Film Score Monthly
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   Feb 2, 2001 - 8:53 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I’m just discovering what a wonderful composer Franz Waxman was.
I’d always loved MR. ROBERTS and CIMARRON but didn’t know
many other Waxman scores. I recently acquired several Legends of Hollywood:
Franz Waxman CD’s and am amazed by the complexity of his compositions,
his musical versatility, and his melodies.

Revisiting CIMARRON and MR. ROBERTS was rewarding; however,
my favorite discovery was the main theme to UNTAMED. It’s rousing and
majestic in the same vein as MR.ROBERTS. I looked the movie up on the IMDB
(Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward in Africa with Zulus) and remembered that I’d
seen this movie several times on AMC. Slap my forehead! I never noticed the
music while watching it. That seems rather abnormal for a soundtrack aficionado.
Another delectable discovery was the melodious MY GEISHA. Gorgeous score
with an ethnic flavor.

His versatility is amazing. MY COUSIN RACHEL is quite lovely but laced with
darker tones echoing Rachel’s calcified heart. BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN,
DEVIL DOLL, DARK CITY portray fear, action, melancholy, and
dementia. His lighter comedic side is echoed in HUCKLEBERRY FINN and
parts of THE CHRISTMAS CAROL. He provides action epic themes
for ANNE OF THE INDIES and BOTANY BAY. His flair for drama is
evident in THE NUN’S STORY.

Anyway if you know of other movies heralding some of his magnificent music,
let me know. I would certainly rank this man as one of our finest Golden Age
film composers.

 Posted:   Feb 2, 2001 - 10:11 PM   
 By:   Beatty   (Member)

Taras Bulba for sure. Rebecca is one of my favorites. Of course, there's FSM's Prince Valiant.

np:" TARGET=_blank>

 Posted:   Feb 2, 2001 - 11:01 PM   
 By:   mgh   (Member)

And do not forgot his two great Americana scores PEYTON PLACE and HEMINGWAY'S ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG MAN. The opening theme to ADVENTURES is one of the most beautiful I have ever heard.

 Posted:   Feb 3, 2001 - 4:35 AM   
 By:   John Morgan   (Member)

And there is Marco Polo's releases of MR. SKEFFINGTON and OBJECTIVE, BURMA!, certainly two of his absolute bests.

 Posted:   Feb 3, 2001 - 4:56 AM   
 By:   PeterD   (Member)


By the way, according to Laurence Page's "FSM Incoming" posting on this message board, a future FSM release will be a Waxman score for a '50s Cinemascope picture; I'm hoping that may be UNTAMED, since it's a 20th-Century Fox release.

 Posted:   Feb 3, 2001 - 6:59 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Huh? Wha..? How did this happen? Someone on this list ACTUALLY talking about a Golden Age Composer?

HOORAY! I knew people were listening out there!

Waxman went to Fox in the early 50s. One major film music story from that time is that Waxman, who won two consecutive Oscars -- 1950's "Sunset Boulevard" and 1951's "A Place in the Sun" (both superb!) -- was so incensed that the music branch of the Academy passed over Newman's "The Robe" in the nominating process that he resigned from the Academy. True story! He scored that film's sequel, "Demetrius and the Gladiators." There are a few nice Waxman touches in that film, but he did not haul out the Waxman genius for the whole score. Other Fox scores from that time are "The Virgin Queen" (which is in magnificent stereo on the home video...a fantastic score) and, of course, "Untamed." I have to admit I don't recall the music to it, either, but that's because I haven't seen the film in....well, it's been "a while." : )

He, like so many others, wrote one of the more fantastic scores of his career for one of the more fabled monstrosities of its time -- "The Silver Chalice." Today, it looks very odd...and oddly compelling a watch it is....but the score is fantastic.

Check out the Interet Movie Database for a complete listing of all his scores... That list probably won't include the beautiful "The 16mm Shrine", a score he did for "The Twilight Zone." That one has been released on both LP and CD. Both are out-of-print, but findable I think.

 Posted:   Feb 3, 2001 - 7:25 AM   
 By:   Beatty   (Member)

16mm Shrine is on the big TZ set from Silva.

Mr Skeffington and Objective Burma are in my "to play" queue right now.

np:" TARGET=_blank>

 Posted:   Feb 2, 2001 - 10:15 PM   
 By:   H. Rocco   (Member)

STALAG 17 isn't exactly a showcase for Waxman -- director Billy Wilder determined in advance that he wanted the whole thing to be done for snare drum -- but it's a great movie in itself, and well worth watching. Waxman had more room to stretch on Wilder's SUNSET BOULEVARD, another great movie. Love that creepy satirical honking when William Holden realizes that the snooty men's shop salesman has him pegged as a gigolo. Waxman won the Oscar for that movie -- I doubt anything like that particular score would be written today, much less acknowledged by the Academy.

But you probably already saw these, Mom!">

NP: THE STRIPPER (FSM release, we're up to the source cues)

 Posted:   Feb 5, 2001 - 6:12 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Let's face it...Franz Waxman was the best of the Golden Pack.

Now, I've been looking for the first two volumes of LEGENDS for years. May I ask how you found them, Joan?

 Posted:   Feb 5, 2001 - 7:20 AM   
 By:   Matt Perkins   (Member)

Joan -so nice to see such an eloquent appreciation of a composer actually deserving of such high praise for a change.
If you don't already have it, I would strongly recommend you pick up the Charles Gerhardt-conducted Waxman collection (one of the wonderful series he recorded with The National Philharmonic Orchestra for RCA in the early 'seventies). It features, amongst others, really excellent suites of some of Waxman's finest, incl SUNSET BOULEVARD, REBECCA, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, PRINCE VALIANT, A PLACE IN THE SUN, etc. I would rate it without exaggeration as one of the finest collections of film music ever released. The final track on the disc (The Ride to Dubno from TARAS BULBA) is truly heartracing and will rock the house!
I hope you can find the CD -I know you will love it.


 Posted:   Feb 5, 2001 - 8:00 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Thor, has Legendary Hollywood Franz Waxman scores
Volume II, III and IV. I have volumes 2 and 4. Volume one may be a
little harder to find. Barnes and Noble have Sunset Boulevard: Classic Films
Scores by Franz Waxman. I think that is the one Matt referred to.

Thanks for all of the film suggestions and insights by fellow posters!!

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2001 - 5:37 AM   
 By:   Luscious Lazlo   (Member)

Memo to mgh: I agree with you about PEYTON PLACE. But HEMINGWAY'S ADVENTURES bored me to tears. It has obvious novelty value for John Williams's piano-playing. I'll give it another hearing, but I doubt if I'll ever value it as fine quality entertainment.

What pisses me off is that the artistically superior PEYTON PLACE was recorded in 1957 and is a technically crappy-sounding recording. Whereas the artistically inferior HEMINGWAY'S ADVENTURES was recorded in 1962 and is a technically superior recording. And don't tell me about Frederic Talgorn's re-recording of PEYTON PLACE. I haven't heard it myself, but I've read a few negative opinions of it.

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2001 - 6:52 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Originally posted by Luscious Lazlo:
Memo to mgh: I agree with you about PEYTON PLACE. But HEMINGWAY'S ADVENTURES bored me to tears. It has obvious novelty value for John Williams's piano-playing. I'll give it another hearing, but I doubt if I'll ever value it as fine quality entertainment.

What pisses me off is that the artistically superior PEYTON PLACE was recorded in 1957 and is a technically crappy-sounding recording.

First, LL (I don't know you, so I can't call you Luscious), being bored by something in no way means that that which bores you is in any way inferior to anything.

You can't relate to this recording -- that's fine, and I respect you for saying how you feel.

To me, "Hemingway's 'Adventures of a Young Man'" is a rotten film with a score of such beauty and complexity as to make angels weep.

You seem to like action in your music, not that "Peyton Place" offers that much, but it has its pizzicato moments and a simply, lovely theme and variations.

In "Hemingway's 'Adventures of a Young Man'", the John Williams performance on honky tonk piano is coincidental -- at the time, he was another musician playing in a Hollywood orchestra. While I don't see it as a reason for anyone to buy the score, it's reasonable to assume his fan base might do it to hear him play.

The latter title is a finer, more deeply felt musical work by Waxman than the my opinion. That it is so beautifully recorded is a plus.

I have a beautifully recorded "Peyton Place" as I'm not sure what your grievance is about the mastering for LP. Of course, I have tinnitus, too, so you may be seeking that which I've never missed.

I sincerely hope you're wrong when you say, "I doubt I'll ever value it...."

That's like saying you doubt your tastes will ever change, or that you will never experience a deeper appreciation for music than you have now.

That would be sad.


[This message has been edited by Ron Pulliam (edited 07 February 2001).]
[This message has been edited by Ron Pulliam (edited 07 February 2001).]

 Posted:   Feb 7, 2001 - 8:34 AM   
 By:   Brian Mellies   (Member)

Check eBay for the earliest volumes of the Waxman/Legends series. I believe there is a Volume 5 in the works as we speak.
I'd kill (really, I would), for a restored CD release of "Demetrius & The Gladiators".
Wonder if it's still around.

 Posted:   Feb 8, 2001 - 5:32 AM   
 By:   Luscious Lazlo   (Member)

I'm here to apologize for trashing HEMINGWAY'S ADVENTURES based on a single hearing. I just heard it again and was amazed at how much it had improved itself. (Although, ironically enough, the technical sound quality is worse than I remembered.)

PROLOGUE: I agree with Royal Brown about the "haunting harp-celesta ostinado that accompanies the motive". Except it sounds to me like a harp-flute combination. It's the celesta that plays in unison with the piccolo. And lemme tell ya something, those shrill high-shooting piccolo phrases really know how to annoy me. The descending harmonic string phrases in the Main Theme are admirably Coplandesque.

GOODBYE FATHER: I like the weird brief flutes motif. It's played twice.

THE HOSPITAL: Also contains the flutes motif. I like the creepiness of this track.

ROSANNA: A perfectly good track that's shot to hell by a cheezy mandolin.

THE MAJOR'S RESCUE: Royal Brown refers to "a slow ominous central section, introduced by several unisons in the low brass (principally trombones)". That section sounds similar to the PSYCHO passage that occurs right after the shower-stabbing music. Waxman then immediately follows it with a Bartokian string passage.

ROSANNA'S DEATH: I like the flute/bass flute theme. Brown says it sounds like a Gregorian chant. Am I nuts or does it also sound just like Ennio Morricone?

HOME AGAIN: More Coplandesque stuff. I like the quirky string chord near the end. But that piccolo is back to set my teeth on edge.

 Posted:   Feb 8, 2001 - 8:52 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Man -- Mr. Lazlo knows how to dissect a score, huh!

Royal Brown did a good job of analyzing the score for the liner notes. It's not the last word on the score, but certainly creditable and credible.

I LOVE those cheesy mandolins...that's a show-stopping sequence for that gorgeous love theme....this was probably played over a montage or something in the Italian has that Italian "mozzarella" (or maybe "parmesano") feeling to it.

: )

[This message has been edited by Ron Pulliam (edited 08 February 2001).]
[This message has been edited by Ron Pulliam (edited 08 February 2001).]

You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2018 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.