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 Posted:   May 7, 2022 - 8:03 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

My brother put me on to this film when it was showing on Talking Pictures the other night, and deemed it "interesting". So much so that I had a look at it on YouTube. Pretty decent upload there.

It IS an interesting film, with some outstanding moments. Basically a psychological study and a whodunnit it doesn't quite work, but the storyline, photography (Douglas Slocombe), settings (a fairly grim London) and a good cast (Jack Hawkins, Richard Attenborough, Diane Cilento...) make it very watchable. The lead is actually Stephen Boyd and I still have to decide if his performance is just right or totally terrible. Best performance though comes from Pamela Franklin, fourteen years old at the time.

I was VERY impressed by Richard Arnell's music score. It's occasionally laid on too thick, but it's still really interesting music, blending a conventional symphonic approach with "Modernism" (12-Tone, avant-garde...) and a distinctive use of the piano.

So, this is where I put my level of nutmeggary on the table and say that I'd never heard of Richard Arnell. So what does I do? I goes and looks him up on "the computer". He's SUPER-famous for billions of symphonies, concerti and ballets and whatnot. And thus, because I don't actually KNOW any of you (you're all just a blur of nonsensical names to me), I can admit my ignorance without any feelings of "embarrassment" and ask you all if you have seen the film, if you liked it and the score, and if you are familiar with any of Arnell's output. I'm sure that member ("MusicMad"???) probably has ALL his symphonies, plus the vocal renditions by Val Doonican conducted by Percy Faith and Stanley Black.

 
 
 Posted:   May 7, 2022 - 8:11 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

I liked the film last time I watched. I bought it on dvd a while back. Boyd is usually worth a watch. As for music can't remember any!

 
 
 Posted:   May 7, 2022 - 8:15 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I liked the film last time I watched. I bought it on dvd a while back. Boyd is usually worth a watch. As for music can't remember any!

The thing about Boyd in this is that he's playing a difficult part in which he's not allowed to display what he's "really" thinking, so as not to give the plot away. But I'm still in two minds about whether his "confused" performance was deliberate, or a result of his not having a clue how to play it.

 
 
 Posted:   May 7, 2022 - 9:39 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

Benefit of the doubt, let's say he knew what he was doingsmile

 
 
 Posted:   May 7, 2022 - 11:52 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

The score is fantastic and what a shame it will never come out. But you can't go wrong with any of Arnell's classical output - it's tonal and tuneful and wonderful. You'll find a lot of it on YouTube to sample. And I love The Third Secret - I originally saw it about five months before its release at a sneak preview. I was mad for Pamela Franklin as a youth - she's just a couple years younger than I am. Her performance is fantastic.

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 3:40 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

The score is fantastic and what a shame it will never come out.

Not that I had thought of a soundtrack release, but now you mention it, why will it never come out? Rights issues? Zero interest?

I see that Arnell has a few more scores to his name. One intriguing title is from around the same time as THE THIRD SECRET. It's THE VISIT, starring Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn. "A French-Italian-German-American coproduction" (!) directed by Bernard Wicki (he did MORATURI, didn't he?)... According to Wiki (not Bernard Wiki), the score was by Arnell and Hans-Martin Majewski. Anyone know if this was co-composed, or if there were two different scores for two different markets?

Whatever, I shall certainly find the time to delve into the vast catalogue of symphonies and concerti by Arnell. Is it just my ignorance, or is he a relatively minor figure in 20th century music? I tend to think that it's my ignorance. Classical buffs please speak up.

Anyway, back to THE THIRD SECRET. I think I may have another look at it on YouTube. There's much to appreciate, and the score is indeed excellent.

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 3:55 AM   
 By:   Les Jepson   (Member)

The blu-ray is good, with some interesting extras about the film.

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 4:05 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Do you have any thoughts on the score, Les?

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 4:36 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

As a result I've just splashed out a couple of quid on Arnell's ballets - 'the great detective' and ' the angels'.

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 4:40 AM   
 By:   Dylan   (Member)

I am also curious why Bruce says, "what a shame it will never come out." That is a very definitive statement, implying that the situation with this score is in very real limbo, and if my reading into his wording is correct it's not because this score is lost.

 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 6:38 AM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

I see that Arnell has a few more scores to his name. One intriguing title is from around the same time as THE THIRD SECRET. It's THE VISIT, starring Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn. "A French-Italian-German-American coproduction" (!) directed by Bernard Wicki (he did MORATURI, didn't he?)... According to Wiki (not Bernard Wiki), the score was by Arnell and Hans-Martin Majewski. Anyone know if this was co-composed, or if there were two different scores for two different markets?


I have seen The Visit on the big screen during a Dürrenmatt retrospective in the 1990s. It's not a good film but there are still interesting elements in it. The casting of several actors is a major problem here. The screenplay doesn't do justice to Dürrenmatt's classic play. It's a terrible adaptation. The music is not particularly memorble in my opinion. I've just recently browsed through a digital copy of the film. There isn't much music in it. And I couldn't tell who of the two composers wrote what. I'm familiar with Majewski's but not with Arnell's music. I've recently thought about opening a new thread discussing the film and its score. But I think I'll use my time for something else instead.

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 6:55 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

The main title, by Majewski, is on this cd -



As Der Besuch.

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 10:33 AM   
 By:   Les Jepson   (Member)

Do you have any thoughts on the score, Les?

It's been a while since I watched it, Graham, and I don't recall much about the score. I'll give it another go and come back.

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 11:13 AM   
 By:   SJT69   (Member)

I don't remember much about Arnell's score for 'The Third Secret' although I do remember the film as intriguing but ultimately somewhat underwhelming. However, I can heartily recommend Arnell's concert works, particularly his highly accessible symphonies (try No.3 first) and a wonderful piano concerto. Big, bold and with a touch of melancholy. All have been recorded stunningly by Dutton Vocalion although I'm not sure if they're still in print. Might be worth checking eBay for used CDs for anyone wishing to take the plunge into Arnell's richly evocative and rewarding music.

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 11:15 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Recorded in England, and all those tapes of Fox low-budget films recorded there seem to be gone forever. Believe me, I asked about this and other titles.

 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 12:35 PM   
 By:   mgh   (Member)

But you can't go wrong with any of Arnell's classical output - it's tonal and tuneful and wonderful. You'll find a lot of it on YouTube to sample.

Arnell is a superb but over looked composer.
His Symphonies Nos. 2 and 4 are masterworks. Try them.

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 1:17 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

The first I heard of Richard Arnell was 1975 when he and Peter Day were credited with editing the revised edition of The Technique of Film Music. The 1957 original, edited by Roger Manvell and John Huntley, was a standard work in its time -- almost the only worthwhile book on film music for many years. Because the revision eliminated so much of the old material contributed by classic composers, I suspected some combination a modernist and/or English bias. It is the first edition that remains on my shelf today.

Arnell's music was (and is) largely unknown in the USA, though I see that Bernard Herrmann was an advocate in his radio days. Wikipedia has a good article on Arnell, and you can sample his substantial oeuvre on Spotify. It's not as off-putting as I had imagined. Need to learn more about this guy.

 
 Posted:   May 8, 2022 - 2:57 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Recorded this off talking pictures last week.
Bound to be on again soon

 
 
 Posted:   May 9, 2022 - 3:21 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Bruce, 'tis a pity that the tapes are gone. Oh well, plenty of concert music to enjoy.

Which brings me to the symphonies recommended by SJT69 and mgh. The easiest way to work through the ones you recommended I listen to first is to do them in numerical order, so last night I listened to his Symphony No 2. It was absolutely magnificent! That's the great thing about not knowing much about anything - one can only but grow.

Regarding the Symphony No 2, and with my extremely rudimentary knowledge of classical music, I immediately heard a great similarity between it and much of Franz Reizenstein's score for Hammer's THE MUMMY. Something in the contrapuntal writing and the syncopation (?) Now, again speaking from the pit of ignorance, I hear a lot of Paul Hindemith in Reizenstein's MUMMY score (and also in his CIRCUS OF HORRORS), much more evident than in Reizenstein's own classical repertoire. So basically I'm trying to find a connection between Richard Arnell and either Paul Hindemith and/or Franz Reizenstein. It is of course entirely possible that no connection exists, but at the same time MY OWN EARS heard a GREAT similarity between Arnell's Symphony No 2 and Reizenstein's MUMMY score.

So it's my reality, which is real enough for me. Looking forward to hearing Arnell's other stuff.

 
 Posted:   May 9, 2022 - 2:43 PM   
 By:   robertmro   (Member)

The Third. Secret can be viewed on YouTube in the US at this time. I watched it last night based on the recommendation. It was actually pretty good. The cinematographer was excellent and acting in particular Pamela Franklin was excellent. Boyd was good as usual though the dialect and direction was a bit bombastic at times. Still quite a watchable film for me.

I also liked the score very much. It was very atmospheric and worked well with the film. The style of the music was not unlike many good scores of the time drawing from 20th century avant-garde music. I know nothing about music composition so this is just my impression. I wouldn’t mind if films were still scored this way.

I can also recommend the film especially for the music. Good call.

 
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