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Favorite music from non-musicals


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Jerry Goldsmith:

Under Fire

Chinatown

LA Confidential

 

Elmer Bernstein:

To Kill a Mockingbird

Magnificent Seven

 

Bernard Herrman:

Obsession

 

Wolfgang Korngold:

Sea Hawk

Adventures of Robin Hood

 

Max Steiner:

Now Victory

 

Thomas Newman:

Road to Peredition

Angels in America

Shawshank Redemption

 

Ennio Morricone:

Once Upon a Time in the West

Once Upon a Time in America

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Bernard Herrmann was a master who upheld a high artistic standard. When Orson Welles' Magnificent Ambersons was "slaughtered" by the studio, Mr. Herrmann demanded that his screen credit be removed. Very much a 20th century composer, he expanded on traditional arrangements and notation, stretching the use of strings in Psycho and experimenting with electronic effects The Birds and electric instruments (the Theremin The Day the Earth Stood Still and the Moog synthesizer Sisters). He worked 'til the very end of his life. In fact, Brian DePalma had planned on a Herrmann score for Carrie, but Mr. Herrmann died only days after completing Taxi Driver and before he could start on the Sissy Spacek vehicle.

 

Here's my Bernard Herrmann Top Ten:

 

Citizen Kane- an immense and impressive score that included the compostion of "excerpts" from the opera "Salammbo", which was an homage to operas such as Massenet's Thais. Though common wisdom dictates that Marion Davies was the basis of Susan Alexander, William Randolph Hearst actually had an earlier girlfriend, Sibyl Sanderson, the opera singer for whom Thais was written.

The Day the Earth Stood Still- The theremin never sounded better than when juxtaposed against Patricia Neal's smoky tones.

On Dangerous Ground- Herrmann's thrilling opening is a precursor of things to come in his later Hitchcock scores.

The Wrong Man- Latin rhythms and whimsy mask the undercurrent of misinterpreted innocence.

The Man Who Knew Too Much- Once again asked to write a concert piece within a movie's score, Herrmann's "Cantata" was the perfect counterpoint to Doris Day's nightmarish efforts to halt an assassination in London's Royal Albert Hall.

Vertigo- Dizzying.

North By Northwest- The perfect marriage = Saul Bass and Bernard Herrmann.

Psycho- The musical effects of this score have become aural icons.

Night Digger- Effectively creepy use of the harmonica to evoke the killer, set against a driving, rhythmic string section, and surprising tenderness from the viola d'amore.

Taxi Driver- His final score and triumph.

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Jack,

 

Are you familiar with "Hangover Square?" It was Laird Cregar's last film and Herrmann did the score for it too. In fact the story was about a composer going mad and BH did the background music and composer's scores. I have never seen this film, but all of the Herrmann talk has whetted my appetitie for it. Maybe I should put it on the "suggest a movie" list.

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As a kid, I paid to see "The Sting" seven times before it occurred to me to buy the soundtrack LP - then I realized why I was coming back again and again to see it. Ragtime was new to me then, and I've loved it ever since.

 

Second place - Manhattan

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  • 2 weeks later...

I also listed The Apartment as a favorite soundtrack. Deutsch's theme is so versatile and is used in many ways to evoke the proper mood for the scenes. I scour record stores in hopes of one day finding it on CD. I finally found a vinyl copy in a now-non-existent used-LP store in Hollywood.

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Jerry Goldsmith:

Under Fire

Chinatown

LA Confidential

 

Elmer Bernstein:

To Kill a Mockingbird

Magnificent Seven

 

Bernard Herrman:

Obsession

 

Wolfgang Korngold:

Sea Hawk

Adventures of Robin Hood

 

Max Steiner:

Now Victory

 

Thomas Newman:

Road to Perdition

Angels in America

Shawshank Redemption

 

Ennio Morricone:

Once Upon a Time in the West

Once Upon a Time in America

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

 

 

lzcutter,

 

Love your list. Permit me to add two more from the great Elmer Bernstein: The Man with the Golden Arm and Sweet Smell of Success.

 

And then two other personal favorites:

 

John Barry: Body Heat

Duke Ellington: Anatomy of a Murder

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"Max Steiner: Now Victory" [??]

 

In your enthusiasm, you've fused a couple of films here - both scores are worth mentioning individually, I'm sure...

 

Three rousing cheers for "The Sea Hawk"! I watched it [for the umpteenth time] last night and the score is an exemplary piece of work.

 

[exits, to contemplate a new thread: "Film Fusion", in which one combines two storylines from classic films to create a new one - with humourous, or other, results...]

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My 'entrances' and 'exits' are but feeble attempts at humour, of which [possibly to the relief of some] I have a short supply [i am not a [i]fun[/i] person by nature, believe it or not.].

 

Feel free to 'give me the hook' or sound the 'gong' [like they did in the infamous "Gong Show" of TV], if you feel the urge...I will try to devise more innovative ways of [dis]-appearing, though...

 

 

 

[dissolves into puddle, a la Margaret Hamilton]

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Another movie with a fabulous Nino Rota score is "Hurricane(1979-"from the DeLaurentiis family. I don't know how it got such a bad rep? Directed by Jan Troell-photographed by Sven Nykist and co-written by Lorenzo Semple Jr. Jason Robards and Mia Farrow star. It is wildly provocative and Rota's score "fans the flames!" But whatever happened to Dayton Ka'ne?

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Hurricane was severely panned when it was released. Is it worth checking out? I hadn't realized that Sr. Rota did the score. Dayton Ka'ne made one more picture after this and then disappeared. He probably owns an ABC franchise in Waikiki today...

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Well, thank you, LuckyDan.

 

Please be seated.

 

I will continue to come and go, as the urge strikes me. I do struggle with criticism/oneupmanship, and try to deal with it as best I can. I also have difficulty interpreting posts and the lack or presence of humour therein.

 

I have been noticing, here and there, that JackBurley has taken to using sound effects and the like - I might take some lessons from a master in deed [instead of one in name only] and inject some of that into the mix as situations warrant.

 

I respond to encouragement better than oblique humour.

 

Until the next time...

 

CUE MUSIC: Excerpt from Rossini's "William Tell Overture"

 

"Hi-yo, Silver, AWAY!"

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psycho, road to perdition, east of eden, legends of the fall, braveheart, gladiator, last of the mohicans, the crow, meet joe black, the notebook, magnificent 7, to kill a mockingbird, l.a confidential, shawshank redemption. i can't remember anymore. i have never seen man with the golden arm; but it's #1 on my list

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