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 Posted:   Nov 8, 2013 - 9:11 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

We need a well-researched historical study of the strike and its outcomes, intended and unintended. It's a significant element in the closing of the studio era and the end of what some call the "golden age" of film music. I don't think it was a strike "against the AFM." The latter (American Federation of Musicians) was the musicians' union.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 8, 2013 - 9:22 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Bernstein's 'The Buccaneer' has always been a favourite and a much under-appreciated score. Created on the wings of 'Ten Commandments' is has almost as much grandeur and is a melodic banquet. I also consider the film itself terribly under-rated. It's a fine, solid, although glossy historical epic. Any 7 year old worth his salt in 1958 will never forget being thrilled by 'The Battle of New Orleans'. Ha!

The film was certainly promoted as a follow-up to 10C. Who can blame Paramount? DeMille's epic was the biggest blockbuster since GWTW. "Reuniting the Towering Antagonists of The Ten Commandments!" ran the headline. In fact, Heston's role was relatively brief. And DeMille, apart from giving another spoken introduction, left the producing duties to his longtime deputy Henry Wilcoxon and the directing to his inexperienced son-in-law, Anthony Quinn. I believe the stylized battle represents the last occasion when Hollywood attempted to re-create a massive crowd scene on a studio sound stage.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 8, 2013 - 5:30 PM   
 By:   TomD   (Member)

We need a well-researched historical study of the strike and its outcomes, intended and unintended. It's a significant element in the closing of the studio era and the end of what some call the "golden age" of film music. I don't think it was a strike "against the AFM." The latter (American Federation of Musicians) was the musicians' union.

"Film Musicians Kick Out AFM" read the headline of the July 12, 1958 issue of The Los Angeles Times. The fight was over how the AFM was (mis)treating recording musicians, and the musicians won just about all they were asking for. One immediate benefit was an explosion of original scoring for TV shows in the 1958 season -- producers no longer had to pay an up front fee of 5% of their shows' budgets to the AFM trust fund to get a score recorded.

Jon Burlingame mentions the situation through the first two chapters of his book TV's Greatest Hits, but goes into much more detail in his booklet, For the Record (1997, ISBN 0-9658464-0-7), published by the RMA (Recording Musicians Association). Don't know if it is still for sale.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 9, 2013 - 6:08 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Thanks, Tom. I'm chagrined to admit that I was unaware of the earlier book. It sounds like a useful reference. Copies seem to be plentiful via Amazon.

 
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