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 Posted:   Jan 28, 2014 - 8:40 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Again inspired by the upcoming February 15th GSPO Elmer Bernstein Tribute Concerthttp://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=99897&forumID=1&archive=0

By 1969 Elmer Bernstein had written a number of very different scores for war films, THE definitive prisoner of war score for THE GREAT ESCAPE, A down and dirty one for the Anthony Mann opus MEN IN WAR, a romantic tinged one taking place in World War II France KINGS GO FORTH, the Israeli war in CAST A GIANT SHADOW and a number of documentary ones such as D-DAY JUNE 6TH 1944 for documentary producer David Wolper. David Wolper briefly took a stab at theatrical feature films and his most expensive and ambitious one was THE BRIDGE AT REMAGEN and gave his most awarded doc composer the prize of scoring it. When I saw this as a kid I expected “another GREAT ESCAPE” which is the way a kid tends to think. But as the main theme unraveled during the traveling main titles I realized THIS was quite unique. Later I realized Elmer came up with a very appropriate war theme for a story about the last bridge standing on the Rhine River. It was a march married to a waltz:



He puts this theme through it’s paces throughout, overt and then muted, militaristic and then very humanistic. The score is short and used sparingly but the main theme is so clever AND effective, like PATTON, it works enough to make it a solid score.
The film itself was another one of those allstar mixed bags director John Guillermin did most of his life (THE BLUE MAX, KING KONG, SKYJACKED, DEATH ON THE NILE) the one exception being THE TOWERING INFERNO which was co-directed. But as an example of Elmer doing something different each time it is a wonderful and memorably unique march/waltz.
BTW You noticed I limited the “war film” definition to 20th century warfare or else Elmer would have had a myriad other varied war epics listed like KINGS OF THE SUN, THE MIRACLE, DRANGO, THE BUCCANEER, etc.

Elmer#3 THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=101334&forumID=1&archive=0

Elmer #2 FROM NOON TILL THREE
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=101261&forumID=1&archive=0

Elmer #1 THE REWARD
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=100917&forumID=1&archive=0

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 28, 2014 - 9:32 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

I first heard the theme at a revival showing of the film. I never tire of listening to it. It has all of the classic Bernstein touches--the forceful development, the lyrical interlude, and the ending on a sustained chord--all packaged neatly in two minutes.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2014 - 8:26 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

I first heard the theme at a revival showing of the film. I never tire of listening to it. It has all of the classic Bernstein touches--the forceful development, the lyrical interlude, and the ending on a sustained chord--all packaged neatly in two minutes.



Yes!
Also, when I really like a composer and a piece, I can't help but think about the problem solving process Elmer went through to get what he got. So not only did this waltz/march meet the thematic problems I mentioned above but melds with those helicopter shot titles that open the film. Making those titles way more impressive than they would be otherwise.

 
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