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FILM SCORE FRIDAY 12/26/03

By Scott Bettencourt

Merry Christmas!

I know, Christmas was actually on Thursday, but I'm out of town this week so I'm finishing this column several days in advance. So if some major piece of film music news occurred during the week (such as the planned Christmas Eve announcement from Varese Sarabande) and it's not mentioned here, that's why.


The Broadcast Film Critics Association has announced the nominees for their 2003 awards. Here are their choices in the music categories:

COMPOSER:

Clint Eastwood - "Mystic River"
Danny Elfman - "Big Fish"
Howard Shore - "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
Gabriel Yared - "Cold Mountain"
Hans Zimmer - "The Last Samurai"

SONG:

"A Mighty Wind" by Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Eugene Levy from "A Mighty Wind"
"The Heart of Every Girl" by Elton John and Bernie Taupin from "Mona Lisa Smile"
"Man of the Hour" by Eddie Vedder from "Big Fish"
"School of Rock" by Sammy James Jr. and Mike White from "School of Rock"
"Time Enough for Tears" by Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer from "In America"


To celebrate the "70th anniversary of the film score," Film Comment recently published an article by John Caps entitled "Soundtrack 101; Essential Movie Music: A Listener's Guide," featuring descriptions of 101 film scores the author considers to be classics (our own Joe Sikoryak is thanked for his assistance):

KING KONG (Steiner)
THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (Waxman)
THE INFORMER (Steiner)
THINGS TO COME (Bliss)
THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER (Korngold)
THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (Korngold)
GONE WITH THE WIND (Steiner)
SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (Skinner)
OF MICE AND MEN (Copland)
THE SEA HAWK (Korngold)
REBECCA (Waxman)
HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (Newman)
FIRST OF THE FEW (Walton)
THE JUNGLE BOOK (Rozsa)
ALL THAT MONEY CAN BUY (Herrmann)
THE SONG OF BERNADETTE (Newman)
THE ADVENTURES OF MARK TWAIN (Steiner)
LAURA (Raksin)
DOUBLE INDEMNITY (Rozsa)
HENRY V (Walton)
THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (Friedhofer)
CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE (Newman)
FOREVER AMBER (Raksin)
GREEN DOLPHIN STREET (Kaper)
ODD MAN OUT (Alwyn)
JOHNNY BELINDA (Steiner)
LOUISIANA STORY (Thomson)
OLIVER TWIST (Bax)
SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC (Vaughan Williams)
MADAME BOVARY (Rozsa)
THE RED PONY (Copland)
SUNSET BOULEVARD (Waxman)
NIGHT AND THE CITY (Waxman)
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (North)
DEATH OF A SALESMAN (North)
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (Herrmann)
HIGH NOON (Tiomkin)
VIVA ZAPATA! (North)
ON DANGEROUS GROUND (Herrmann)
ON THE WATERFRONT (L. Bernstein)
THE COBWEB (Rosenman)
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (Bernstein)
REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (Rosenman)
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (Young)
AUNTIE MAME (Kaper)
BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE (Duning)
THE BIG COUNTRY (Moross)
VERTIGO (Herrmann)
BEN-HUR (Rozsa)
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (Bernstein)
PSYCHO (Herrmann)
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (Jarre)
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (Bernstein)
THE MIRACLE WORKER (Rosenthal)
TARAS BULBA (Waxman)
THE CARDINAL (Moross)
TOM JONES (Addison)
A SHOT IN THE DARK (Mancini)
IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (Gold)
GOLDFINGER (Barry)
A PATCH OF BLUE (Goldsmith)
COOL HAND LUKE (Schifrin)
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY (Morricone)
IN COLD BLOOD (Jones)
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (Bennett)
TWO FOR THE ROAD (Mancini)
WAIT UNTIL DARK (Mancini)
THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER (Grusin)
PLANET OF THE APES (Goldsmith)
THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (Legrand)
THE REIVERS (Williams)
THE WILD BUNCH (Fielding)
THE LAST VALLEY (Barry)
LADY CAROLINE LAMB (Bennett)
THE THREE MUSKETEERS (Legrand)
CHINATOWN (Goldsmith)
THE CONVERSATION (Shire)
JAWS (Williams)
THE RETURN OF A MAN CALLED HORSE (Rosenthal)
THE SEVEN-PER-CENT SOLUTION (Addison)
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (Williams)
ISLANDS IN THE STREAM (Goldsmith)
THE STUNT MAN (Frontiere)
TESS (Sarde)
ALTERED STATES (Corigliano)
GLORIA (Conti)
MY BODYGUARD (Grusin)
WOLFEN (Horner)
CONAN THE BARBARIAN (Poledouris)
E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (Williams)
RETURN TO OZ (Shire)
THE MISSION (Morricone)
BATMAN (Elfman)
QUEEN OF HEARTS (Convertino)
THE GRIFTERS (Bernstein)
BASIC INSTINCT (Goldsmith)
BED AND BREAKFAST (Shire)
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Doyle)
ANGELA'S ASHES (Williams)
THE HORSE WHISPERER (T. Newman)
WAKING LIFE (Gill)


CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Big Fish - Danny Elfman - Sony Classical


IN THEATERS TODAY

Cheaper By the Dozen - Christophe Beck
Cold Mountain - Gabriel Yared - Song & Score CD on Sony Classical
The Company - Van Dyke Parks - Soundtrack CD on Sony Classical with two Parks cues
Monster - BT
Paycheck - John Powell - Score CD due Jan. 13 from Varese Sarabande
Peter Pan - James Newton Howard - Score CD on Varese Sarabande
The Young Black Stallion - William Ross


COMING SOON

January 13
Paycheck - John Powell - Varese Sarabande
The Statement - Normand Corbeil - Varese Sarabande
January 27
RoboCop - Basil Poledouris - Varese Sarabande
Date Unknown
Amerika - Basil Poledouris - Prometheus
Battle Cry - Max Steiner - Screen Archives/BYU
The Black Swan - Alfred Newman - Screen Archives
The Butterfly Effect - Michael Suby - La-La Land
Dirty Harry - Lalo Schifrin - Aleph
The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal - various - La-La Land
The Ghost and Mr. Chicken - Vic Mizzy - Percepto
Hidalgo - James Newton Howard - Hollywood
The Keys of the Kingdom - Alfred Newman - Screen Archives
Mighty Joe Young, etc. - Roy Webb, et al - Monstrous Movie Music
The Reluctant Astronaut - Vic Mizzy - Percepto
This Island Earth, etc. - Herman Stein, et al - Monstrous Movie Music
Twisted - Mark Isham - Varese Sarabande


THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY

December 26 - Albert Sendrey born (1911)
December 26 - Curtis Mayfield died (1999)
December 27 - Oscar Levant born (1906)
December 27 - John Williams begins recording his score to The Empire Strikes Back (1979)
December 28 - Mischa Spoliansky born (1898)
December 28 - Alex North begins recording score to All Fall Down (1961)
December 28 - Max Steiner died (1971)
December 28 - Milton Rosen died (1994)
December 28 - Michel Michelet died (1995)
December 30 - Dmitri Kabalevsky born (1904)
December 30 - Ray Cook born (1936)
December 30 - Michael Nesmith born (1942)
December 30 - Richard Rodgers died (1979)
December 31 - Frank Skinner born (1897)
December 31 - Nino Rota born (1911)
December 31 - Gil Melle born (1935)
December 31 - Andy Summers born (1942)
January 1 - Buddy Baker born (1918)
January 1 - David Broekman died (1958)
January 1 - David Buttolph born (1883)


DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?

CALENDAR GIRLS - Patrick Doyle

"Technically, helmer [Nigel] Cole has put together an attractive package, with Ashley Rowe's widescreen lensing of the Yorkshire Dales (with the village of Kettlewell mostly repping the fictional Knapely) nicely situating the characters in their landscape, and Patrick Doyle's buoyant music jogging things along in montage sequences."

Derek Elley, Variety

THE FOG OF WAR - Philip Glass

"Moving in precise time to Philip Glass' propulsive score, the film zigzags freely through McNamara's personal and professional history, starting with the Cuban Missile Crisis, and then doubling back to his childhood, his roles in WWII and the Ford Motor Company, his relationship to JFK and LBJ, and, finally, the Vietnam War."

Scott Tobias, The Onion

"And [Director Errol] Morris doesn't seem much interested in naturalism when he shoots McNamara from skewed camera angles, or layers Philip Glass' noodling (which Morris praises in the production notes for its 'existential dread') on the soundtrack."

Charles Taylor, Salon.com

THE HEBREW HAMMER - Michael Cohen

"Lively widescreen lensing, solid production design and a score full of funky electronic grooves and irreverent songs (such as post-coital ballad "Come Light My Menorah") combine into a sharp but not unduly slick package for the low-budget feature."

David Rooney, Variety

HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG - James Horner

"Beautifully shot by Roger Deakins with a moody James Horner score, this film is in sympathy with people who feel so justified that they become oblivious to the cost of believing the rectification of their grievances is all that matters."

Kenneth Turan, L.A. Times

"A director of commercials, [Vadim] Perelman overcompensates with upper-case atmosphere: scads of symbolic heavy weather, ravishingly shot by cinematographer Roger Deakins, and a grandiloquent score by James Horner that lets hardly a frame go by without dropping hints of disaster."

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly

"James Horner's piano-and-strings-dominated score sets a tone of tragic foreboding perhaps too strongly at the outset, but generally amplifies the dissonant emotions and fatal inevitability."

Todd McCarthy, Variety

MONA LISA SMILE - Rachel Portman

"Rachel Portman's lush score is used with refreshing economy, mixed with reinterpreted period songs."

David Rooney, Variety


TWO TRANSPOSED DIGITS PROVIDE THE DOORWAY TO AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE OF FILM MUSIC HISTORY

FROM: "Lauren Watteau"

Just a mail to tell you that you made a little typo mistake in today's "Film Score Friday". Thank God Bernard Herrmann didn't die in 1957 but in 1975.

Anyway, many thanks for your wonderful releases, especially for Benny's incredible "On Dangerous Ground" score.

Keep up the good work!

FROM: "Dick Dinman"
SUBJECT: I was fascinated to learn in your "this week in music history" column--

--that Bernard Herrmann died in 1957 -- a truly tragic loss. Just think of what this man, had he lived, might have accomplished. Indeed, he might have been the perfect composer for such films as PSYCHO, CAPE FEAR, SISTERS, TAXI DRIVER, etc. Terribly, terribly sad.

FROM: "Steven Schwartz"
Just wanted to point out an error in your "This Week--" list (12/19/03): Bernard Herrmann did NOT die in 1957 (thank God!).
You may mock my typo (and I never get letters congratulating me on all the typos I DON'T make), but just imagine the last 46 years of film music if Herrmann had died in 1957 -- perhaps Vertigo, North by Northwest and Psycho scored by Dimitri Tiomkin, the great Harryhausen fantasies scored by Hugo Friedhofer, Taxi Driver scored by Dave Grusin (sorry, that last one made me break out in a cold sweat).


ANOTHER QUESTION ON FILM MUSIC CHRONOLOGY

FROM: "Rory Monteith"

Didn't Jerry Goldsmith record the score to PLANET OF THE APES around Christmas time of 1967?
That may be, but I don't have the exact date for the start of the Apes scoring sessions, and unless I have the exact date (give or take 18 years), I don't include it in This Week in Film Music History.


HERRMANN D'AMORE

FROM: "Michael Karoly"

SUBJECT: On Dangerous Ground

Thank you for the Herrmann CD -- I've listened to it several times, and I notice that the more I hear it, the less I hear the imperfections. I am a huge fan of Herrmann's music, and I personally prefer original recordings to re-recordings (Stromberg and Morgan do a great job, though). While this score has audio flaws, so what? I think it's important to "save" scores like this for fans who want to hear original music and have it preserved. The Viola d'Amore solos are wonderful, romantic, and lyrical; and the outtakes are hilarious -- thank you so much for releasing this score. You're doing great work!

REGARDING LOUIS BANLAKI'S LETTER IN LAST WEEK'S FILM SCORE FRIDAY

FROM: "Charles Christesson"

I completely agree with Louis Banlaki, and then some!


MailBag@filmscoremonthly.com


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