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 Posted:   Mar 30, 2006 - 2:55 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Now in preparation for release through Screen Archives Entertainment is Max Steiner's 1939 score to the classic Bette Davis drama DARK VICTORY. Audio production is being done at CR Studios and Screen Archives' Charles Johnston is, of course, creating the design. This is a Brigham Young University Film Music Archives Presentation.

For a preview, please visit the Chelsea Rialto Studios website:

http://www.chelsearialtostudios.com

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 30, 2006 - 3:11 PM   
 By:   Niall from Ireland   (Member)

Now in preparation for release through Screen Archives Entertainment is Max Steiner's 1939 score to the classic Bette Davis drama DARK VICTORY. Audio production is being done at CR Studios and Screen Archives' Charles Johnston is, of course, creating the design. This is a Brigham Young University Film Music Archives Presentation.

For a preview, please visit the Chelsea Rialto Studios website:

http://www.chelsearialtostudios.com



This is excellent news Ray. It looks and sounds wonderful, many thanks. I'm looking forward very much to this one and Marjorie Morningstar.

 
 Posted:   Mar 30, 2006 - 3:13 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Now in preparation for release through Screen Archives Entertainment is Max Steiner's 1939 score to the classic Bette Davis drama DARK VICTORY. Audio production is being done at CR Studios and Screen Archives' Charles Johnston is, of course, creating the design. This is a Brigham Young University Film Music Archives Presentation.

I just got this movie on DVD. I was hoping they'd have put on some isolated tracks, like they did on some earlier titles...but your news, Ray, is even BETTER!

How GREAT it is to get more Steiner when he was at the peak of his creative powers!

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 30, 2006 - 4:43 PM   
 By:   JEC   (Member)

Is this coming out before MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR?

 
 Posted:   Mar 30, 2006 - 4:46 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

It certainly is a gorgeous cover. I really have enjoyed last spring's release of The Fountainhead, one of my favorite Steiner scores. My wallet hurts...

 
 Posted:   Mar 30, 2006 - 5:32 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Is this coming out before MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR?

No, MARJORIE should be available in 2-3 weeks (she's having her hair done as we speak!)

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 1, 2006 - 5:58 PM   
 By:   PFK   (Member)

Thanks for the good news Ray. All the BYU CDs are outstanding. I'm greatly looking forward to Dark Victory and Marjorie Morningstar.

Ray, can you post the cover and cues to Marjorie Morningstar? Thanks ....... Peter

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 5, 2006 - 7:53 PM   
 By:   PFK   (Member)

Thanks Ray for posting the cover to Marjorie Morningstar at your web site. Very nice indeed. Can't wait for MM and Dark Victory soon.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 6, 2006 - 6:48 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Perhaps now we can finally answer Miss Davis's question to the director: "Is Max dying, am or I?"

Bravo, Ray, I'm sure it's another masterful presentation!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 6, 2006 - 8:51 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....Perhaps now we can finally answer Miss Davis's question to the director: "Is Max dying, am or I?".....


I always thought this Davis quote was very amusing, and, indeed, she probably said it on the set at the time, but, IMO there is not really much acting required here except simply the underplayed performance of a blind woman walking up a long staircase, climbing into bed, and pulling the covers up.

Doing it silent wouldn't have made much sense as Max virtually gives the scene its resonance and strong emotion---otherwise Davis could have collapsed at the bottom of the staircase for a quick fadeout. As it is now, the scene is one of the most classic film endings of all time.

Davis played the scene with dignity, strength and inevitability, and whether she liked it or not, she and Max were often a symbiotic couple in her films---each contributing something to the whole.

In the end, I can't imagine the whole sequence done virtually silent by acting alone----unless Davis had planned, without Max, to stagger on the stairs, knock a second-floor- landing plant stand over, bump into her bedroom door casing, trip on the bedroom carpet, miss the bed several times, and fumble for the covers, before slipping off into the end titles. (Although, of course, all that would have been memorable as well!) big grin big grin big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 6, 2006 - 9:47 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

You probably mean the projection room, not the set, since of course the underscoring wouldn't have been involved in shooting the scene. To her credit, Davis had very complimentary things to say about Steiner's contributions overall to her films, including, if I recall aright, "Max knew more about drama than any of us."

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 6, 2006 - 11:06 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....You probably mean the projection room, not the set, since of course the underscoring wouldn't have been involved in shooting the scene. To her credit, Davis had very complimentary things to say about Steiner's contributions overall to her films, including, if I recall aright, "Max knew more about drama than any of us.".....


Actually, Preston, I DID mean the set. As you know, these kinds of extended silent scenes always need to be thought out carefully as to how they will play on the screen. Will you go it alone, with only ambient set noise and the hiss of the soundtrack.....will your work only be accompanied by external source noises or source music in the background.....or will it be fully scored?

The tempo of the scene as played out on the set in terms of staging and movement certainly changes, depending on what is planned down the road in post-production. Sometimes you actually leave "holes" in the dramatic moments, which play out badly in rough cut, but finally make sense when the score is added in.

In the case of DARK VICTORY, of course, no one probably knew in advance what melodies old Max would come up with, but they certainly knew he WOULD score it, and THAT leads to a certain kind of staging with more dependence on music to help carry it along.

I feel certain Miss Davis' quip had more to do with how much than whether.

And, most assuredly, Davis respected good talents around her including Steiner, who she would occasionally mention in career interviews.

How many actors today give credit to the composers who underscore their dramatics?

"Mr. Stick Man", anybody?

 
 Posted:   Apr 6, 2006 - 11:10 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

.

How many actors today give credit to the composers who underscore their dramatics?

"Mr. Stick Man", anybody?

Heston praised Goldsmith for Planet of the Apes, Greg Peck did same for Bernstein in To Kill a Mockingbird.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 7, 2006 - 11:53 AM   
 By:   Melchior   (Member)

And did not Katherine Hepburn insisted on John Barry┬┤s talents for her later movies?

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 7, 2006 - 1:52 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

And Hans Salter had the pleasure of sitting behind Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Stewart at the premiere of BEND OF THE RIVER and hearing them comment to each other afterward on how good the music was.

Mr. Manderley,

Forgive me for thinking you'd made a slip of the tongue. Respecting you and your accomplishments as I do, I should have known better. That said, however, (and please forgive me again for taking issue with your post), everything you say is true as far as it goes, concerning general procedure. But the way this particular story has come down, the whole point was that Davis wasn't speculating, she was reacting to what she heard when she saw the scene after it had been scored. Of course, I wasn't there, and the whole story may be apocryphal, like a lot of movie lore, but that was the story.

In any event, to get back to the original point of Ray's thread:

DARK VICTORY on CD -- Hooray! Victory indeed!

 
 Posted:   Apr 7, 2006 - 3:33 PM   
 By:   RcM   (Member)

I thought the Davis quote was something like... "Either I go up those stairs or Max does - but we're not going up together!"

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 7, 2006 - 4:16 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....Mr. Manderley,

Forgive me for thinking you'd made a slip of the tongue. Respecting you and your accomplishments as I do, I should have known better.....



Preston.....no problem at all, and I, in turn, apologize if I sounded curt in my reply to you.


.....That said, however, (and please forgive me again for taking issue with your post), everything you say is true as far as it goes, concerning general procedure. But the way this particular story has come down, the whole point was that Davis wasn't speculating, she was reacting to what she heard when she saw the scene after it had been scored. Of course, I wasn't there, and the whole story may be apocryphal, like a lot of movie lore, but that was the story.....


The thing I find particularly interesting is how these stories develop. You are a writer, Preston, attuned to the written word, and can probably cite the material in which you read the Davis quote. If you can, I'd love to know as, at the moment, I'm going on memory of how exactly I heard or read it.

I am a "visual" person, primarily, and tend to place the context of a quote---with a visual picture of the moment it was uttered---in my memory bank for retrieval. I wonder if anyone else does this, or do they simply remember a quote, in and of itself.

Anyway, the way I remember the quote is Davis turning to Goulding on the set and saying, "Am I going up the stairs alone or is Max coming with me?"

Preston, because our stories, yours and mine, are so different in their context, I wonder if this particular issue was a sore point with Davis right from the start. It is one of the famous "filming" stories that is told over and over, unlike most work-a-day discussions behind-the-filmmaking-scenes. If BOTH our stories were essentially true, then mine sets up the problem in her mind, and yours, set later in the projection room confirms her worst suspicions and gives voice to her possible feeling that she was somehow remiss and couldn't capture the dramatic moment by herself, alone. (.....An interesting comment on actor insecurities and/or ego, actually.)

I know there will be some who enter this thread and think our discussion is not pertinent at all to a film music board, but I disagree strongly, because it cuts to the heart of ACTUAL film scoring intent. Does a scene like this get scored.....where does one begin and end.....how much does the composer try to add to the on-screen visual portrayal of emotion.....and how far does he go!


As for apocryphal stories, I once worked on a film in the early '70s with a stunt consultant who was then in his mid-70s. He was a great old guy and once he learned I was interested in film history, and could supply him with some of the names (he had forgotten) to go with his remembered stories, we became fast friends.

One day he vividly told me the John Ford "torn-pages-out-of-the-script-to-put-you-back-on-schedule" story. He had worked with the Ford unit over the years and said he was standing right there when it happened. Since he didn't fully know the depth of my knowledge of film history, I would occasionally pose a question to him to see if he was accurate and sort of validate his stories. They always checked out, so who knows.

Anyway, while the story was essentially the same the details were very different from the stories I'd read. I suppose history, even film history, depends on the compression and elision of events to make the stories stronger and more memorable. Who knows.


It's always fascinating, discussing these things with you, Preston. Thanks again.


As for DARK VICTORY, and Mr. Faiola's original post, certainly any of us knowing Steiner's work, and this score, will snap it up immediately.

Ray has been doing such a beautiful job making these releases sound good (considering the actual acetate sources), and Craig, Ray, SAE and BYU are to be commended for continuing to invest their time and money in these projects for us.

And, I can't help but feel that ANY discussion that impinges on the release of these scores, however seemingly off-the-beaten-track, like Bette Davis' "feelings", encourages those who are unfamiliar with the work to at least get curious.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 7, 2006 - 4:22 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....I thought the Davis quote was something like... "Either I go up those stairs or Max does - but we're not going up together!".....


.....And yet another version! Thank you for putting that forward, RcM. THAT sounds like Davis.

Ahhh, film history! It's good that everything's so precise and locked down for all eternity! big grin

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 7, 2006 - 5:06 PM   
 By:   Joe Caps   (Member)

THe way I heard this story is that BEtte wanted to know if Max was scoring the scene or not. Her thought was that if the scene was NOT scored, she would have todo everything bigger. If it was score, she could be more low key in what she did.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 7, 2006 - 5:11 PM   
 By:   Bond1965   (Member)

.....I thought the Davis quote was something like... "Either I go up those stairs or Max does - but we're not going up together!".....


.....And yet another version! Thank you for putting that forward, RcM. THAT sounds like Davis.

Ahhh, film history! It's good that everything's so precise and locked down for all eternity! big grin



This is the way I heard the story too.

I'm VERY excited about this release, but I was wondering if there was any chance we'll eventually see NOW, VOYAGER someday. That is my favorite Bette Davis/Max Steiner film.

James

 
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