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 Posted:   May 7, 2022 - 8:58 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

This is the main theme with vocal I believe Ford was alluding to:

 
 Posted:   May 7, 2022 - 8:59 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

I wouldn't say the score by David Shire is "lovely". What's lovely about this score? It's dramatic and at times majestic. The repair scene is solid cinema with terrific music.

The main theme is lovely. My opinion. My thread. The score has charm, it soars beautifully with the Zeppelin in flight. I find it a rather gentle theme and quite lovely. I don't require anyone else to think so.

 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 1:17 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)


Someone in Universal Studios thought it was a Great Idea to go over to the Old Folks Directing Home on 1313 Mockingbird Lane in Hollywood…and Dig Up Robert Wise! Who could not direct a dog peeing.


Said a person who apparently never saw CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE, BODY SNATCHER, THE SETUP, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, THE HAUNTING, probably the most frightening film of all time, and managed to steer the mammoth and troubled STAR TREK-TMP to its release date, and for whatever disputes remain about the film itself, managed to create a memorable big screen cinematic experience.

So, the statement is absurd and ill-considered.

That said, THE HINDENBURG was no one's finest hour except perhaps Whitlock's and Shire's.


Robert Wise was 61 when he directed THE HINDENBURG, that's hardly old.

 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 5:59 AM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

I wouldn't say the score by David Shire is "lovely". What's lovely about this score? It's dramatic and at times majestic. The repair scene is solid cinema with terrific music.

The main theme is lovely. My opinion. My thread. The score has charm, it soars beautifully with the Zeppelin in flight. I find it a rather gentle theme and quite lovely. I don't require anyone else to think so.




Thanks for the explanation. I get your point about the music even though I don't share it in the 'lovely' matter.

I've seen the film quite often over the years (but never on the big screen unfortunately). It doesn't bore me. The only thing that I think was musically missed was the song and, most of all, those lyrics. Such a performance would hardly have been possible on the real Hindenburg flight.

 
 
 Posted:   May 9, 2022 - 12:58 AM   
 By:   mark_so   (Member)

I wouldn't say the score by David Shire is "lovely". What's lovely about this score? It's dramatic and at times majestic. The repair scene is solid cinema with terrific music.

The main theme is lovely. My opinion. My thread. The score has charm, it soars beautifully with the Zeppelin in flight. I find it a rather gentle theme and quite lovely. I don't require anyone else to think so.


Agreed. I think it's that peculiar blending of the "sweet" winds with a very restrained use of brass that gives it that loveliness! It's so warm and intimate, while also conveying this wonderful sense of floating and freedom of motion.

 
 
 Posted:   May 9, 2022 - 1:38 PM   
 By:   townerbarry   (Member)

This is the main theme with vocal I believe Ford was alluding to:

I believe on the Original Recording of David Shire’s The Hindenburg…it was a female performer recorded and Robert Wise nixed that idea.

If my memory is correct? Wasn’t it discussed here moons ago?

 
 
 Posted:   May 9, 2022 - 2:15 PM   
 By:   TheFamousEccles   (Member)

This is the main theme with vocal I believe Ford was alluding to:

I believe on the Original Recording of David Shire’s The Hindenburg…it was a female performer recorded and Robert Wise nixed that idea.

If my memory is correct? Wasn’t it discussed here moons ago?


Yes, your memory about this is mostly correct. Shire originally wrote the theme as a duet between soprano and trumpet counterpoint. When it was recorded at the session, one of the producers or executives (though not Wise) said that he didn't understand why the soprano wasn't singing lyrics, and that it would be confusing to an audience. So, Shire reworked it so the trumpet took the melody, and some of the counterlines from the original trumpet part were revoiced for other members of the orchestra.

The original version was recorded for a Silva compilation, and Shire recorded a chamber version of it for the wonderful "David Shire at the Movies" album, with soprano, trumpet, and himself at the piano. I think it's one of his most beautiful main themes, and I love the Straussian (Richard) feeling of it.

A somewhat amusing, quasi-related story -- I conducted a performance of the original main title about seven years ago as part of a concert. It was done in a church with not great air circulation in the middle of summer, so the doors were kept open. We got to "The Hindenburg", and the soprano just carried through -- and apparently outside, as someone walking by heard her singing, and then came in for the rest of the concert! As wonderful as the "trumpet lead" version is in the film, it really works wonders the way it was originally conceived and written.

 
 
 Posted:   May 9, 2022 - 6:25 PM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

I saw THE HINDENBURG when it first came out, at a theater in Times Square. The theater was packed, and everyone ooh’ed and ah’d at those magnificent shots during the main titles. They really gave you a sense of the kind of awe those gigantic airships inspired.
Especially on a huge wide screen in a crowded movie palace.
The beautiful score was Shire’s frosting on the cake.

 
 
 Posted:   May 9, 2022 - 6:25 PM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

Amazing, how Whitlock’s images and Shire’s music combined to create a sense of just how inspiring the original airships were. Writers in the 30’s tried to describe them. They were actually thought to be the future of aviation.
I’ve seen the original hangar for them outside Akron, Ohio, and it is immense!

 
 Posted:   May 10, 2022 - 2:29 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Amazing, how Whitlock’s images and Shire’s music combined to create a sense of just how inspiring the original airships were. Writers in the 30’s tried to describe them. They were actually thought to be the future of aviation.
I’ve seen the original hangar for them outside Akron, Ohio, and it is immense!


Yeah, the Hindenburg was roughly the size of the Titanic, except it floated majestically in the air.

I remember that I saw the movie way back when I was a kid and was pretty impressed by it, simply because I was in awe of that huge floating airship. I don't remember much of the plot though, something about the ship blown up because of sabotage? In any case, whether it was a gas leak or sabotage or an accident, the main reason the Hindenburg blew up within seconds was likely that it was filled with highly flammable Hydrogen, when it should have been filled with much less reactive Helium. It was a flying fire-bomb. A beautiful flying fire-bomb though. I would love to travel by airship.

 
 Posted:   May 10, 2022 - 5:08 AM   
 By:   jackfu   (Member)

Thanks, Ron! The timing of your thread is perfect; 85 years to the day.

I saw the film in '75 and it was on TV last weekend as well.
I find the film and the score very enjoyable.
I remember in '75 being concerned that it was going to be styled too much like Murder on the Orient Express from the previous year.

For me, ensemble movies can be a blessing or a curse. When the cast chemistry is right it can be awesome. Often, however, they can be contests of each of the big names trying to outshine one another or it's as if they're all just showing up to earn a paycheck. Too much of the energy of the film can be dissipated by trying to highlight too many of the actors in their own vignetttes. I think the chemistry is about right in this film.

Anyway, it's mostly well-paced with an air of suspense that builds well. Crazy, I know, but I think I'd rather have seen Roy Thinnes as Ritter and Scott as Vogel. Scott had a more dominant screen presence and could have been more intimidating.

Awesome special effects for the day. While some of the rescue/eascape scenes were too much like those in Earthquake, others looked quite believable.

Shire's score is just right. "Prelude to the Holocaust" really highlights the attempt to defuse the bomb without overpowering the scene.

At the time of the disaster, the US was the world's major supplier of helium and due to Germany's military actions, the US would not sell it to them, for fear the Nazis would use it for millitary applications. So, they were pretty much forced to use hydrogen, which they had been doing with a good safety record until 5/6/37.
I recall either seeing a documentary or reading one with the theory that wind gusts caused the tail of the zep to strike the mooring tower with sufficient force to crack a portion of the frame and allow hydrogen to escape, which was then ignited by a static spark.

 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2022 - 10:51 PM   
 By:   Filmscoremonty   (Member)



The original version was recorded for a Silva compilation, and Shire recorded a chamber version of it for the wonderful "David Shire at the Movies" album, with soprano, trumpet, and himself at the piano. I think it's one of his most beautiful main themes, and I love the Straussian (Richard) feeling of it.



 
 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2022 - 5:15 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

Robert Wise is one of the biggest directorial talents in the history of Hollywood, his major film achievements are numerous, and he had expertise in every area of film making.

 
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