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 Posted:   Jan 21, 2014 - 12:35 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

This is the second of a number of Elmer Bernstein scores I am writing about to lead up to the GSPO Elmer Bernstein Tribute Concert:

http://www.gspo.com/?3e3ea140

I have been a fan of many other composers over the years like Goldsmith, Williams, Morricone, Desplat and Alfred Newman but frankly none of those had a career that had the breadth he did, which, for me, makes his more impressive . I think it was due to him being blacklisted and seeing everything from both sides of the track. So he could be labeled a communist and yet be THE composer for the two most anticommunist filmmakers that ever were, Cecil B. Demille and John Wayne. He was one of THE mainstream big studio composers but worked on such totally renegade product as; over 100 films and exhibits with pioneer designers like Ray & Charles Eames and Saul Bass; the go-to composer for documentary master David Wolper (National Geographic, etc.); lots of legit theater including nominated twice for Tony Awards for best musical; plus more old legends (John Ford, William Wyler, Michael Curtiz) vs. newcomers (Ivan Reitman, Jim Sheridan, John Landis) than any composer I can think of.

To preface this score let me tell you about another one written by Francis Lai in 1970 for the film LOVE STORY. It was for a slightly sappy film that was based on an enormously popular novel. Francis wrote one of the most touching themes imaginable which had a lot to do with making that film so popular. It won the Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe and every award possible. It made the charts as a soundtrack and a song sung by numerous singers including Andy Williams. And then It was played everywhere, not just by Henry Mancini and Roger Williams but as muzak on elevators, dentist offices and airports. This lovely tune started to grate on people. It became a joke.
Jump 6 years and Frank Gilroy (who won the Pulitzer Prize for THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES) writes this novel taking place in the old west about an interlude that happens between a bank robber and a young widow from noon until three. Their lovemaking is accompanied by her favorite tune on a music box and early record player. He leaves promising to return but is hunted and believed to have been killed and she writes a romanticized book about the afternoon tryst and it becomes wildly popular worldwide. The distorted version of their moment together dogs him for the rest of his days and that music box tune goads him into practically madness. It’s a comedy. I can’t help thinking LOVE STORY was at least a partial inspiration for it. Another inspiration was getting Elmer Bernstein to do the music to this.



He gets to write a music box tunes that is played all through the film in numerous different guises. The thankless part was this film was a satire, and satire never becomes beloved. Satire means, in this case, you are literally poking fun at what you do for a living. By 1976 Alan Bergman had written lyrics for “The Windmills of Your Mind” and “The Way We Were” and Elmer had written beautiful romantic melodies like LOVE WITH PROPER STRANGER and A WALK IN THE SPRING RAIN. So not only did they write this song that will drive our protagonist crazy but they play two Tinpan Alley writers who walk into a publisher, to play on piano and sing the lyrics, to the so-called famous music box tune. (I believe it is the only time these two appeared in a movie).
Masterpiece you say, talk about jumping through hoops. Elmer’s music had to:
1) B e simple enough to work as a music box tune.
2) Sound like it was written in the early 1900s.
3) Had to be catchy and romantic to convince us it would become immensely popular.
4) And be playable by everything from barbershop quartets to marching bands.
The song does all that so succinctly that if it had been attached to a successful romantic movie it would have won awards. And god Bless Jill Ireland, she was beautiful and she had a sweet a voice that did pull off the tune (she even sang it at the Golden Globes where it nominated for best song) BUT I would loved to have heard it once with a real singer. That never happened but maybe some day.




Elmer score #1http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=100917&forumID=1&archive=0&pageID=1&r=246#bottom

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 21, 2014 - 12:57 PM   
 By:   Dorian   (Member)

I admit that this is one of my favorite Charles Bronson movies, I saw it twice over the years and highly enjoyed it both times. The brief appearance by Bernstein and Bergman is very worthwhile for us soundtrack fans though I always wondered how many of the 'mass' audience recognized who these two guys actually were. The score is also great, far better (in my opinion) than Cannon for Cordoba with which it was paired on CD. It is a kind of theme that stays with you a long time after the listening and the nice bit is, it does not matter if it was meant as a parody or not for the film; on its own it's just a beautiful theme and a lovely score.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 21, 2014 - 4:32 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

I was just going to list in my beautiful thread this music box theme. it is indeed very catching and lovely. Stays with you all day. Too bad more singers didn't give it a shot. but we here all know the story. The music that gets big exposure from films and the music that don't. It usually comes down to this fact. How much money did LOVE STORY make at the box office? How much money did FROM NOON TILL THREE make.A year later there was a number one hit song from DEBBY BOONE called YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE which was a successful film at the b.o.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 21, 2014 - 5:26 PM   
 By:   andy b   (Member)

For those of you who may be interested when we released this film in the UK ( I was at Warners at the time) a single was put out that has an extra verse & a slightly different opening. Still with Jill Ireland & the great Elmer score, fortunately not a disco version or some other bizarre thing we sometimes used to do to promote a film! It did not get anywhere, as indeed the film struggled to find an audience as well, but 1 of my favorite Bronson films. Sadly it was not included on the Varese disc.

I think I still have a recording of it some where as I traded the single off years ago.

regards

Andy b

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 21, 2014 - 5:32 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

The lyrics to this very pretty ballad, says so much in it's simple manner. Life is all about how you make your time. be it in a loving relationship, family, career, leisure, you name it. It is not how long something is in life it is how strong it is those moments of your lives. I was thinking the other day what a co- worker of mine said about vacation days, if you get say , 2 weeks , don't take them all at once. You will never make the most of each day. He takes the 10 days and creates 10, 3 day weekends thru the year and really gets so much more out of each hour. Of course if you are going somewhere far this won't be feasible, but it does make a lot of sense, Taking a vacation recently I realize 4 of my 12 days were special the others ok.It is the small special moments and days of our lives that really are the best, The rest are basically average. The fleeting wonderful joys of life that sadly just goes by too quickly.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 22, 2014 - 10:09 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

What amazed me about the film is the bravery of the second half. Going against the idea of popular culture, where the idea of a simple beautiful moment gets exaggerated, romanticized and overblown (like most Hollywood movies I've ever seen) to the point it is unrecognizable. Indeed Jill Ireland doesn't recognize Bronson when he comes back until he unzips his fly!

And Elmer's music makes the movie complete, without it the point wouldn't be as sharp. He and Bergman had to make a real song about a real sentiment, or else the world fame would not be convincing. As Dan the Man points out, it is about an honest sentiment, the idea of treasuring what we are given and the how fleeting it is, AND it is as catchy a waltz as I can think of. I believe it COULD have become too popular in those days.

BTW John Williams did a different but similar score a few years earlier for THE LONG GOODBYE, but that satire was about the Tiomkin syndrome rather than the LOVE STORY model, of how they would put the song written for a film everywhere they could to help make it a "hit". Different demands and a bit easier to do.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 22, 2014 - 8:55 PM   
 By:   PFK   (Member)

I saw From Noon Till Three when it came out, always liked the film and score both.

But ...... A few years later I saw "The Private Life of Don Juan", the last film of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. A very fine and touching film made in 1934.

From Noon Till Three is a remake of Fairbank's Don Juan. Watch Don Juan and see. I'm always surprised no one ever mentions this when discussing the Bronson film.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 23, 2014 - 5:43 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

I saw From Noon Till Three when it came out, always liked the film and score both.

But ...... A few years later I saw "The Private Life of Don Juan", the last film of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. A very fine and touching film made in 1934.

From Noon Till Three is a remake of Fairbank's Don Juan. Watch Don Juan and see. I'm always surprised no one ever mentions this when discussing the Bronson film.


This comment surprised me. I saw DON JUAN a long time ago and thought you were mistaken. I looked on IMDB at the reviews and you are indeed the only one who made that connection. BUT the description brought back the plot details and now at least I know what you are talking about.

First you have to forget about the first half of FROM NOON TILL THREE and for me that is the heart and soul of it, it makes us care about the characters. The second half has the similarities including; 1)Don Juan is thought to be dead when he isn't and 2)a book and play is written about him that is so romantically larger than life no one recognizes the real man. And that is pretty much it from what I remember. One is about how women all want Don Juan because they REALLY want their husbands/lovers to be Don Juan and have him all to themselves. A "Don Juan" of the mind so to speak. The other is about how a cowardly loser who is left behind to mind the horses at a bank robbery can be Don Juan for a moment (from noon till three) and how a "legend" can grow around something simple and poignant, and then exploited and distorted to the point of madness. Again the fact that that book in the film FROM NOON TILL THREE became a worldwide sensation, along with it's tune, led me to think of a satire of LOVE STORY that had a ridiculously massive worldwide success a few years earlier. DON JUAN and FROM NOON TILL THREE share a romantic conceit but to two different ends. So remake - no. Just a few of the same plot devices to make their points.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 23, 2014 - 10:13 PM   
 By:   PFK   (Member)

I saw From Noon Till Three when it came out, always liked the film and score both.

But ...... A few years later I saw "The Private Life of Don Juan", the last film of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. A very fine and touching film made in 1934.

From Noon Till Three is a remake of Fairbank's Don Juan. Watch Don Juan and see. I'm always surprised no one ever mentions this when discussing the Bronson film.


This comment surprised me. I saw DON JUAN a long time ago and thought you were mistaken. I looked on IMDB at the reviews and you are indeed the only one who made that connection. BUT the description brought back the plot details and now at least I know what you are talking about.

First you have to forget about the first half of FROM NOON TILL THREE and for me that is the heart and soul of it, it makes us care about the characters. The second half has the similarities including; 1)Don Juan is thought to be dead when he isn't and 2)a book and play is written about him that is so romantically larger than life no one recognizes the real man. And that is pretty much it from what I remember. One is about how women all want Don Juan because they REALLY want their husbands/lovers to be Don Juan and have him all to themselves. A "Don Juan" of the mind so to speak. The other is about how a cowardly loser who is left behind to mind the horses at a bank robbery can be Don Juan for a moment (from noon till three) and how a "legend" can grow around something simple and poignant, and then exploited and distorted to the point of madness. Again the fact that that book in the film FROM NOON TILL THREE became a worldwide sensation, along with it's tune, led me to think of a satire of LOVE STORY that had a ridiculously massive worldwide success a few years earlier. DON JUAN and FROM NOON TILL THREE share a romantic conceit but to two different ends. So remake - no. Just a few of the same plot devices to make their points.




Hi Morricone.

Did you look up the correct Don Juan on IMDB? There were NO reviews. Maybe you looked up the 1948 Flynn film.

I'm talking about the 1934 Douglas Fairbanks film "The Private Life of Don Juan."

I guess From Noon Till Three is not a remake of the 1934 Fairbanks film, but it sure took a LOT from it.

The 1934 Private Life of Don Juan is on Youtube and complete. Why don't you watch the film and let me know what you think. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 23, 2014 - 10:17 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Okay I'll take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks!

p.s. Here are the IMDB reviews:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0025681/reviews?ref_=tt_ov_rt

Hmmmm. Fellow insomniac.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 23, 2014 - 10:22 PM   
 By:   PFK   (Member)

Okay I'll take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks!



OK, hope you enjoy it. It's a bit dated now but I always liked the film. It was a rather sad swan song for Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Let me know how you like the film and how it fits in with From Noon Till Three. Don't get me wrong, I like the Bronson film too and Elmer's fine score.

Gee Morricone, it's 1:26 AM on the East Coast, you are keeping me up too late! smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 23, 2014 - 10:22 PM   
 By:   PFK   (Member)

Okay I'll take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks!



OK, hope you enjoy it. It's a bit dated now but I always liked the film. It was a rather sad swan song for Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Let me know how you like the film and how it fits in with From Noon Till Three. Don't get me wrong, I like the Bronson film too and Elmer's fine score.

Gee Morricone, it's 1:26 AM on the East Coast, you are keeping me up too late! smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 11:21 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Okay, I saw THE PRIVATE LIFE OF DON JUAN today and I stick to my guns. Yes, I see all the similarities which I mentioned above BUT there are far more differences. One has a happy ending the other has an absurd tragic one. Don Juan is HAPPY people think he is dead, it gives him a break, Bronson is relieved but eventually driven mad by the idea. Bronson has to tame the shrew (Ireland), Fairbanks doesn't, they are all in love with him. The lady writes the book in one, a third party author in the other, and he seems to write about more than just one event. Bronson is a loser bank robber who has one last chance at love, Don Juan is married and, well, has abundant opportunities for it.

Again I see what you see, now do you see what I mean?

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 11:29 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

double post

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 4:43 PM   
 By:   PFK   (Member)

Okay, I saw THE PRIVATE LIFE OF DON JUAN today and I stick to my guns. Yes, I see all the similarities which I mentioned above BUT there are far more differences. One has a happy ending the other has an absurd tragic one. Don Juan is HAPPY people think he is dead, it gives him a break, Bronson is relieved but eventually driven mad by the idea. Bronson has to tame the shrew (Ireland), Fairbanks doesn't, they are all in love with him. The lady writes the book in one, a third party author in the other, and he seems to write about more than just one event. Bronson is a loser bank robber who has one last chance at love, Don Juan is married and, well, has abundant opportunities for it.

Again I see what you see, now do you see what I mean?




I didn't see the 1934 Don Juan reviews at the IMDB, thanks for the heads up. They were very interesting.

Glad you watched the film. Sure there are many differences in the two films. I just feel From Noon Till Three took the "basic idea" for the 1934 Don Juan film. Other films have probably used this idea too, maybe even the silent films.

I think many people have seen either one film or the other. Not both. Thus no comparison between the two.

Both films show the man who becomes a legend. The legend then becomes bigger than life. This has been used in many many films, especially those of John Ford, among others.

Didn't From Noon Till Three do poorly at the Box Office? I seem to think it did. I always liked the film, saw it with a friend when it came out and he liked it too.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 5:44 PM   
 By:   andy b   (Member)

I can not speak for it's US release, although it did not do well, but the movie had a very hard time in Europe. The public wanted more Death Wish & they got a light comedy!

Sad but like so many action stars that try to alter their styles, the public does not always take to it.

Eastwood was lucky with Every Which Way But Loose & Any Which Way You Can, but as Stallone & others found, the public often wants 1 thing despite the actors willingness to look in different directions.

To quote William Goldman "No one knows anything" when it comes to movies.

I really liked the film & there is a double dvd with Assassination with a decent wide screen presentation, if you want to see it again.

regards

Andy b

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2014 - 10:08 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

I can not speak for it's US release, although it did not do well, but the movie had a very hard time in Europe. The public wanted more Death Wish & they got a light comedy!

Sad but like so many action stars that try to alter their styles, the public does not always take to it.

Eastwood was lucky with Every Which Way But Loose & Any Which Way You Can, but as Stallone & others found, the public often wants 1 thing despite the actors willingness to look in different directions.

To quote William Goldman "No one knows anything" when it comes to movies.

I really liked the film & there is a double dvd with Assassination with a decent wide screen presentation, if you want to see it again.

regards

Andy b


Very true. Marlon Brando never could be accepted in his comedies, but I thought he was hilarious in THE FRESHMAN, and particular, BEDTIME STORY (which was remade as DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS).

 
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