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 Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 6:49 AM   
 By:   Markus Wippel   (Member)

Vertigo!!!!!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 7:21 AM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

Like others here, I can't pick just one, but I do think the Herrmann scores of 1958-60 are highlights.

One thing that's always struck me about these scores is their wonderful sense of the music's placement. It was of course Herrmann, for instance, who insisted that music be added to Psycho's shower scene. But equally effective is the entire lack of music during the cropduster scene in NORTH BY NORTHWEST.

It's interesting to compare the actual sequence with a mock-up of the same scene with music. I think it still works with music here, but in the context of the whole film, it may be one too many statements of the main title Fandango. That and it doesn't stand out nearly as much with music. But that's just my opinion. You be the judge:

 
 Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 8:11 AM   
 By:   drivingmissdaisy   (Member)

The Birds

 
 Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 12:22 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Vertigo
Spellbound
Trouble With Harry
North By Northwest

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 12:35 PM   
 By:   Dr Lenera   (Member)

Vertigo.

Runners up: Psycho, Spellbound, Rebecca, I Confess.

Very fond of Paradine Case too [I don't think the music was ever released].

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 2:23 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

Like others here, I can't pick just one, but I do think the Herrmann scores of 1958-60 are highlights.

One thing that's always struck me about these scores is their wonderful sense of the music's placement. It was of course Herrmann, for instance, who insisted that music be added to Psycho's shower scene. But equally effective is the entire lack of music during the cropduster scene in NORTH BY NORTHWEST.

It's interesting to compare the actual sequence with a mock-up of the same scene with music. I think it still works with music here, but in the context of the whole film, it may be one too many statements of the main title Fandango. That and it doesn't stand out nearly as much with music. But that's just my opinion. You be the judge:



That "fandango" is a fabulous piece of music, but I don't think it works in this scene: Hitchcock's instincts were right here. The up-tempo nature of this piece suits the initial 'attack' from the plane, but once "Thornhill" is lying in the dead cornfield - eg. moments of no 'action' - the fast tempo seems out of place. But there are other important reasons about why it doesn't work:

1. This whole sequence elapses in what's known as "real time" (as opposed to 'reel time'). There is no use of elipsis or cutaways to reduce the time duration of the scene. The drama unfolds precisely because we are taken through it minute by minute and are palpably meant to feel Thornhill's fear. Music would have conferred a kind of 'artifice' to that scene were it to be included.

2. Hitchcock uses his now-famous restricted and partially-restricted narrative information here. We are restricted to Thornhill's "information" about what his happening to him, thus creating extra suspense. By including the theme music audiences would be cued into the plot's main narrative concerns and this would, therefore, reduce suspense because we'd say, "oh; this is what they're doing now". During the scene, however, we do not know because this plane literally arrives 'out of the blue'. We are left to piece the puzzle together, as in the rest of the film, from Thornhill's point of view. The main 'fandango' (which is a 'dance', ironically enough) occurs AFTER we have been given unrestricted access to the plot details, if memory serves me.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 2:46 PM   
 By:   BJN   (Member)


[...]
The main 'fandango' (which is a 'dance', ironically enough) occurs AFTER we have been given unrestricted access to the plot details, if memory serves me.


The fandango is used to great effect during the drink driving escape, when Thornhill (and indeed with him the audience) has zero knowledge why he's abducted and nearly assassinated.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 3:23 PM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)


[...]
The main 'fandango' (which is a 'dance', ironically enough) occurs AFTER we have been given unrestricted access to the plot details, if memory serves me.


The fandango is used to great effect during the drink driving escape, when Thornhill (and indeed with him the audience) has zero knowledge why he's abducted and nearly assassinated.


Thanks for that reminder. I stick by what I said earlier about restricted narrative information and the plane arriving 'out of the blue'. Linking that to the music would have been a dead giveaway, if you'll pardon the pun. Also, the sound of the engine of the plane approaching and leaving is another use of 'restricted' information in that scene - Hitchcock is primarily concerned here with SOUND rather than MUSIC as a dramatic device. (He does this magnificently, of course, in "The Birds".)

 
 Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 3:46 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

My favorites are:

  • the 1964 ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR episode "Beast In View" by Leonard Rosenman.

    &

  • Dimitri Tiomkin's I CONFESS

  •  
     Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 3:53 PM   
     By:   Doctor Shatterhand   (Member)

    This is subjective but I would definitely say that these are the best in this order:

    01. Vertigo
    02. North By Northwest
    03. Psycho
    04. Marnie
    05. Strangers on a Train
    06. Family Plot
    07. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
    08. I, Confess
    09. Dial "M" For Murder
    10. Spellbound
    11. To Catch A Thief
    12. Notorious
    13. The Trouble with Harry
    14. Torn Curtain (both versions)
    15. Topaz
    16. Frenzy
    17. The Wrong Man
    18. Rear Window (Lisa's Theme)
    19. Shadow of a Doubt
    20. Suspicion
    21. Saboteur
    22. Foreign Correspondent
    21. Rebecca

     
     Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 3:56 PM   
     By:   Loren   (Member)

    Psycho is actually unbeatable

    followed by

    Rear Window (sublime and joyful)
    Strangers on a train (breathless!)
    The Trouble with Harry (delicious)
    North by Northwest (flamboyant)
    rejected Torn Curtain (so so good)
    Family Plot (so catchy!)
    Spellbound (fantastic orchestration)

     
     
     Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 4:06 PM   
     By:   Richard-W   (Member)

    drivingmissdaisy:

    The Birds


    Yes, absolutely positively.

    The Birds (1963) has the best Hitchcock score -- natural, organic and on point.


    Richard

     
     Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 4:15 PM   
     By:   robertmro   (Member)

    This is subjective but I would definitely say that these are the best in this order:

    01. Vertigo
    02. North By Northwest
    03. Psycho
    04. Marnie
    05. Strangers on a Train
    06. Family Plot
    07. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
    08. I, Confess
    09. Dial "M" For Murder
    10. Spellbound
    11. To Catch A Thief
    12. Notorious
    13. The Trouble with Harry
    14. Torn Curtain (both versions)
    15. Topaz
    16. Frenzy
    17. The Wrong Man
    18. Rear Window (Lisa's Theme)
    19. Shadow of a Doubt
    20. Suspicion
    21. Saboteur
    22. Foreign Correspondent
    21. Rebecca


    Doc,

    We all love John Williams but I feel "Family Plot" is way too high in Your list.
    But that's just my opinion.

     
     Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 4:28 PM   
     By:   JohnnyG   (Member)

    This is subjective but I would definitely say that these are the best in this order:

    01. Vertigo
    02. North By Northwest
    03. Psycho
    04. Marnie
    05. Strangers on a Train
    06. Family Plot
    07. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
    08. I, Confess
    09. Dial "M" For Murder
    10. Spellbound
    11. To Catch A Thief
    12. Notorious
    13. The Trouble with Harry
    14. Torn Curtain (both versions)
    15. Topaz
    16. Frenzy
    17. The Wrong Man
    18. Rear Window (Lisa's Theme)
    19. Shadow of a Doubt
    20. Suspicion
    21. Saboteur
    22. Foreign Correspondent
    21. Rebecca


    Doc,

    We all love John Williams but I feel "Family Plot" is way too high in Your list.
    But that's just my opinion.



    And sadly it seems we don't all love Franz Waxman - the MASTERPIECE that is "Rebecca" at number 21??!!

     
     Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 4:37 PM   
     By:   Doctor Shatterhand   (Member)

    This is subjective but I would definitely say that these are the best in this order:

    01. Vertigo
    02. North By Northwest
    03. Psycho
    04. Marnie
    05. Strangers on a Train
    06. Family Plot
    07. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
    08. I, Confess
    09. Dial "M" For Murder
    10. Spellbound
    11. To Catch A Thief
    12. Notorious
    13. The Trouble with Harry
    14. Torn Curtain (both versions)
    15. Topaz
    16. Frenzy
    17. The Wrong Man
    18. Rear Window (Lisa's Theme)
    19. Shadow of a Doubt
    20. Suspicion
    21. Saboteur
    22. Foreign Correspondent
    21. Rebecca


    Doc,

    We all love John Williams but I feel "Family Plot" is way too high in Your list.
    But that's just my opinion.



    And sadly it seems we don't all love Franz Waxman - the MASTERPIECE that is "Rebecca" at number 21??!!


    That is why it is subjective. I prefer those top themes to be better listening than the latter. It has nothing to do with Rebecca having a inferior theme (which it does not). It does mean I like what I like. That being said I never added Rope or Lifeboat on the list and the music in those films is quite good too.

     
     
     Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 7:06 PM   
     By:   HAL 2000   (Member)

    Vertigo gets my vote. Probably also Hitch's best film.

     
     Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 8:13 PM   
     By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

    Very fond of Paradine Case too [I don't think the music was ever released].

    There was a suite on KOCH records I believe. I'll check it out and get back to you.

     
     Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 8:16 PM   
     By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

    I would say that NORTH BY NORTHWEST is my favorite Hitchcock score, but I think MARNIE is in some ways more accomplished. The music grabs hold of you the instant the main title begins and doesn't let up. In so doing, the score makes the film seem much better than it is.

    I too prefer North by Northwest, but Marnie has grown on me over the years. It gives the story the impetus it otherwise lacks and propels the flawed masterwork to near classic status.

     
     Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 8:29 PM   
     By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

    I would say that NORTH BY NORTHWEST is my favorite Hitchcock score, but I think MARNIE is in some ways more accomplished. The music grabs hold of you the instant the main title begins and doesn't let up. In so doing, the score makes the film seem much better than it is.

    There you go:

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-paradine-case-hollywood-piano-concertos-by-waxman-herrmann-north-james-sedares/6683527?ean=99923722526

     
     Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 8:32 PM   
     By:   Nexus 6   (Member)

    North by Northwest would be my favorite....score and film. But Psycho and Vertigo are masterpieces, too.

    I watched Psycho again the other day and still marveled at how flawless the film and music both were.

    I've played Herrmann's Psycho music for my son many times, and he's always referred to it as "the scary house music". Well, I felt he was finally old enough to watch it with me. Let me tell you, it was a delight to experience the film with him. A couple of moments in the movie scared the sh*t of him! I am sure that Herrmann had as much to do with that as Hitchcock.

     
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