Film Score Monthly
Screen Archives Entertainment 250 Golden and Silver Age Classics on CD from 1996-2013! Exclusive distribution by SCREEN ARCHIVES ENTERTAINMENT.
Wild Bunch, The King Kong: The Deluxe Edition (2CD) Body Heat Friends of Eddie Coyle/Three Days of the Condor, The It's Alive Ben-Hur Nightwatch/Killer by Night Gremlins Space Children/The Colossus of New York, The
Forgot Login?
Search Archives
Film Score Friday
Latest Edition
Previous Edition
Archive Edition
The Aisle Seat
Latest Edition
Previous Edition
Archive Edition
View Mode
Regular | Headlines
All times are PT (Pacific Time), U.S.A.
Site Map
Visits since
February 5, 2001:
© 2018 Film Score Monthly.
All Rights Reserved.
Return to Articles
Intrada plans to release a two-disc set next week.

Next week La-La Land will begin shipping their previously announced two-disc set of Lorne Balfe's score for this summer's blockbuster hit sequel MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT, as well as a two-disc set of Harry Manfredini's music for FRIDAY THE 13TH - THE GAME.

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has announced this year's Creative Emmy winners in the following music categories:

March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step - Cyrille Aufort 

Game of Thrones: "The Dragon and the Wolf" - Ramin Djawadi

Godless - Carlos Rafael Rivera

"Come Back Barack," from Saturday Night Live: Host - Chance the Rapper - Music by Eli Bruggemann; Lyrics by Chris Redd, Kenan Thompson, Will Stephen

Tony Bennett: The Library Of Congress Gershwin Prize For Popular Song - Greg Field

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - "Pilot" - Robin Urdang, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Daniel Palladino


Bello Onesto Emigrato Australia Cerca Compaesana Illiba
 - Piero Piccioni - Beat
Bruno Nicolai: The Eurospy Film Music Collection
- Bruno Nicolai - Quartet
Chariots of Fire: Film Works of Vangelis
- Vangelis - Buysoundtrax
Death of a Nation
- Dennis McCarthy - Buysoundtrax
En Las Estrellas
- Ivan Palomares - Quartet
La Carica Delle Patate
 - Filippo De Masi - Beat
La Ragazza Dalle Pelle Di Corallo
- Adolfo Waitzman - Quartet
Massimo Numa: Soundtracks from Roger A. Fratter Movies
 - Massimo Numa - Beat
Sad Hill: Unearthed
- Zeltia Montes - Quartet
Searching - Torin Borrowdale - Sony [CD-R]
Sono Sartana, Il Vostro Becchino
 - Vasco Vassil Kojucharov - Beat
Tours Du Monde, Tours Du Ciel
 - Georges Delerue - Music Box
Unbroken: Path to Redemption
 - Brandon Roberts - Universal
Wuthering Heights
 - Michel Legrand - Notefornote


American Chaos - Vincent Leslie Jones
Another Time - Michael Lee Bishop
Armed - Larry Groupe, Steven Thomas
The Basement - Aaron J. Goldstein
Bel Canto - David Majzlin
Blaze - Blaze Foley, Townes Van Vandt - Soundtrack CD due Sept. 21 on Light in the Attic
Danger One - Nima Fakhrara
The Dawn Wall - Adam Crystal
Don't Leave Home - Michael Montes
Final Score - James Edward Barker, Tim Despic
Four Hands - Heiko Maile
Hal - Heather McIntosh
Hot to Trot - Allyson Newman
I Am Not a Witch - Matthew James Kelly
I Think We're Alone Now - Adam Taylor
The Land of Steady Habits - Marcelo Zarvos
Letter from Masanjia - Michael Richard Plowman
Lizzie - Jeff Russo
MDMA - Pei Pei Chung
Mandy - Johann Johannsson - Score CD due October 5 on Lakeshore
Patient Zero - Michael Wandmacher
The Predator - Henry Jackman
Rodents of Unusual Size - The Lost Bayou Ramblers
A Simple Favor - Theodore Shapiro
Unbroken: Path to Redemption - Brandon Roberts - Score CD on Universal
Where Hands Touch - Anne Chmelewsky
White Boy Rick - Max Richter - Score CD due Sept. 21 on Deutsche Grammophon

September 21
Friday the 13th - The Game - Harry Manfredini - La-La Land
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: Complete Recording (re-release)
 - Howard Shore - Rhino
Mission: Impossible - Fallout - Lorne Balfe - La-La Land
White Boy Rick - Max Richter - Deutsche Grammophon
October 5
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown - Vince Guaraldi - Varese Sarabande
- Johann Johannsson - Lakeshore
The Old Man & the Gun 
- Daniel Hart - Varese Sarabande
October 12
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
- Nate Heller - Verve
First Man - Justin Hurwitz - Backlot
 - Harold Faltermeyer, songs - Varese Sarabande
- Heitor Pereira - WaterTower
October 19
Halloween - John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, Daniel Davies - Sacred Bones
October 26
Our House - Mark Korven - Lakeshore
Suspiria - Thom Yorke - XL Recordings
Date Unknown
Carles Cases Styles
 - Carles Cases - Rosetta
 - Manel Gil-Inglada - Rosetta
- Robert O. Ragland - Dragon's Domain
La Legende Des Sciences
 - Eric Demarsan - Music Box
- Francis Lai - Music Box
The Ninth Passenger - Scott Glasgow - Howlin' Wolf
 - Soren Hyldgaard - Kritzerland
Sunrise - Joe Kraemer - 
 - Roque Banos - Saimel


September 14 - Franz Waxman begins recording his score to Cimarron (1960)
September 14 - John Williams records his score for the Lost in Space episode "Island in the Sky" (1965)
September 14 - Sol Kaplan's score to the Star Trek episode "The Enemy Within" is recorded (1966)
September 14 - Gerald Fried records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “Odds on Evil” (1966)
September 14 - Recording sessions begin for Danny Elfman’s score for Scrooged (1988)
September 14 - Alan Silvestri begins recording his score for Back to the Future Part II (1989)
September 14 - Laurence Rosenthal wins his seventh Emmy, for The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles episode “Travels with Father;” John Debney and Louis Febre win for the pilot episode to The Cape; Mark Isham wins for his main title theme to EZ Streets (1997)
September 14 - George Fenton wins his first Emmy, for the Blue Planet episode “Seas of Life: Ocean World;” Adrian Johnston wins for Shackleton Part II; Thomas Newman wins for the Six Feet Under main title theme (2002)
September 15 - Gail Kubik born (1914)
September 15 - Shinichiro Ikebe born (1943)
September 15 - Recording sessions begin for Bronislau Kaper's score for The Naked Spur (1952)
September 15 - Leigh Harline begins recording his score for Visit to a Small Planet (1959)
September 15 - Oliver Wallace died (1963)
September 15 - Sol Kaplan begins recording his score for The Spy Who Came in from The Cold (1965)
September 15 - Don Ellis begins recording his score for The Deadly Tower (1975)
September 15 - Jerry Fielding begins recording his score for The Black Bird (1975)
September 15 - Bruce Montgomery died (1978)
September 15 - Leonard Rosenman begins recording his score for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
September 15 - Ron Jones records his score for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Evolution" (1989)
September 15 - Don Davis wins his first Emmy, for the Beauty and the Beast episode score “A Time to Kill; James Di Pasquale wins for the TV movie The Shell Seekers (1990)
September 15 - Aldemaro Romero died (2007)
September 15 - Javier Navarrete wins the Emmy for Hemingway & Gellhorn; John Lunn wins for episode 6 of Downton Abbey; Paul Englishby wins for Page Eight’s main title theme (2012)
September 15 - Bear McCreary wins his first Emmy, for Da Vinci’s Demons’ main title theme; John Lunn wins for episode 3.6 of Downton Abbey; Mychael Danna wins for the World Without End episode “Medieval Life and Death” (2013)
September 16 - J. Peter Robinson born (1945)
September 16 - Alfred Newman begins recording his score to The Best of Everything (1959)
September 16 - Lyn Murray records his score for the Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode “Triumph” (1964)
September 16 - Robert Drasnin records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “My Friend, My Enemy” (1970)
September 16 - John Barry begins recording his score for The Day of the Locust (1974)
September 16 - Bruce Broughton wins his third and fourth Emmys, for The First Olympics: Athens 1896 and for the Dallas episode score “The Letter” (1984)
September 16 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Circle” (1993)
September 16 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Storm Front, Part 1” (2004)
September 17 - Franz Grothe born (1908)
September 17 - Recording sessions begin for Leigh Harline’s score for The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker (1958)
September 17 - Elmer Bernstein begins recording his score for Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1968)
September 17 - Lalo Schifrin records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “The Contender” (1968)
September 17 - Billy Goldenberg wins the Emmy for his King score; Jimmie Haskell wins for See How She Runs (1978)
September 17 - John Barry begins recording his score for The Black Hole (1979)
September 17 - Basil Poledouris wins his only Emmy, for Lonesome Dove Part 4: The Return; Joel Rosenbaum wins his second Emmy, for the Falcon Crest episode score “Dust to Dust”; Lee Holdridge wins his second Emmy, for Beauty and the Beast’s original song “The First Time I Loved Forever” (1989)
September 17 - James Horner begins recording his score for Extreme Close-Up (1990)
September 17 - Georges Delerue begins recording his score for American Friends (1990)
September 17 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Enterprise episode “Carbon Creek” (2002)
September 17 - Joel Hirschhorn died (2005)
September 18 - Dee Barton born (1937)
September 18 - Vince Tempera born (1946)
September 18 - A Streetcar Named Desire is released (1951)
September 18 - The Day the Earth Stood Still opens in New York (1951)
September 18 - Dimitri Tiomkin begins recording his score for Wild Is the Wind (1957)
September 18 - Henry Mancini begins recording his score to Bachelor in Paradise (1961)
September 18 - John Powell born (1963)
September 18 - Robert Drasnin records his first Mission: Impossible score, for the episode “The Slave” (1967)
September 18 - Jack Pleis records his score for The Wild Wild West episode “The Night of the Samurai” (1967)
September 18 - Leonard Rosenman begins recording his score for Hide in Plain Sight (1979)
September 18 - Thomas Newman records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "Santa '85" (1985)
September 18 - Fred Steiner records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "Life on Death Row" (1986)
September 18 - Herbert Spencer died (1992)
September 18 - Arthur B. Rubinstein begins recording his score for Nick of Time (1995)
September 19 - Arthur Benjamin born (1893)
September 19 - Paul Williams born (1940)
September 19 - Alfred Newman begins recording his score for How Green Was My Valley (1941)
September 19 - Vladimir Horunzhy born (1949)
September 19 - Daniel Lanois born (1951)
September 19 - Nile Rodgers born (1952)
September 19 - Johnny Harris begins recording his score for the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode “Planet of the Slave Girls” (1979)
September 19 - Joel McNeely wins the Emmy for The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles episode “Young Indiana Jones and the Scandal of 1920;” Patrick Williams wins his third Emmy, for Danielle Steel’s Jewels; Dennis McCarthy wins for his Star Trek: Deep Space Nine main title theme (1993) 
September 19 - Jay Chattaway records his score for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “The Search - Part 1” (1994)
September 19 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for Powder (1995)
September 19 - Willie Hutch died (2005)
September 20 - Frank DeVol born (1911)
September 20 - Frank Comstock born (1922)
September 20 - James Bernard born (1925)
September 20 - John Dankworth born (1927)
September 20 - Mychael Danna born (1958)
September 20 - Andre Previn begins recording his score for All in a Night’s Work (1960)
September 20 - Fred Steiner's scores to the Star Trek episodes "The Corbomite Maneuver," "Balance of Terror," and "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" are recorded (1966)
September 20 - Sidney Cutner died (1971)
September 20 - John Williams begins recording his score for The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
September 20 - Jack Marshall died (1973)
September 20 - Laurence Rosenthal wins his second consecutive Emmy, for Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna; Joel Rosenbaum wins his first Emmy, for the Knots Landing episode “Cement the Relationship” (1987)


BAD MOMS - Christopher Lennertz
"Still, if Lucas and Moore had stuck to that playbook, to the kind of easy raunch they’ve made their name on, 'Bad Moms' might not be so insufferable. But somebody told them they also needed to make it a sweet romance, so we’ve got a dull-as-dishwater courtship between Kunis and Jay Hernandez that’s about as jarring as the romantic interludes in 'Dirty Grandpa' and 'Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.' And then, of course, Kunis must be punished for having fun, so her daughter has to call her selfish and head off to live with dad, as sad music plays (the filmmakers have no sense of how to marshal tonal shifts, so they just slather Christopher Lennertz’s jewelry-commercial score under everything and hope for the best). And then, swear to God, they play a sad ballad as Kunis mopes through her empty house and sobs in the hallway. What is this bullsh*t?"
Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

FROM THE LAND OF THE MOON - Daniel Pemberton
"A film prone to cutting on an unfallen tear, 'From the Land of the Moon' from French director Nicole Garcia is as syrupy a confection as ever dripped from the pen of Nicholas Sparks (though inspired by the novel 'Mal di Pietre' by Milena Angus). Given a gloss of respectability by the tastefulness of Garcia’s style, the genteel photography from Christophe Beaucarne, an unobjectionable score from Daniel Pemberton and a performance of tremulous commitment from Marion Cotillard (as per), as well as by its ineffable Frenchness, that last quality might be enough to bring those who equate 'French' with 'artistic' to the yard. But even they may find themselves choking on this bonbon during a credibility-assassinating final act reveal."
Jessica Kiang, Variety

"The film’s original title, 'The Stone Sickness,' refers to Gabrielle’s painful kidney stones, an apt metaphor for her tormented love life. When Jose sends her off to an expensive Swiss clinic for treatment, she resists at first. ('Who says I want to be cured?') But it’s always better than the lobotomy a French doctor suggests as an alternative. In this Magic Mountain setting, she meets Lt. Andre (Garrel), irresistible but gravely ill after returning from France’s war in Indochina, and her lust for life revives along with her dangerous flights of fantasy. In addition to being handsome, noble, brave and vulnerable on account of his serious illness, Lt. Andre also shares Gabrielle’s passion for the piano, and his melancholy rendition of Tchaikovsky’s 'Juin -- Barcarolle' provides a welcome interruption to composer Daniel Pemberton’s violin-heavy score. The tune will play an important part in her son’s career and the denouement."
Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter


"If Haynes’s early efforts allowed for stylistic excesses, however, Schamus is evidently more in tune with the unshowy classicism of 'Carol.' Much of Indignation plays out in what looks like utilitarian institutional buildings still standing from the early 20th century that have been judiciously emptied of clutter, with the camera remaining stationary save for the infrequent deployment of psychologically or behaviorally motivated movements, and a plush orchestral score, courtesy of composer Jay Wadley, gently backing the film’s emotional undertow without ever bringing attention upon itself. It’s an aesthetic package as seemingly conventional as the Philip Roth-based source material, a bildungsroman about a college freshman by the name of Marcus Messner (Logan Lerman) whose evolution from wallflower to headstrong individualist is occasioned by his move from a staunchly Jewish borough of Newark, New Jersey to the Catholic heartland of rural Ohio."
Carson Lund, Slant Magazine
"It’s a measure of Schamus’ intelligence in bringing the book to the screen that enough of Roth’s broader vision survives, though you’ll have to dig for it. Roth, for instance, spends a fair amount of time in his novel’s early stages painting a picture of his main character’s calmer, pre-World War II life in Newark, N.J., with his kosher butcher father, Max (Danny Burstein), and mother Esther (Linda Emond), before Max’s sudden overprotective paranoia drives Marcus out of the house and into Winesburg. Schamus, however, forgoes that relatively idyllic prologue, relegating it only to hints Marcus offers in discussing his personal history with Olivia. Instead of making a big thematic meal out of Roth’s outlook -- a worried belief in the possibility of one lone mistake disproportionately determining the path of one’s life, for better or, in Marcus’ case, worse -- Schamus packs it all into one voiceover monologue we hear Marcus deliver in the beginning, with the writer-director perhaps trusting that the plot’s twists and turns will be enough to make the point. Such understatement extends to the film’s evocation of the sexual repression and political conservatism of the 1950s. Though Schamus includes a reasonable amount of Marcus’ first-person narration, more often he relies on a restrained classical style -- Christopher Blauvelt’s coolly burnished cinematography, Jay Wadley’s forlornly melancholic score -- to do the heavy lifting."
Kenji Fujishima, Paste Magazine

"This may be Schamus’ directorial debut, but he’s no amateur, and his experience -- both in cinema and in life -- comes through onscreen, supplanting whatever puerile energy a younger helmer might have absorbed from its tightly-wound 19-year-old protagonist (although it does take some cues from the recent young Allen Ginsberg portrait 'Kill Your Darlings'). Taking its tonal cues from Jay Wadley’s gently elegiac violin-driven score, 'Indignation' unfolds at a certain distance, both in maturity and time: Schamus may not have lived the era, the way Roth did, but he channels the ’50s still-conservative mentality convincingly enough, hitting the novel’s tragic final note ever so delicately, devastating those drawn in by Marcus and his dreams."
Peter Debruge, Variety
"The film is a class act in every department. The period production design (Inbal Weinberg) and costumes (Amy Roth) are meticulously detailed; the filigreed string score by Jay Wadley brings a classical feel without becoming old-fashioned; and the cinematography of Christopher Blauvelt, with its insinuating low and high angles, reminds us constantly that a life is being scrutinized. Schamus can very respectably add director to his string of career achievements."
David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

MENASHE - Aaron Martin, Daq Rosenqvist
"'Menashe' is full of lovely grace notes in which nothing much happens, but which deepen our understanding of this self-segregated corner of the world. A documentary filmmaker, Weinstein brings to his first narrative fiction an anthropologist's eagle eye for the layered complexities of set-apart subcultures. He honors the cadences and rhythms of this community, its joy in ritual and ecstatic singing. The dialogue is almost all in Yiddish, and Menashe's Herculean struggle for control over his life is broken by leisurely street shots of Hasidim going about their business accompanied by a sweet, subtly melancholy score."
Ella Taylor, NPR

"Weinstein captures Menashe’s turmoil with utmost sincerity and stunning control. Adding to its neorealist flavor, intimate cinematography places us in Menashe's cramped apartment, (where he can only feed his son soda and cake for breakfast) or in the middle of his tense meetings with The Ruv. And every now and then, a moment of meditation is offered by a gorgeous melodic motif (from a score credited to Aaron Martin and Daq Rosenqvist), inhaling and exhaling with just a few notes. Rarely has ordinary clumsiness been treated with such heart or beauty."
Nick Allen,

STRANGE WEATHER - Sharon Van Etten
"The film that follows leans on contrived setups, further weakened by the literal-minded deployment of folk musician Sharon Van Etten’s score at key turning points. But Hunter and Carrie Coon, as Darcy’s realist foil, enliven the film with psychological nuance. During their multi-state drive, Darcy admits uncertainty about her desired outcome and resolves to rely on her instincts during her meeting. Her interior journey brings her to consider the difference between closure and the possibility of a path forward."
Chloe Lizotte, Film Comment

"The ensuing road trip is full of familiar imagery, from the rusty pickup truck the two women ride in to the dusty backroads they travel and pit stops they make at a crumbling old gas station and roadside diner. These are visual clichés, to be sure, but Dieckmann (who made the 2009 Uma Thurman comedy 'Motherhood') doesn't push them too hard, and even spares us the tracking shots of big American flags protruding from decrepit houses and toothless rural folk straight out of 'Deliverance.' The authentic-feeling Southern ambience, enhanced by Sharon Van Etten's low-key, country-inflected score, is one of the film's most potent assets."
Jon Frosch, Hollywood Reporter
SUICIDE SQUAD - Steven Price
"But even the film’s more workmanlike performances blend into the overall ensemble. I don’t know that I would ever call Joel Kinnaman’s work as Rick Flag, the soldier assigned to watch over the Suicide Squad, anything more than 'average,' but he’s good when he needs to be and blends in on other occasions. Ditto for Jay Hernandez’s Diablo, who can spout fire from his fingertips. And there’s some nice work in the technical department from composer Steven Price, who comes up with a memorable theme for the Squad, and cinematographer Roman Vasyanov, who ably suggests a city descending into chaos whenever Ayer gets out of his way. But even these positive elements are often ground into dust by the movie’s overall 'my foot fell asleep and now I have to rock back and forth until feeling returns to it' drudge."
Todd VanDerWerff, Vox

"In the continuing effort to create a series of interconnected films based on DC Comics characters -- similar to the well-established (and, thus far, superior) Marvel Cinematic Universe -- 'Suicide Squad' is just about as unpleasant as this year’s 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,' but for totally different reasons. In following the misadventures of a group of super villains who are forced to work together to defeat a powerful enemy, 'Suicide Squad' is actually trying to be fun, or at least it’s trying to find the mix of daring and cheekiness that made 'Deadpool' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy' such twisted delights. With a few, rare exceptions, the attempts at humor in 'Suicide Squad' land with a thud -- that is, if you can hear such a sound over the deafening din of gunfire and the bombastic score."
Christy Lemire,

THE UNTAMED - Guro Moe, Masse Marhaug, Martin Escalante
"In a similar fashion, the film’s music score is both high-strung and ominous -- at times ringing like the aftermath of a shotgun blast and at others slow and dark like a body being dragged across a floor. The woods surrounding the sex monster’s home are oftentimes shrouded in fog. In a scene early on in the film, Verónica’s figure is almost completely obscured by it, as though she is walking a fine line between desire and obsession, a line that exists somewhere in the haze."
Danielle White, The Austin Chronicle


Screenings of older films, at the following L.A. movie theaters: AMPASAmerican Cinematheque: AeroAmerican Cinematheque: EgyptianArclightArena CineloungeLACMALaemmleNew BeverlyNuart and UCLA.

September 14
AKIRA (Shoji Yamashiro) [Nuart]
L'AVVENTURA (Giovanni Fusco) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
NOTORIOUS (Roy Webb), SUSPICION (Franz Waxman) [Cinematheque: Aero]

September 15
ANNIE HALL [Cinematheque: Aero]
LA NOTTE (Giorgio Gaslini), STORY OF A LOVE AFFAIR (Giovanni Fusco)[Cinematheque: Egyptian]
REAR WINDOW (Franz Waxman), ROPE (Leo B. Forbstein) [Cinematheque: Aero]

September 16
L'ECLISSE (Giovanni Fusco) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
REBECCA (Franz Waxman), THE LADY VANISHES [Cinematheque: Aero]

September 17
DETOUR (Leo Erdody) [AMPAS]
DRUNKEN MASTER (Fu Liang Chou) [Arclight Hollywood]
FULL METAL JACKET (Abigail Mead) [Arclight Culver City]
NORTH BY NORTHWEST (Bernard Herrmann) [Arclight Santa Monica]

September 18
CINEMA PARADISO (Ennio Morricone) [Arclight Hollywood]
SUSPECT (Michael Kamen) [LACMA]

September 20
I VINTI (Giovanni Fusco), LE AMICHE (Giovanni Fusco) [Cinemathque: Egyptian]
PETULIA (John Barry) [Laemmle Royal]
THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH (Alfred Newman) [Laemmle NoHo]

September 21
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (Stephen Trask) [Nuart]
IMAGINE [Cinematheque: Aero]
RED DESERT (Giovanni Fusco), IL GRIDO (Giovanni Fusco) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]

September 22
A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (The Beatles, George Martin) [Cinematheque: Aero]

September 23
CHUNG KUO - CHINA [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
LISZTOMANIA (Rick Wakeman) [Cinematheque: Aero]
THE NEVERENDING STORY (Klaus Doldinger, Giorgio Moroder) [UCLA]
REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (Leonard Rosenman) [Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts]


In last week's column, I discussed my typically over-elaborate TV  viewing (on DVD or Blu-Ray)schedule, where I typically alternate a handful of "A list" programs with a much larger "B list," but as I was finishing up the column, my computer failed to save the last four entries, so I'm continuing with that gripping tale this week.

Here is the rest of my current A list:

Sherlock - I have to admit, not every episode is top-notch, but then that can be said for virtually every television series ever produced. But I love the casting (Rupert Graves as an intelligent, helpful Lestrade!), the visual style, and the wonderful modern interpretation and reinvention of the classic characters. It became one of my all-time favorite series in its first season, and that opinion hasn't wavered.

Star Trek - I wrote about the early episodes in a recent column. The latest one I watched, "The Corbomite Maneuver" (directed by Joseph Sargent!), demonstrated that same lived-in quality that I suspect was lost in later seasons. One scene showed the end of an hours-long meeting with Kirk and his department heads, with coffee being poured and Sulu napping face-down on the table. Uhura was even part of the meeting, suggesting that at this early point in the series, she was seen as more than just that nice lady who answers the phone.

The West Wing - Something keeps me from loving this show as much as I might -- maybe it's the generally bland feeling, typified by W.G. Snuffy Walden's score. But the elegance and old-style craft of Aaron Sorkin's writing is always appreciated, and the cast is stellar, especially the late John Spencer, Richard Schiff, and most particularly the magnificent Allison Janney.

The Wire - I can't imagine I can add anything to what has already been written and said about this truly extraordinary series but to agree with the sentiment that this is the finest TV series ever produced. I will mention that its greatness only serves to emphasize the uselessness of the Emmy Awards. In its five seasons, running from 2002 to 2008, The Wire -- which from its premiere on received absolute rave reviews -- managed to score only two Emmy nominations, both for writing, one for the third season episode "Middle Ground" and one for the series finale. Compare that to Alias, which I hope no one will claim is a better series than The Wire. In Alias' five seasons, from 2001 to 2006, it received four Emmys and 36 nominations, including four nominations just for Jennifer Garner. So in the five years of The Wire, no nominations for the performances of -- to name a particularly outstanding few -- Clarke Peters, Wendell Pierce, Sonja Sohn, Michael K. Williams, and a special favorite, Andre Royo as Bubbles. I think Senator Clay Davis would know the right word to say about these oversights.

I've also been watching the handful of TV movies I have on DVD, especially the science-fiction and horror movies I grew up with, like Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (an iffy video transfer, and a surprisingly bleak story) and Genesis II. The one I watched most recently was not a genre piece, but a very good and remarkably grim prison drama from 1972, The Glass House, which was controversial at the time of its airing, particulary for its prison-sex/gang-rape subplot. Though the DVD transfer was iffy, the movie held up surprisingly well, helped by a chilly score by '70s TV movie stalwart Billy Goldenberg. It's strange to picture this unflinching drama airing on the same network that showed The Waltons and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

I've also been making my way through my much longer "B-list" of episodic television, including the following series:

Thriller - "Man in the Middle." This is one of the early, crime-oriented episodes. The most interesting thing about these episodes is that many of them are actually based on novels, so they have a surprising amount of plot for a 50-plus minute TV episode. This one wasn't particularly good. The lead was legendary standup comic Mort Sahl, whose dramatic acting here was pretty one-note, and the plot was laden with characters behaving stupidly, from the menaced hero who thinks nothing of answering the door in the middle of the night, to the master criminals who loudly plot a kidnapping in a bar.

UFO - "Confetti Check A-OK." This is truly a strange series. Not just strange because all the women on the moonbase wear identical purple wigs, and the men wear mesh shirts that reveal their nipples, though that's pretty strange all on its own. It's a lavish TV series with top-notch effects, about aliens threatening to invade Earth, and a shockingly small amount of the series is spent on either aliens or even alien spaceships. This particular episode was a flashback story showing how the decade-long creation of SHADO (Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defense Organization) led to the collapse of Col. Straker's marraige. An earlier episode had Straker's young son getting hit by a car, and due to complications from Straker's job the kid ends up dying. I guess I shouldn't complain that a sci-fi thriller series actually spends time on its characters, but some sci-fi thrills would be appreciated. I only learned this week that Ed Bishop, who played Straker (as well as a shuttle pilot in 2001), was also "Klaus Hergesheimer" in Diamonds Are Forever. If you've never seen Diamonds, that means nothing. If you know Diamonds as well as I do, it's a pleasant surprise.

Veronica Mars - "Meet John Smith." It took a while for this series to win me over, partly because I kept mentally comparing it to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and except for Kristen Bell and Enrico Colantoni as Veronica and her father, the regular characters were nowhere near as well developed and perfectly cast as the Buffy gang. But the mysteries are consistently clever, Bell and Colantoni make one of the great daughter-father pairings in TV or movie history, and the series accumulated a lot of emotional weight over its three seasons. This particular episode had an especially good twist and a strong guest performance from Melissa Leo.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea - "The Price of Doom."  It was only the fifth episode of season one, but happened to be the first monster episode, as the Seaview and its crew are menaced by enormous, mutated plankton. The guest cast (including Jill Ireland) is sizable enough that some of the actors aren't credited, such as Pat Priest (who that same year would begin her most famous role, as Marilyn Munster), and the Victor Buono-ish Dan Seymour, the veteran Warners contract player whose roles included "Abdul" in a little movie called Casablanca. Amusingly enough, it was written by "Cord Wainer Bird," aka Harlan Ellison, whom legend has it physically attacked one of the show's producers during a script meeting for this episode. Hugo Friedhofer and Alexander Courage shared the scoring credit.

The Wild Wild West - "The Night of the Casual Killer." A more traditional Western episode than usual, but with a lot of opportunity for Ross Martin to ham it up.

The X-Files - "Conduit." A pretty typical alien-abudiction episode from early in the series. X-Files may be the best example of why I'm almost never sad when a favorite show is canceled, as I'd rather a show end too soon than too late. If X-Files were just the first four or five seasons, it might be one of my all-time favorite shows.

Return to Articles Author Profile
Comments (1):Log in or register to post your own comments
Love reading about your TV on DVD watch list. Doing something similar myself: Dick Van Dyke Show (up to late S4, outstanding Bluray package, amazed with the writing), The Office (just started S9, I get as much enjoyment out of the Deleted Scenes as the actual episodes, people who watch on Netflix don't know what they're missing), I'm taking a break from Wild Wild West after S2 (I'm sorry, but the second half of that season is pretty bad), Mission: Impossible (just finished S3, sad to see Landau and Bain go, but intrigued by Nimoy's arrival, whose episodes I never saw in my youth), Babylon 5 (middle of S3, watching in conjunction with listening to B5 Audio Guide podcast), and Hawaii Five-O (Jack Lord version, up to S4, I hope someone is working on a soundtrack box set a la Wild Wild West or M:I.
Keep up the good work!

Film Score Monthly Online
The Music of Game of Thrones, Part 1
Concert Review: Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience
Justin Hurwitz: First and Foremost
Notable Scores at the 56th Annual NYFF
Dominic BOO!-is
Film Scores With Unusual Instrumentation
Ear of the Month Contest
The Post-Post-Rozsa Memoirs: A Plethora of Rozsa
Today in Film Score History:
November 12
Alan Silvestri begins recording his score for Clean Slate (1993)
Bob Crewe born (1931)
David Shire records his score for The Godchild (1974)
John Tavener died (2013)
Karl-Ernst Sasse died (2006)
Kenyon Hopkins begins recording his score for The Fugitive Kind (1959)
Neil Young born (1945)
Richard Markowitz records his first Mission: Impossible score, for the episode “The Mind of Stefan Miklos” (1968)
Velton Ray Bunch records his score for the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Similitude” (2003)
FSMO Featured Video
Video Archive • Audio Archive
© 2018 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.