Sep 22, 2022 - 3:56 PM
Courtesy of Films In Review
Alfred Newman, whom many consider to be the screen's foremost composer-conductor, revealed a dazzling insight to the eminent Gerald Pratley in a CBC interview early in 1959: "I have written many scores for films, among them The Song Of Bernadette, How Green Was My Valley, The Robe, Wuthering Heights and All About Eve. None has touched me as personally as The Diary Of Anne Frank."
When Alfred Newman wrote the score for The Diary Of Anne Frank he was at the pinnacle of an art form he helped create. A child prodigy at eight, a concert pianist assuming economic responsibility for his entire family at twelve, conducting Broadway's greatest successes at seventeen, Newman first arrived in Hollywood in 1930 at the behest of Irving Berlin. It was Berlin who first proposed to Joseph M. Schenck, then head of United Artists, that Newman be brought to the West Coast to arrange, orchestrate and conduct Berlin's score for a comedy called Reaching For The Moon.
Once settled in Hollywood, Newman elected to make it his home. As a filmusic pioneer he was Samuel Goldwyn's trusted music director and wrote some of the 1930's finest film scores for such Goldwyn films as Street Scene, Arrowsmith, Dodsworth, Stella Dallas, The Hurricane, Dead End and Come And Get It. In 1933 Darryl F. Zanuck and Schenck formed a new company, 20th Century Pictures, and shared the United Artists studios with Goldwyn; Newman was appointed music director and composed and recorded the fanfare trademark for 20th Century that became synonomous with the special essence of Hollywood magic. In 1935, 20th merged with Fox Films, and in '40 Newman became the studio's general music director.
For 20 years he headed the music department at 20th Century-Fox, a tireless, inventive and imaginative composer, a superb conductor, about whom Bernard Herrmann asserted, "Alfred Newman helped raise the state of the art to perfection." Memorable among his many great scores at 20th Century-Fox are The Keys Of The Kingdom, The Razor's Edge, Captain From Castile, The Snake Pit, A Letter To Three Wives, Pinky, Prince of Foxes, David And Bathsheba, The President's Lady, Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing, and Anastasia. At the same time, incredibly, he was film's finest adaptor/supervisor of the filmusical. His output in this genre between 1948 and 1970 included five Rodgers and Hammerstein stage hits, successfully translated to film in collaboration with his close friend and associate, film's greatest kappelmeister, Ken Darby: Carousel, The King And I, South Pacific, Flower Drum Song and State Fair. In addition, he was a superb executive responsible for the single-handed creation of the justifiably famous 20th Century-Fox Orchestra, a passionate advocate of his musicians' rights and an enthusiastic promoter of the careers of Bernard Herrmann, Alex North, Hugo Friedhofer, David Raksin, Franz Waxman, Cyril J. Mockridge, Leigh Harline and others, at 20th Century-Fox.
"Even allowing for the kind of hyperbole associated with Hollywood," wrote the brilliant film historian Tony Thomas, "there is no risk in claiming Alfred Newman as the most remarkable man in the history of film music and one whose like we will probably never see again." Composer-historian Fred Steiner noted: "Of all the great names associated with the history of sound film scoring, none had a career more fabulous than that of Alfred Newman ... ultimately the most decorated of Hollywood musicians (9 Academy Awards and 45 nominations)." Dean of filmusic critics, Donald Bishop Jr., stated that when Newman was assigned to write the score for The Diary Of Anne Frank "it was the obvious culmination of thirty years writing film's most sensitive music, and cause for celebration" (my italics). Later, Bishop, in writing the linear notes for the album of all-too-brief excerpts from the score for The Diary Of Anne Frank (20th Fox SFX 3012), noted: "The score for The Diary Of Anne Frank has been acclaimed as one of the greatest ever recorded on motion picture and sound track. It is the inspired work of the greatest composer-conductor in motion pictures, Alfred Newman.... In concept, in sound, in quality and performance, Alfred Newman's score for The Diary Of Anne Frank is unsurpassed."
Newman, then poised at the very end of his career at 20th Century-Fox (he left the studio the following year), was the pre-eminent, the only, choice to compose for The Diary Of Anne Frank: producer-director George Stevens, whom not a few believe to be one of the greatest directors of sound motion pictures, felt Newman was "the most logical composer in films who should score The Diary Of Anne Frank." Stevens' selection of Newman was widely acclaimed (they had had a long standing collaboration and friendship that started with the filming of Gunga Din in 1938). "A wiser, or more fortuitous, decision may never had been made in film music assignments," declared Clark Ward Barent, echoing the eminence in which Newman was held. After an already exemplary succession of important and superbly realized films and scores, Newman had finally approached the one subject for which he had been searching, perhaps without even being aware this was to be his quintessential achievement.
Anne Frank's diary, one of the most remarkable documents of hope to emerge from the Holocaust, as dramatized by the distinguished husband and wife authors, Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, became in 1955 one "of the most beautiful plays in the English language," winning the Pulitzer Prize as well as the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and the Antoinette Perry Award. The Hacketts were the first major playwrights to interview Anne's father, Otto Frank. Their resultant play was a masterly traversal through Anne Frank's poetic and heart rending journal: nearly every page of the diary is reflected in their text by word, deed and spirit. Stevens, the master of detail, while preparing to make The Diary Of Anne Frank in 1957, sat in the original attic in Amsterdam with Mr. Frank. "After serious hesitation," he recalled, "I asked Mr. Frank a question for which I felt I must have the answer. 'Can you tell me something about what happened when the Gestapo broke into this room .. . how was it they did not find and destroy the diary?' Mr. Frank replied that during the raid the sergeant in charge seized his briefcase which contained Anne's book, demanding to know if it contained any valuables. Opening it and discarding the papers inside, he used the briefcase to carry off the silverware and Chanukah Menorah." Among the "worthless" papers thrown to the floor was Anne's diary.
When Alfred Newman had been assigned the composition of The Diary Of Anne Frank in early 1958 he was, luckily, in Amsterdam, having just finished conducting his gracious score for 20th's filmization of Francoise Sagan's A Certain Smile in Munich. There, he visited the Secret Annexe: "It was a strange experience," he told Pratley. "Standing in that room where Anne lived and from where she was eventually led away to die, I had a mixed feeling of exaltation and repugnance. George (Stevens) decided that our film shouldn't be one of doom and gloom but that we should concentrate on the love and humour of these people."
During his visit to Amsterdam, George Stevens Jr. was able to arrange for Newman to lunch with Otto Frank at the Amstel Hotel. Newman related their meeting to Pratley: "I found in Mr. Frank a man wise in the ways of the world, but totally unembittered. When he inquired as to what the music would be like I could only tell him in the abstract as I had not as yet conceived any individual themes, but what touched me most about Anne's book was its spirituality and that was what I wanted to say in the music. I did reassure him that I was very familiar with Anne's diary and our script, that all the music would be motivated by the high ideals, the tenderness and the spiritual qualities inherent in their family life and their special badge of courage.
"Later, when I wrote the score I didn't try to illustrate what was happening on screen. I attempted to evoke with music the memory of a happier past, the hope for a happier future, the longings of oppressed peoples and the love of family, one for the other, and most of all, the great dignity and courage of the Frank family and their friends in the face of disaster. For Anne, I tried to achieve in her music her youth, her simple candor, her warmth, and her abiding and inspiring faith."
The 30-odd "cues" which comprise the extraordinary score for The Diary Of Anne Frank are clear, distinctive musical motifs --expressing both character and gesture, as well as period, location and milieu (in which Newman, in my opinion, was without peer)--that make the score much more than the sum of small parts. The result is not only an immensely compelling score but a thoroughly cohesive one that continually expands from within. The composer has at once broached the heart of the tragedy: and it is the developing character of Anne herself that he approaches most personally. The expressive intimacy of the music with which Newman portrays Anne confronts us immediately in the two musical introductions to the film, and score, propre: The Overture and Main Titles' Prelude. The graceful waltz-like theme redolent of Anne's innocent past--in divided strings (the timbre most associated with Anne throughout the score)--seems concomitantly prescient of the more mature young girl whom we will follow as she writes so profoundly about Nature and Life. Newman's "clue" for this insight: Otto Frank knew and loved the waltzes of Johann Strauss, had danced to them at the turn of the century. What could be more natural for Anne to hum than a few bars from "Tales From The Vienna Woods" in one of the film's most enchanted moments, as her father dances with her. The Straussian textures thus lend animation to Anne's theme itself with its Old World charm.
Just as Stevens orchestrated the Hackett drama into a manifestation of his own personal filmmaking insights, Newman's score is subjected to a meticulous interaction with Stevens' aural concept through a continuous network of sounds: the stream of off-screen tugboats chugging up the Prinsengracht, the cries of the sea gulls, the rattling of trains, the sound montage of a vociferous bund rally. Not only is this batter of sounds terrifying, over and through which the families must exist, but the tread of SS officers in the streets is brutally paralyzing to the senses. The machine gun bursts during the 'nightmare,' the continual air raids of varying intensity and tonal range, and the film's most disturbing reiteration of the Green Police sirens, all are intensified by the deft interfusion with the strength of Newman's serene music. Just as every creak and shudder in the attic is arranged to heighten the desperate plight of the families, their stealth of survival is given human resonance by Stevens use of Newman's own sound fabric.
Stevens' cinematic conception under the main titles is at once a visual expression of the diary's spirit: a huge panorama of magnificent cumulous clouds set upon a clear sky in which gulls soar in and out of frame, glorifying Anne's continual observations throughout her diary of nature's perpetuation of the cycle of life outside. Newman's music enlarges all of Stevens' delicate communicative underpinning, down to the patter of snowflakes on the attic sill. Newman's judicious scoring nurtures the eloquence of the diary's constant references to the clear sky, the gulls gliding on the wind, the simile of freedom and escape from persecution that threatens every moment of the story. Newman accomplishes this heartening, almost subliminal "pushing-out" of the cramped interiors, and the characters' equally cramped states of mind, with restraint and incisive tension. Yet, by his own admission, in a series of "Notes on the music for The Diary Of Anne Frank" he carefully weighs and is always mindful that Anne regarded the Secret Annexe as their "beautiful hiding place." Newman's resourcefulness, through his probing, archetypal lyric expansiveness, finds release in a soaring, outdoors-fresh breath of air, as his music and his scoring of his thematic inventions, simultaneously evokes Anne's longings and the wide open spaces Anne and the others crave and are denied. The evocation of Anne's hopes finds in Newman's ethos an achingly bittersweet translucency, stunning in the symmetry of myriad rhythms and murcurial tempo changes that match William Mellor's wide-screen camera poetry in a way not achieved by any other Cinema-Scope films of the '50s. The discriminative joining of sight and sound gives The Diary Of Anne Frank a deeply languorous and free flowing current that sets off the tension, despair and icy terror implicit in the families' day-to-day existence, and yet with Anne's ingenuous absorption of nature throughout her diary, and the certainty that happiness is possible, she inspires hope ... and that hope is embodied within Newman's musical metaphor for life. Consider Anne's entry of Saturday, 12 February 1944: "The sky is a deep blue, there is a lovely breeze and I'm longing, so longing, for everything ... and I do so long ... to cry . . . it is an effort to,behave normally, I feel utterly confused, don't know what to read, what to write, what to do. I only know that I am longing." Or the entry of Wednesday, 23 February 1944: "Nearly every morning I go to the attic . . . from my favorite spot I look up at the sky and the sea gulls as they glide on the wind ... Peter stood and I sat down and we looked outside, and both felt that the spell should not be broken with words... the best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy, is to go outside where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. As long as this exists I know that there will always be comfort for every sorrow, and I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles . .. I long for freedom and fresh air ... when I looked outside right into the depths of nature and God then I was happy, really happy so long as I have that happiness here, the joy in nature, one can always recapture happiness . . . riches can be lost, but that happiness in your own heart can only be veiled and it will still bring you happiness again, as long as you live. As long as you can look fearlessly up into the heavens, as long as you know that you are pure within and that you will still find happiness."
The original score for The Diary Of Anne Frank remains, in my view, the most perfect wedding of sight and sound achieved in the art of the motion picture. Criminally, alas, Alfred Newman's finest achievement, was not to be experienced until now, 31 years after the film's original premiere. The Diary Of Anne Frank premiered at New York's Palace Theatre March 18, 1959, with a running time of 183 minutes, including the Overture, two Entr'actes and a Postlude.
Within months of its roadshow presentation 20th Century-Fox ordered Stevens to reduce the film's length (cf. Cukor's A Star Is Born, Mankiewicz's Cleopatra, et al.). Stevens complied with a trimmed 150 minute version, but in doing so cruelly altered the film's basic poetic rhythms, as well as shearing the Hackett's script, reducing the exquisite performance of Millie Perkins in the title role, and virtually every other member in his brilliant cast of players. Joseph Schildkraut's eloquent performance was vitiated as well: in fact his best scene, the return from the film's opening flashback, was eliminated, and much of Newman's score was emasculated. For 31 years the original premiere cut of Stevens' masterpiece has remained in limbo. The "trimmed" version drastically changed the film's original textures and scope by deleting whole scenes and one of the play's noblest inventions in Otto Frank's confession--"She puts me to shame"--after reading Anne's belief that "In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart." There were constant inter-edits throughout every scene in the film, pieces of important dialogues (Frank telling Miep and Kraler, in the opening, "I'm alone"), salient individual moments (Frank retrieving Anne's glove from the floor and his ensuing sobbing), Anne's reconciliation with her mother (Gust) Huber's tender performance compromised), all destroying Stevens' lyrical vision and residually robbing the magnificent contributions of the entire cast and production staff with awkward and spastic halts and a new--imposed by the "trims"--jerkier, faster pacing. Most damaging, Millie Perkins' central, radiant performance was brutally reduced by the excision of many of her most moving moments (i.e. her speech as she falls asleep after her nightmare).
Perhaps nowhere was the damage more incalculable and destructive than in the calamities imposed on the music, which, in turn, abetted the "trimmed" version's jittery spasms so alien to Stevens' original poetical flow. The incessant inter-edits gave Newman's score a choppiness and patched quality, and, in several instances, because of so many trims, entire cues were removed rather than allowing them to remain piece-meal.
In what I regard as the most beneficent act of faith in the history of film reconstruction, CBS/Fox has done the world a service by issuing the complete, restored, roadshow premiere cut of Stevens' greatest film on wide-screen, stereo surround, laserdisc (1074-80). For 31 years only the mangled 150 minute version has circulated in theatres, TV, and home video. This restoration is a triumphant vindication of Stevens' original vision which produced a film unequalled in the evocation of hope, the very self-same attributes which ennobled Anne Frank's diary. Stevens' original cut has the perfect, inextricable order of a Rembrandt chiaroscuro. Together with Newman's heartbreaking music so exquisitely redolent of the longing, yearning, and indomitable spirit of Anne's innocent faith, this original director's cut of The Diary Of Anne Frank becomes as classic as the diary itself.
Part two of this article will detail the qualities of Newman's score, cue by cue, in an analysis accompanied by the composer's own notes.
The transcendent hope of Newman's musico-dramatic solution more than fulfills both its function as filmusic, and, on a much larger scale, the very stuff out of which Anne Frank composed her diary.
Films in Review Oct90, Vol. 41 Issue 10, p502. 5p
The particular phrase, Music Alfred Newman, which is the credit Newman usually reserved for himself during the main titles, is a revealing one, perhaps never more so than the following breakdown indicates. Newman's ear for local color, his sensitivity toward characterization, plot and mise-en-scene, through original composition as well as adaptations of original and folk music, supplied his scores with a verisimilitude that epitomized the function and creation of filmusic. In The Diary Of Anne Frank Newman's unsurpassed cinematic expertise, combined with his personal and artistic voces intimae, vivified the conflict of the everyday streets (in Jack Cardiff's brilliant location footage) on which a woman pushes a baby carriage during the day, with the tension of stormtroopers spraying machine gun fire after fleeing patriots at night. More importantly, Newman's use of music deflects emotion rather than succumbs to it, an impulse which sets soar to the more introverted aspects of the families' confinement. Frustrated, disoriented, the instinct for survival prompts the families' adjustment to their new life--"until it is over"--a theme of dual despair and transcendent hopefulness which permeates all the music in the score with underpinnings of subtle and all-encompassing truth in which the desperate knowledge of their plight resounds even in the most rhapsodic passages.
The Overture: Heraldic fanfares, based on "Anne And Peter's Theme," the carillon bells, and a long-lined string cantilena lead into the first, straightforward presentation of "The Diary" Theme, also called "Anne's Theme", in Mr. Newman's dictated notes. It is a melody of great poignancy, innocence and youthful ardor, tinged with elusive and fragile Straussian waltz-like textures.
Main Titles: "The Family Theme" opens the titles' a dignified and Parsifal-like melody of great restraint and warmth; "Anne and Peter's Theme" ensues, first in solo violin, then with full orchestra, for a large resolution, segueing to the chimes of the Westertoren clock.
Mr. Frank Returns To the Annex: From Mr. Newman's notes: "Chimes start 1:25-2/3 in continuity breakdown, playing Dutch song (which one?). Start the music at 2:39-2/3, which is a reverse long shot of Mr. Frank looking up at the building (P.O.V. from the interior of the building). In one of the dissolves preceding the latter, we start tolling the time of day (12 noon), working backward from 2:39-2/3. The last bell should fall on 2:39-2/3, the music then overlapping it exactly.
"The first musical scene should be broken down with great care, noting, among other things, the sound of Mr. Frank's footsteps as he wearily walks up the steps, the exact moment where he stands at the threshold of Anne's room, lifting the scarf off the hook, the motion as he places the scarf around his neck, the exact moment that the scarf contacts his neck, his shoulders' moving under the pressure, the retrieval from the floor of Anne's glove, his sob, the gesture of his fingers to his eyes. The music should go out, or rather overlap the chimes at 5:23-2/3. Check this with George (Stevens). Should this be the quarter hour chime, preceded by a version of the Carillon Song? I think, personally, that after the chimes there should be no music over the scene with Kraler and Miep. We have now approximately 5:30 minutes of music, excluding' the Overture, and I think the music of the diary, already hinted at when Mr. Frank opens the door to Anne's room, and soon to come up as he is handed the diary by Miep, will be more pointed by the framework of silence (musical) preceding it." Newman's variation of "The Family Theme" as Mr. Frank climbs the stairs to the annex is drained now of hope--the family is no more. In soft brass, metallic-sounding, despairing, it is only alleviated when he opens the door to Anne's room and then, ghostly solo violin and harp, counterpointed by the squeak of the hinge, softly intone Anne's theme.
The Diary and Flashback: Newman writes: "We would start at 7:55-2/3 on a transitory phrase as we cut to close three-shot when Miep moves forward to the cabinet. As Miep removes Diary from the cabinet, we refer, tentatively, to "The Diary." When she holds a diary in front of Mr. Frank (8:17-2/3), we start "The Diary" in solo violin perhaps. As Mr. Frank takes the diary and presses it close to him, make a crescendo. The music will continue over dissolve and start of flashback as cam begins first lengthy descent down stairs and Mr. Frank and Anne's arrival and continue through Anne's take-over narration and up stairs again." "The Diary Theme," as Anne mounts the stairs--"I am living a great adventure"--dissolves to the first pronouncement of "The Annex Theme" in soft brass, chordal, dark but here not sinister, as Anne arrives at the camouflaged bookshelf entry to the annex. Music ends with a brief reiteration of "Anne's Theme" as she enters to find the Van Daans waiting: Mr. Van Daan: "They have to walk three miles to get here."
"Until it is over": Mrs. Frank's utterance in answer to Mr. Frank's "This is the way we must live until it is over." "The Family Theme," followed by the delicate music Newman calls "The Children's Theme." This passage takes in the important "Star Of David" motif, which undergoes many major transitional variations later as, mostly, thematic invention (and first heard here when Anne chides Peter for cutting off the Star from his sleeve--"It's something they use to kick you around.").
The First Day: Newman notes: "This musical scene should have quiet tension--the endless passage of time referring, where it concerns Anne, to "The Diary" in some variant. It might be effective to write an ostinato based on a bell sound--relentless, constant. Point up the exterior shots showing the Green Police, using a variant, musicalized, of "The Green Police Siren." When Anne spells out the time, four o'clock, etc., anticipate each declamation with an orchestral effect, simulating a chime! There should be a slow two count for the orchestra bell before she speaks: perhaps we could equalize this so that each bell is equidistant. If not, we can easily displace these bell effects. Note: At some point near the end of the scene, the music should sense a sign of relief, and move upward, perhaps divisi in high strings." (This last notation does not occur in the film--the music merely fades out.) The awful monotony of the families keeping absolutely still is emphasized by the dull tread of the music and the carillon chiming the hour. This motif later becomes synonymous with danger and the entry of The Thief.
The Gift Of The Diary: Newman does many antithetical things here as comment on Anne's being left-out as Peter and Margot talk in the background. First, there is the opening of the box and Anne discovering her movie stars and the portrait of Queen Wilhelmina. "The Family Theme" intervenes as Mr. Frank tells her "there are no locks anyone can put on your mind" and consoles her with the "fine life" she will have in the annex. Anne embraces her father and the scene changes to Anne's first diary entry: "It is an odd idea to keep a diary. . . who would be interested in the unbosoming of a 13-year-old girl, but what does it matter, I want to write, I want to bring out all the things deep in my heart." A skillfully fluid treatment of "The Diary Theme" discloses Newman's sensitivity to the words and images. "The Dutch Resistance Theme" enters as Anne writes: "Wednesday, the 23rd of September, 1942, news of the war is good."
"A Ride on her bike, a visit with Sanne": Brief, thematic material for Mr. Frank noting "There's nothing wrong that a ride on her bike wouldn't cure." A siren goes off in the background mingling with the music for a powerful, albeit subtly disturbing, effect.
Sanne de Vries: Anne, pasting a picture of her best friend, Sanne--"Anna and Sanne, two skinny bananas"--with "Anne's Theme," in waltz-like tempo, delicate, soon engulfed by air raid sounds.
Modeling Mrs. Van Daan's fur coat: Music begins quietly on Mrs. Van Daan's "He'd go crazy without his cigarettes" and a lovely introduction to "The Waltz Theme" (later used for Anne's first date with Peter) for Anne modeling Petronella's fur coat.
The Radio: Miep's boyfriend has left the country to join the Resistance and she brings the families a concealed radio. Peter plugs it in and soft strains of "Tales From The Vienna Woods" commences as the families gather around in rapt attention. Newman soon brings the scoring of the Strauss waltz into full volume as pleasure erupts as the families dance among themselves in one of the film's most enchanted vignettes.
The Thief, Part One and Two: The ominous, dull "First Day Theme" reappears for the thief's first entry. The cue resumes delicately, as softly as it ended, with a solo violin for close-ups of individual faces as they hold their breaths in the dark.
Ericka: Another Stevens/Newman masterstroke: after Mr. Dussel's arrival (accompanied on the soundtrack by a vociferous train chugging outside), and Dussel's terrifying speech about conditions outside in which Anne learns of Sanne's deportation --for which there is no music--the scene ends with Mr. Van Daan's wry, "I like it better the way Kraler tells it." There is a dissolve of the families standing around, lost in despair, to the streets where soldiers parade to a jaunty marching band, a gay, and powerful coda to Dussel's speech, as well as an ironic and dramatic pay-off. Here, the march is heard in full, under a long traveling shot from outside in.
The Nightmare: Mr. Newman calls this a "deft sound montage" as it blends in a muffled brass version of "The Secret Annex Motif," here cast as a funeral dirge, with machine-gun fire and screams (Anne's and a woman on the streets) over Anne's nightmare of Sanne's internecine concentration camp swaying and bobbing.
Anne Calls for Her Father: "The Family Motif' as Mr. Frank consoles Anne after her nightmare, "There is so little we parents can do for our children," followed by "Anne's Theme" under her speech about "the good Anne inside and the bad Anne coming out." It becomes diaphanous as Anne falls asleep, segueing to "The Family Motif" as Mr. Frank returns to Mrs. Frank, her grief over Anne's rejection reflected in the somber variation, finally bursting into a full stringed statement of "The Annex Theme" as the scene dissolves to an exterior shot of the camera swooping down from the rooftops to the annex. "They have survived," notes Newman on this exquisite coda.
The Thief Returns: The dull tread of "The First Day Motif" reappears as a muted orchestral backdrop for the Chanukah service interrupted by the return of the thief downstairs. There is no music for the unbearable suspense of the ensuing scenes of Mr. Frank, Peter and Anne going downstairs to investigate; the arrival of the Nazi police; Mr. Frank, Peter and an unconscious Anne's retreat back to the annex; and the search of the building. Finally, after the danger has abated, and Mr. Frank has rallied the families to join Anne in singing the Chanukah song, the first Act concludes quietly.
Postlude to Act One: "The Family Theme" is heard in a strong, surging statement in dark strings, followed by a brief statement--the sheerest of Newman strings in all its' quintessential eloquence and tenderness--on "The Diary Theme," ending quietly on a dulcet diminuendo.
Act Two: Entr'acte: The second presentation of "The Anne And Peter Theme," glowingly scored as an "intimation of the indomitable spirit of youth". This segues to the carillon, and, in turn, to:
Saturday, The First of January, 1944: Anne in the attic by the window musing on the "sweet secret" of the commencement of her womanhood. Variations on "The Diary Theme" as Peter joins Anne--there is no dialogue--and they both watch the sky together as gulls soar and their theme takes flight for a glowing affirmation.
Conflict; Anne and Peter: Music begins under Mr. Dussel's "We can thank you son!" (The typewriter has been traced, the thief will eventually be caught to bargain with the SS, all of which Dussel anticipates, correctly): "The Annexe Theme" in a grim variation. Then, for Anne's defiance of her mother, "The Star of David Theme" returns under her speech, "We try to hang onto our ideals when everything about us is being destroyed and tumbling down around our ears." Anne rushes to the attic, snow falling in, Peter following, "I thought you were just fine." He brushes a snowflake from her eyelash as their theme underscores their new-found intimacy. Newman's treatment of the dialogue is sublimely insightful as the pair begin to realize their emotions.
A Date with Peter: "The Waltz Theme" returns for Anne posing before the mirror with a rose. "Anne's Theme" (the Diary) intervenes as she queries Margot about her attractiveness; "The Children's Theme" briefly underscores Margot's own aspirations.
"I Think You're Pretty": Anne visiting with Peter--their discussion of being kissed ("Anne's Theme" flute and harp duet). This is also the first presentation of "The Goodness Theme" when Anne speaks of the people who have helped them, fading into silence as Peter attempts to kiss Anne and she backs away.
The First Kiss: "Anne And Peter's Theme," briefly, for their eventual silhouetted kiss. As she exits, a veritable tintinnabulation of tinkling bells resounds as an introduction to "The Waltz Theme" which swells as Anne kisses Mr. Frank, Mrs. Frank, and finally, Mrs. Van Daan, goodnight.
Invasion Fever: "Anne's Theme" introduces the scene for her entry regarding their much prayed-for liberation. However, a cross-fade to the families watching, as the SS marches a group of Jewish families through the snowy streets to deportation, is underscored by a crushing distortion on "The Family Theme." This dissolves to the scene of clothes hanging on the line in the attic, Peter absentmindedly playing with the toy boat in a pail, and the ensuing beautiful moment as Anne rests her head on his shoulder, makes her way to the skylight window with Peter following, as they watch the clear sky together. Their theme resumes for a radiant development in this dialogue-less scene, ending with the carillon chimes.
D-Day: Martial music as we see the beautiful sky, this time streaked with planes of the Allies.
"Friends are coming": Brief, thematic, transitional music for Anne's entry, "I may be back in school by the fall." Cut to soldiers marching in the streets, music ends.
"The Dearness Of You, Peter ': After the tense scene of the telephone ringing downstairs, and the families' "downcast in despair,' Anne retreats to the attic, with Peter following her. "The Annex Theme" begins the cue, quickly fading to "Anne And Peter's Theme," the "Goodness Motif," and various key changes build Anne and Peter's music on the words, "Someday, when we get out. . ." abruptly cut off as the Green Police siren shrieks on the soundtrack and music is decapitated mid-phrase. This picks up:
The Kiss: The Green Police siren rends the air culminating in the sound of the van screaming to a halt. Under a shot angled out of the hiding place down to the street, where we see an SS officer placidly, ominously, standing guard, "Anne And Peter's Theme" resumes for it's strongest reprise, as Anne and Peter, knowing their most dreaded fear, being discovered, has occurred, kiss ardently as the camera literally rushes in on them, and their music shears the air in high volume sound.
Hope: As the SS crash down the door, Mr. Frank gathers the family by bringing their belongings to them. "A final, haunting tableaux'" notes Newman, as the soundtrack continues to build with the shattering noise of the forced entry, under which the warm, beautiful sound of "The Family Theme" begins as Mr. Frank softly tells them, "For the past two years we have lived in fear, now we can live in hope." The barbaric smashing sounds finally overwhelm the music.
Anne's Plea: Anne's narration of the final moments, under superimposed traveling fades of Anne and Peter and the Diary itself, and Anne's plea, "Please, please, if anyone should find this diary, please keep it safe for someday I hope . . ." Ends on cadence of "Anne's Theme" and a return to the opening scene of Mr. Frank in the attic finishing reading the Diary, and, coming to the end, telling Miep and Kraler, "(There is) No more."
"Now I know". Mr. Frank accounts the families' tragic fates, and, softly, under the following, "Anne's Theme" is heard solo violin, "Yesterday I was in Rotterdam . . . I met a woman who'd been with Anne in Belsen. . . now I know". He looks at the Diary again and we hear Anne's voice on the soundtrack speaking one of her final entries, "In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart" as her theme develops in the orchestra. Mr. Frank avows, "She puts me to shame" as an upward-moving dissolve of him clutching the diary, engulfed by the clouds and gulls soaring, fades to the final title card, The Diary Of Anne Frank. "The Anne And Peter Theme" grows for a cathartic crescendo of triumphant, contrasted harmonies in the final chords with the definitive Newmanesque peroration (a triplet figure in the brass). Fade out.
Postlude: A stylish, theatrical arrangement of four major themes from the score: "The Family Theme," "The Anne/Diary Motif," "The Waltz" (in full Straussian dress), and, finally, a fulminating, headlong development of "Anne And Peter's Theme" in a resoundingly final radiant denouement.
Newman transferred the original tracks from the score to a Fox soundtrack album (SFX-3012) that differed from the film's final cut (e.g., "The Dearness Of You, Peter' does not comply with Stevens' final version and is, obviously, one of the many revisions Newman made on the sequence). A discussion of the album vis a vis the final cut will appear in a forthcoming Sound Track to complete this special article on what I consider to be the screen's finest original film score.
By PAGE COOK
Films in Review
Vol.41, Issue 11/12
[erroneous introduction deleted]