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 Posted:   Oct 28, 2020 - 10:23 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I’d like to recommend to the movie lovers at FSM that you might want to check out a book called CINEMA 62 by Stephen Farber and Michael McClellan. No this isn’t a book about film composers, but I’m putting in on this side of the board because in order to hear scores, most of us see a lot of films.

Yes, composers are mentioned in this book including Jarre, Waxman, Kaper, Mancini, Addison, Rozsa, Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Herrmann, and a few others. These composers are mentioned because they are tied to the films delineated in this book.

The book’s thesis is very simple. These authors contend that the year 1939 was a great year for films, but the films from 1962 were the greatest films in the history of movies. The authors make the, “bold claim that 1962 was a peak year for film, with a high standard of quality that has not been equaled since.” You don’t have to buy into their thesis, but their efforts to prove this thesis are fascinating. (Yes, they do talk about some current films too.)

In 1962 the Legion of Decency and the Catholic churches could still demand controversial issues be removed from film. Issues like homosexuality had been VERY subtly or subliminally touched upon in earlier movies. Racism and some psychological issues had also been rather gently explored before 1962. However, the authors contend that movies in 1962 started opening doors for the exploration of more controversial subjects even though they were still somewhat confined by censorship.

The book talks about some of the old guard directors like Ford and Huston as well the new Auteurs that emerged like Lumet, Peckinpah, Kubrick, Bergman, Truffaut, Fellini, and others. Also, certain stars, mainly women, were being less utilized like Bette Davis, Hepburn and Stanwyck and replaced by Fonda, Redford, Beatty and others. In Britain new actors were recognized like Rita Tushingham, Terence Stamp ad Tom Courtenay.
(The authors did raise concerns about the lack of women’s roles in 1962, and about older men like Cary Grant still getting choice roles, while women over 40 had diminishing opportunities.)

Yes, the book does zero in on Hollywood films but it also devotes a full chapter for foreign films and references a lot foreign films throughout the book. (I.E. New French Wave Directors, Italian Directors, etc.) Foreign films were gutsier than Hollywood films with less controlling censorship.

Chapter titles are: Overseas Explosion (for 1962), New American Auteurs, Survivors: Con Men and Hollywood Honchos, Grande Dames and a Box Office Queen, Calling Dr. Freud, Adapted for Screen: Prestige and Provocation, Black and White to Technicolor, A New Frontier, Sexual and Social Outlaws, and Crowning Achievement.

Each chapter presents several films relating to a certain subject like psychology. For instance, the films Freud, Lolita, and David and Lisa are analyzed to examine their new psychological insights.

Other films analyzed in various lengths are book Billy Budd, Birdman of Alcatraz, To Kill a Mockingbird, Ride the High Country, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, The Miracle Worker, Lonely Are The Brave, Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Days of Wine and Roses, Manchurian Candidate, Sweet Bird of Youth, Through The Glass Darkly, Mutiny On The Bounty, Advise and Consent, Pressure Point, Yojimbo, Hatari, Last Year at Marienbad, La Notte, and many others. The last chapter is devoted entirely to Lawrence of Arabia which won the Oscar for best picture and other Oscars. That was a fabulous chapter.

Lots of information in this book surprised me. I will share just two. Rozsa was originally hired to score Mutiny On The Bounty, but Marlon Brando’s arbitrary and capricious behavior extended the movie’s deadline so Rozsa left. I have to agree with the authors that Kaper’s score was epic.

Marlon Brando was also David Lean’s first choice to play Lawrence in Lawrence Of Arabia. However, Brando wanted Lean to postpone filming until Brando got done with raising problems that extended the completion of Mutiny On the Bounty. Lean got O’Toole. Smart move.

Okay I’ll quit writing. I hope a few of the film lovers here at FSM will check out this book. It is enjoyable and fairly easy read. Readers won’t get bogged down with a lot of technical language.

 Posted:   Oct 28, 2020 - 10:44 PM   
 By:   Ray Worley   (Member)

Thanks, Joan! This looks really interesting. I love books like this...I'll have to check it out.
I've always felt 1962 was a fabulous movies year. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA made a huge impression on me when I saw it back then and it remains in my top 10 favorite films. A couple of my all time favorite scores, LAWRENCE and HOW THE WEST WAS WON were from that year. And many more.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 12:18 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

If Rozsa hadn't been forced to pass on scoring MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY, we may never have had his scores for EL CID and SODOM AND GOMORRAH.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 12:24 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

I got it the day it came out. I so wanted to love it, but I really kind of hated it. It's such a great idea for a book, but it's organized so poorly and the writing is nothing to write home about and it was just a slog for me. It's no secret that 1962 was and is my favorite year for films so the book was especially disappointing to me and a real lost opportunity.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 3:10 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

While I do not agree that 1962 is the greatest year for movies, necessarily (two of my greatest contenders would probably be 1999 and 1968, but there are loads of others), it's an interesting starting point for a book. A different way of focussing than just on directors or genres or whatever.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 3:55 AM   
 By:   mulan98   (Member)

Thanks for this Joan. Will definately check it out.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 5:20 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

All those titles are mighty familiar NOW, of course, but there is one, Hatari that I actually saw as a tyke. And The Music Man which must also be in the book. Never thought before that any other year could give '39 a run for the money.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 5:44 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

I'm willing to bet that many critics that year were bemoaning the death of the great moviemaking of the past.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 7:31 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

There are a number of films in Joan's post that I haven't seen (and probably won't ever see) and I'm surprised at the inclusion of Hatari! - notwithstanding the good fun that it is - but ...
... where is Dr. No?

A glaring omission? Or is it because this is an American publication and the film's release was 1963 in that territory?

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 8:05 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Good morning, gentlemen. Hope I can answer all of your questions. Remember I did list movies and directors and added that the book covered many more that I didn't list. It would have taken too longs. Hatari was mentioned as a film that made lots of money but wasn't considered great by these authors. The movies that were poor or duds are mentioned in this book. Dr. No didn't play in the U.S. until 1963, and it is referred to in the book. The Music Man was analyzed in this book.

Critics and their opinions were talked about a lot in this book, especially Bosley Crowther who came across as very negative and whose opinions were very ageist towards certain female actors.

The authors did mention 1999 as another great year, but they felt 1962 was better.

Glad we got those two great scores from Rozsa as well as Kaper's score.

Sorry haines that you didn't like it. I personally really liked the way it was organized.

My biggest complaint in the book was that when they analyzed Ride The High Country, Bassman's music was never referred to in their

Glad some of you are interested in this book.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 12:05 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Ah yes, Mr. Crowther, the eminent long-time NY Times critic who was gone after the Bonnie & Clyde ruckus.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 1:18 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Howard, Crowther said some horrid things about female characters. Cary Grant made That Touch Of Mink with Doris Day who was a leading lady then. According to the book, Grant became uncomfortable playing the lead with Day who was two decades younger than Grant. He didn’t want to appear “lecherous.” Crowther liked the movie and said nothing about the age difference, but he attacked the “heartless” Day character. Combining Lolita and that Touch of Mink Crowther said both films, “make elaborately sadistic sport of the familiar disposition of women-or, rather females to be cruel toward men.” “Girls will be Girls-Female Perversity Rife in two new films.” “Miss Day, in her way, is quite as nasty to the utterly beguiling Mr. Grant when he offers everything a man can offer-except the honor of being his wife.” Day and Lolita withheld sexual favors, but the men were honest with their impulses.

“His ageist bias and misogyny were further demonstrated in his critique of several actresses’ work throughout the year, particularly his dismissal of older stars like Rosalind Russel, Barbara Stanwyck, Dorothy Lamour, Joan Crawford, and Better Davis.”

Yes, the book does say that Crowther stepped down after repeatedly attacking Bonnie and Clyde. (If you know details about this "ruckus", let me know.) He seemed “out of touch with the times.” Obviously.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 1:30 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Yeah, I have been aware of the "ruckus" for some time but for the fun of your challenge I just googled "Bosley Crowther and Bonnie & Clyde" and there's a ton of stuff out there. This really caught my eye:

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 2:14 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Some of the films you list above, Joan, are 1961 films (like LA NOTTE and YOJIMBO), so I'm not sure why they're in the book. Perhaps they're US release dates?

In any case, just for fun and giggles, here are my 13 favourite films from 1962:

1. To Kill a Mockingbird
2. L’eclisse
3. L’Anné Dernière à Marienbad
4. Lawrence of Arabia
5. Lolita
6. Viridiana
7. Mutiny on the Bounty
8. Knife in the Water
9. Jules et Jim
10. Cléo de 5 à 7
11. Ivan’s Childhood
12. La Jetée
13. What Ever Happend to Baby Jane?

Only four Hollywood films, but I have to be honest and say I have several holes here. I've never seen films like HATARI, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, THE MIRACLE WORKER, HOW THE WEST WAS WON, THE LONGEST DAY, DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES etc. etc. -- even though I own soundtracks from several of them.

Also a few I don't find good enough, or that appeal enough to me, to be included on the list, like DR. NO, BOCCACCIO '70.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 2:31 PM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

I'll have to look into this. There's just not enough books on cinema in the sixties, my favourite decade for films (it was my teen years & I went to the cinema a lot). I have almost every month of the magazine Films & Filming for the sixties, & that's a great read (but their film reviews are a bit wide of the mark sometimes). We could really do with a nice thick book of cinema in the sixties, or a series of them.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 2:51 PM   
 By:   John Smith   (Member)

1962 was undoubtedly a great year for movie-goers. However, I doubt whether any year can equal 1960, which spawned a staggering number of seminal and iconic films that form the core of most best-of lists. We're talking about a veritable cornucopia of cinematic masterpieces.

For film buffs here who look beyond the beaten track for filmic nourishment, let me point out that SEVEN of the films released in Poland in 1960 regularly appear on lists of Polish all-time bests.

Here’s just a taster of films from 1960. Maybe not all of them are masterpieces, but they're all bona fide classics!

The Apartment (Billy Wilder)
L'Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni)
Bad Luck (Andrzej Munk)
Black Sunday (Mario Bava)
Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard)
The Brides of Dracula (Terence Fisher)
Exodus (Otto Preminger)
Elmer Gantry (Richard Brooks)
Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju)
Good Bye, Till Tomorrow (Janusz Morgenstern)
Heller in Pink Tights (George Cukor)
The House of Usher (Roger Corman)
Inherit The Wind (Stanley Kramer)
Innocent Sorcerers (Andrzej Wajda)
Kapo (Gillo Pontecorvo)
Knights of the Teutonic Order (Aleksander Ford)
La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini)
La Vérité (Henri-Georges Clouzot)
Les Bonnes Femmes (Chabrol)
Mother Joan of the Angels (Jerzy Kawalerowicz)
Never On Sunday (Jules Dassin)
Night and Fog in Japan (Oshima)
Nobody's Calling (Kazimierz Kutz)
Peeping Tom (Michael Powell)
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock)
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Karel Reisz)
Sons and Lovers (Jack Cardiff)
The Angry Silence (Guy Green)
The Bad Sleep Well (Kurosawa)
The Entertainer (Tony Richardson)
The Homecoming (Jerzy Passendorfer)
The Magnificent Seven (John Sturges)
Rocco and His Brothers (Luchino Visconti)
Shoot the Piano Player (Francois Truffaut)
Spartacus (Stanley Kubrick)
The Sundowners (Fred Zinnemann)
The Testament of Orpheus (Jean Cocteau)
The Time Machine (George Pal)
The Unforgiven (John Huston)
The Virgin Spring (Bergman)
Tunes of Glory (Ronald Neame)
Two Women (Vittorio De Sica)
Village of the Damned (Wolf Rilla)
Zazie dans le Métro (Louis Malle)

Incidentally, the soundtracks that these movies generated weigh down quite a few shelves here, I imagine!

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 3:17 PM   
 By:   John Smith   (Member)

I ought to mention that 1960 is my birth year, which might just explain why I’m particularly (and utterly irrationally) drawn to films released in this year - even the dross!

I wonder whether other people suffer from a similar affliction...

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 3:54 PM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

1962 was a very good year for films, but so was '63, '64, '65 & '66. It was such a great decade for films (& scores).

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 4:00 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Yes, Thor, the films you mention had to do to release dates in the U.S. The foreign films you mention are in this book. Rameau, this book is only about 245 pages. I'd love to read another one about the 60's films.

John, wow, 1960 was a great year for movies. You have an amazing list.

Howard, I will check out the ruckus you posted.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2020 - 10:57 PM   
 By:   ZardozSpeaks   (Member)

A further baker's dozen of '62 films that tend to get marginalized by the higher-profile titles:

THE TRIAL by Orson Welles
NIGHT OF THE EAGLE by Sidney Hayers (aka BURN, WITCH, BURN!)
Joseph Losey's EVA
THE L-SHAPED ROOM by Bryan Forbes
Jacques Demy's BAY OF ANGELS
Alain Cavalier's LE COMBAT DANS L'ISLE
ELECTRA BY Cacoyannis
Arne Mattsson's THE DOLL
Basil Dearden's ALL NIGHT LONG
HARA-KIRI by Masaki Kobayashi
Jean-Luc Godard's VIVRE SA VIE

I expect TheFamousEccles loves the '62 vintage Legrand; Michel wrote music for Demy, Godard, Losey & Varda all in the same year!
'62 was also a banner year for Theodorakis (ELECTRA, FIVE MILES TO MIDNIGHT, PHAEDRA, etc.), though it was also the year in which Leonard Rosenman departed Hollywood for a career opportunity in Italy.

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