, but this is the first time I've noticed a song coming up whenever a particular actor appears.

 

Puzzling. Maybe it was just an inside joke between him and the muscal director. Who knows? There are so many knowledgeable people in this forum I thought perhaps someone had the inside dope on this.

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I was watching THE CROWDED SKY about a week ago. There's a scene in a cafeteria where Troy Donahue is sitting at a table, and during a close-up we hear the same love song that played for his character in A SUMMER PLACE, produced by Warners a year earlier. It seemed funny having it included in THE CROWDED SKY, because he is sitting with a group of other men (pilots) and there is no romantic subplot for him in this picture. I wonder how many other screen appearances he made in Warner Brothers films where they used this musical motif for him...?

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The first time I saw *The Crowded Sky* and heard the theme from *A Summer Place* playing in that scene in the background, I nearly fell out of my chair laughing.

 

*The Crowded Sky* is one of those movies that's so truly awful it's a laugh riot.

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>The Crowded Sky is one of those movies that's so truly awful it's a laugh riot.

 

THE CROWDED SKY is definitely a guilty pleasure. I think Patsy Kelly is a scream, and some of the dialogue is fun. Like let me throw a tomato at the screen kind of fun.

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