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 Posted:   Oct 9, 2021 - 4:52 AM   
 By:   Thierry Schreurs   (Member)

Found totally by chance...while surfing through Youtube...

The main title to Jerry Goldsmith's teleplay - SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR (1976)

Of course I knew that title in his filmography but never saw a single image of it before today.

This theme and his arrangements sound to me like a low key BREAKHEART PASS crossed with some THE ARTIST WHO DIDN'T WANT TO PAINT material! Very odd.

The main title design would be by the great Saul Bass.

Any comment or futher information on this? Yavar, David, Jens?
A nice new topic perhaps for the Goldsmith Odyssey dream team...

P.S: I post it here as a new thread as I don't find any specific previous thread about it.
The FSM search engine is rather awfully ineffective by the way. Or I am rather clumsy...

Oups, it seems Yavar and Zooba were already aware of this Goldsmith tune flying around...

 Posted:   Oct 9, 2021 - 5:41 AM   
 By:   DavidCorkum   (Member)

I believe this may have been a 1976 PBS show called The Hemingway Play, which presented full plays for TV, for which Goldsmith provided a theme. He was doing Islands in the Stream, which put him in a Hemingway mood perhaps. But there's also a full TV movie called The Hemingway Play for PBS, which also credits Goldsmith. So I'm thinking it was a show that only aired 2 plays, with the credit sequence scored by Goldsmith.

 Posted:   Oct 9, 2021 - 6:11 AM   
 By:   merlyn   (Member)

Jerry only wrote the theme for Hollywood Television Theatre Six Characters In Search Of An Author he did not score the episode (1970-1978). His theme was used on all titles including The Hemingway Play which had a score by Lee Holdridge -The Last Of Mrs Lincoln music Lyn Murray


 Posted:   Oct 9, 2021 - 9:20 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

It is a very unique title theme indeed, for an interesting and also fairly unique Saul Bass sequence. I like it, I can tell it’s Goldsmith, but it’s also fairly unlike anything else I’ve heard from him.

You are probably confused with these three titles because IMDb does not seem to recognize the umbrella show Hollywood Television Theater that these individual play adaptations aired under. It only lists the individual installments kinda like TV movies…and might not list all of them (I haven’t checked), probably favoring those that were released on home video/DVD by Kultur. That said, if you search for “Hollywood Television Theater” on IMDb, while there’s no overall series listing a lot of these episodes do show up that way (probably included in an alternate title or something which is searchable).

Jerry Goldsmith only provided the title theme as far as I know (I’ve only seen a couple of these), but as has already been pointed out some other beloved film composers like Lyn Murray and Lee Holdridge scored some installments. Here’s a presumably complete list of installments:

Maybe someone can combine that with IMDb to come up with a complete-as-possible list of composers/scores…I wonder if Hollywood Television Theater score tapes might still exist and where they would be if so. Does KCET have a score archive waiting to be unearthed?

Here is the full “Six Characters in Search of an Author”, which I’m fairly certain has no score proper beyond the Goldsmith theme for the opening Saul Bass series title sequence:


 Posted:   Oct 9, 2021 - 10:51 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

There's a track from The Hemmingway Play by Lee Holdridge on the Varese Suites and Themes album, which also featured other stunning, and unreleased music by Holdridge, such as WIZARDS & WARRIORS and JONATHAN LIVINGSTONE SEAGULL and THE GREAT WALES.
Isn't there?

 Posted:   Oct 9, 2021 - 7:49 PM   
 By:   DavidCorkum   (Member)

You are probably confused with these three titles because IMDb does not seem to recognize the umbrella show Hollywood Television Theater that these individual play adaptations aired under.

Thanks, Yavar! That's been a mystery to me for a long time.

 Posted:   Oct 14, 2021 - 12:30 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

I searched the UCLA library archive online, and it turns out they have quite a few episodes of this series in their collection:

The degree of info/credits for each episode in their archive varies *wildly*, with many having very little info beyond a title and date... but for the following, I found score composition credits:

"Scarecrow" (copyright 1971, but probably aired in January 1972) - Mundell Lowe (who is credited with "music direction" on a number of these I'm not including here in this post, but here is just credited for "music" so I'm including):

"Shadow of a Gunman" ("Record date: October 18, 1972") - Robert Prince:

"Winesburg, Ohio" ("Record date: Feb. 15, 1973") - Robert Prince:

"Steambath" ("1973-04-30", but TV Guide review in November 1973) - Lyn Murray:
"Edited version":

"Incident at Vichy" (TV Guide review from December 1973) - Lyn Murray:
alternate listing:

"Sty of the Blind Pig" (TV Guide review from May 1974) - Phil Moore:

"Ashes of Mrs. Reasoner" (copyright 1975, but probably aired in January 1976 going by the TV Guide review excerpt) - Lyn Murray:

"The Last of Mrs. Lincoln" (TV Guide review from September 1976) - Lyn Murray:

"Actor" (about Paul Muni, copyright 1977, but probably aired in February 1978 going by the TV Guide review excerpt) - Billy Goldenberg:

Norman Lloyd also apparently directed this "freewheeling, seriocomic musical by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (The Fantasticks)" -- the notes specify that it's based on a 1973 musical "Philemon" from several years before, but if the rest of the original scores exist in some KCET archive somewhere, maybe the recordings for this musical exist there too:


 Posted:   Oct 14, 2021 - 1:55 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

These are the composing credits I could find on IMDb:

Confirming the ones I found at UCLA:

"Philemon" - Harvey Schmidt:

"The Scarecrow" - Mundell Lowe:

"The Shadow of a Gunman" - Robert Prince:

"Incident at Vichy" - Lyn Murray:

"The Last of Mrs. Lincoln" - Lyn Murray:

"The Ashes of Mrs. Reasoner" - Lyn Murray:

"Actor" - Billy Goldenberg:

NEW credits found:

"Knuckle" - Billy Goldenberg:

"Carola" - Billy Goldenberg:

"The Man of Destiny" - Robert Prince:

"For the Use of the Hall" - Robert Prince:

"The Chinese Prime Minister" - Robert Prince:

"Nourish the Beast" - Robert Prince:

"Gondola" - Lyn Murray:

"Ladies of the Corridor" - Lyn Murray:

"Double Solitaire" - Lyn Murray:

"Requiem for a Nun" - Lyn Murray:

"And the Soul Shall Dance" - Lee Holdridge:

"Another Part of the Forest" - Lee Holdridge:

"The Hemingway Play" - Lee Holdridge:

This is also the only score from the series to be represented on album -- by no less than than Charles Gerhardt conducting the London Symphony Orchestra!

Anyhow, I hope this is useful to somebody, someday...tallying up all the original score composing credits I've been able to find, we have AT LEAST (in addition to Jerry Goldsmith's theme for the Saul Bass title sequence):
THREE original scores by Billy Goldenberg
THREE original scores by Lee Holdridge
SIX original scores by Robert Prince
EIGHT original scores by Lyn Murray a single original score each by Phil Moore and Mundell Lowe, as well as the "freewheeling, seriocomic musical by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt (The Fantasticks)".

I'm a big fan of not only Goldsmith, but Goldenberg and Holdridge too. And I also like the scores I've heard from Lyn Murray (On the Threshold of Space, The Bridges of Toko-Ri, and Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief all having received great releases from Intrada, and his Time Tunnel music being released just this past year from LLL) and Robert Prince (LLL having released his Land of the Giants score and two scores of his each for Mission: Impossible and Wonder Woman).


 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 11:47 AM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

"Six Characters In Search Of An Author" holds a place in Goldsmith's filmography/televisionography as being his only music for Public Television.

 Posted:   Oct 17, 2021 - 4:45 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Except he provided the theme for the series, Hollywood Television Theater on KCET, not specifically “Six Characters in Search of an Author”.


 Posted:   Oct 18, 2021 - 4:33 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

Except he provided the theme for the series, Hollywood Television Theater on KCET, not specifically “Six Characters in Search of an Author”.


"Hollywood Television Theatre" premiered in 1971, and it's not known, with the exception of "Six Characters In Search Of An Author" being on D.V.D. (courtesy Kultur Video's Broadway Theater Archive) if any of the episodes survive or if Goldsmith composed the theme for the series when it made its debut.

 Posted:   Oct 18, 2021 - 5:49 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Many other episodes survive, some also released officially by Kultur, some available because people recorded them off TV and have traded among themselves. I haven’t checked to see whether they *all* survive, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they did, in some archive somewhere.


 Posted:   Oct 19, 2021 - 1:09 AM   
 By:   Thierry Schreurs   (Member)

Thanks to all for the feedback and interest.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2021 - 8:43 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

I have very fond memories of watching Six Characters and also Philemon. I was into theater back then, so great to see. Sadly, don't recall any of the others.

And weirdly enough, I was the assistant director of my high school's production of Philemon, which was quite an experience. Worth watching to see what a quasi experimental musical looked like in the mid 70's.

Thank you all for posting about this. I had no idea of Goldsmith's involvement, however peripheral.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2021 - 1:51 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Aside from UCLA having a bunch of Hollywood Television Theater in their library archive (many besides what I listed above -- I only included the ones that credited original music besides Jerry's theme) here are the ones I could find that were commercially released, with links:


The Andersonville Trial (May 17, 1970)

Season 1

Big Fish, Little Fish (January 5, 1971)
The Andersonville Trial (February 2, 1971; repeat of the pilot episode)
Montserrat (March 2, 1971)
Poet Game (April 6, 1971)
U.S.A. (May 4, 1971)

Season 2

The Typists (October 7, 1971)

The Police (October 14, 1971)

Lemonade (October 21, 1971)

Birdbath (October 28, 1971)
Beginning to End (November 4, 1971)

Enemies (November 11, 1971)

Neighbors (November 18, 1971)

The Standwells: About Love (November 25, 1971)
The Bread and Puppet Theatre (December 2, 1971)
Young Marrieds at Play (December 9, 1971)
The Picture (December 16, 1971)
The Plot to Overthrow Christmas (December 23, 1971)
Day of Absence (December 30, 1971)
Chekhov Live from Hollywood (January 3, 1972; "The Marriage" and "The Boor")

The Scarecrow (January 10, 1972)

A Viewer's Guide to Samuel Beckett (February 28, 1972; special shown before a repeat of Beginning to End)

Awake and Sing (March 6, 1972)

Invitation to March (May 30, 1972)

Season 3

Another Part of the Forest (October 2, 1972)

The Shadow of a Gunman (December 16, 1972)

Carola (February 5, 1973)

Winesburg, Ohio (March 5, 1973)
Steambath (April 30, 1973)

Season 4

The Man of Destiny (November 21, 1973)
Me (November 28, 1973)

Incident at Vichy (December 5, 1973)

The Carpenters (December 19, 1973)
Gondola (January 9, 1974)

Double Solitaire (January 16, 1974)

Sty of the Blind Pig (May 29, 1974)

Nourish the Beast (June 7, 1974)

Season 5

The Chinese Prime Minister (October 23, 1974)
The Lady's Not for Burning (November 18, 1974)

For the Use of the Hall (January 2, 1975)

Requiem for a Nun (February 10, 1975)
The Ladies of the Corridor (April 10, 1975)
Knuckle (June 2, 1975)
The Chicago Conspiracy Trial (July 12, 1975)
Shakespeare Wallah (July 19, 1975)

Season 6

The Ashes of Mrs. Reasoner (January 22, 1976)
The Hemingway Play (March 7, 1976)
Wanda (March 21, 1976)

Season 7

The Last of Mrs. Lincoln (September 16, 1976)

Six Characters in Search of an Author (September 23, 1976)

The Fatal Weakness (September 30, 1976)
Philemon (October 7, 1976)

Season 8

The Ascent of Mt. Fuji (January 10, 1978)
And the Soul Shall Dance (February 7, 1978)
Actor (February 21, 1978)

Many of these Amazon links will also show you the back cover of the release, which say "A presentation of KCET/Hollywood Television Theater" and "Copyright [year] Community Television of Southern California". Once again, I got the above list from the following link, which I think is the full list of everything broadcast in this series:

So that's at least 15 episodes of this series available commercially, plus more which survive in the UCLA archive and no doubt in many people's personal collections...


 Posted:   Oct 19, 2021 - 3:17 PM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Just reminded me that I saw Steambath on first broadcast, and The Andersonville Trial for the first time in the 90's.

Both are worth watching, if one enjoys taped theater in a soundstage (I do, shockingly enough). Andersonville has a brief and pretty humble introduction from director George C. Scott, who does not perform in the production.

 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 4:44 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

I had no idea of Goldsmith's involvement, however peripheral.

I mean... it was just as "peripheral" as his involvement with Star Trek: Voyager! wink


 Posted:   Oct 27, 2021 - 1:20 PM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

I had no idea of Goldsmith's involvement, however peripheral.

I mean... it was just as "peripheral" as his involvement with Star Trek: Voyager! wink


Well, not really, as composers quoted the Voyager theme all the dang time. Vs. this'un.

 Posted:   Oct 27, 2021 - 2:31 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Yeah but that wasn’t Goldsmith actually being involved himself, aside from cashing a check I guess! I mean, I wouldn’t say he was involved at all with The Next Generation, since others simply arranged his 1979 Trek theme.


 Posted:   Oct 27, 2021 - 4:12 PM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Dude, cashing checks is what it's all about!

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