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 Posted:   Nov 1, 2009 - 7:55 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

Anyone remember the TV Series BRACKEN'S WORLD, about the going ons at a Movie Studio?

David Rose, I believe wrote the Main Theme and a FSM Goldsmith Film/TV credits article once said that Jerry Goldsmith scored an Episode or more.

The series was filmed at 20th Century Fox and boasted many star cameos.

Here is the cool Main Title by David Rose:

http://www.televisiontunes.com/Brackens_World.html

Here is the vocal version of the Theme by The Lettermen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAHzKeeT-Vw&feature=related

Would love to hear Goldsmith's score from an episode entitled "A Score without Strings".


Zoob

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 1, 2009 - 10:36 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

I never missed an episode of Bracken's World - it was not a good show, but I really liked it anyway. Peter Haskell and Elizabeth Allen were fine, and yes, lots of cameos and interesting guest stars.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2009 - 5:05 AM   
 By:   Castile   (Member)

I loved this show. There are two episodes I remember in particular -- one had to do with an established actress doing her first nude scene, and the other had to do with an actress who wanted a role so much she put LSD or something in the leading lady's drink, hoping to step into the part. The cameo spots were fun. Would love not only some of the music on CD, but the show itself on DVD, though that's probably not likely to happen.

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2009 - 5:27 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

I have a 16mm print of "A Score Without Strings". Fine show and a terrific look at tv scoring in a dramatic framework.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 7, 2009 - 1:37 AM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

I agree with Ray.

I was lucky to have a friend find this episode somehow on a VHS which contained a few Bracken's World shows.


Very very interesting.

The story deals with a young film composer, who interestingly enough is named Jerry and who looks very much like the image of our beloved maestro, when he sported that funky beard/go-tee look he had circa 1969-70, (See the photo of Jerry in THE ILLUSTRATED MAN FSM CD Booklet) the exact time this episode was produced.

The composer in the show is named Jerry Stavis and is of a temperamental sort. An artist who has integrity and not one to sell out. He seems lonely and is soon attracted to one of the studio's starlets played by a post Nova and a little more chubby Linda Harrison.

What's great about this episode is, we see a working relationship or "non-working" relationship between a director and a composer.

There is a scene where the director says "I know nothing about music, but I know what I like when I hear it." Also there is some cool interchange about how the director wants what he heard the composer do at Carnegie Hall, but adapt it to his movie. Quite interesting.

When the composer is having trouble focusing and perhaps suffering from artistic block, the director and studio start getting nervous and want to hear the score for the film he has been hired to write. After some scenes of him courting Linda Harrison and their turbulent relationship, which is nicely scored by Jerry with a pretty love theme, which sounds like a close cousin to the "Recipe Sisters" Theme in THE HOMECOMING, Jerry would write a few years later.

Once the composer is able to write, it's fun to see him on the scoring stage conducting a sequence from the film entitled "TWO" which looks to be a Suspense/Mystery story. We actually see the Jerry character lookalike conducting musicians, who seem to be actual studio musicians. This is quite cool as we see the screen with click track and streamers. The music here by Jerry Goldsmith sounds much like a combo of Planet of the Apes and The Mephisto Waltz as it plays with the scene of a woman being watched. This scoring sequence has a great long cue which is totally cool. Of course it is great Jerry Goldsmith music. The director and studio head love it and praise the composer for being a genius who can write great music.

I'm wondering if the writer of this episode really did loosely base this on Jerry himself. It does seem quite so.

Anyway, there is quite a bit of score in this episode and it would sound awesome on a CD Release. The score Jerry wrote for the episode plus the "score within" the film in the show. Excellent work by the maestro on all counts and proof once again how vital and unique Jerry Goldsmith was to Television scoring.

This must have been a fun assignment for Jerry Goldsmith.

Bracken's World being a 20th Century Fox production, I'm wondering if this is something that can be sought out for CD Release?

Lukas, Doug, Robert?

I think you all would enjoy this very, very much! I surely did.

Again the episode was entitled "A Score without Strings" and was written by Jack Sher and directed by Paul Henreid


Zoob

 
 Posted:   Apr 4, 2014 - 2:08 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

I must say this score sounds really interesting. I wonder if anyone has looked into it recently, especially Bruce at Kritzerland since he likes the show and has started releasing stuff from the Fox vaults...

Yavar

 
 Posted:   Apr 4, 2014 - 2:13 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

double post

 
 Posted:   Sep 30, 2016 - 10:15 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

I have a 16mm print of "A Score Without Strings". Fine show and a terrific look at tv scoring in a dramatic framework.

I hope Ray won't mind me putting up the YouTube video he made from his print, as he posted it on another thread here:



In his other post, Ray claimed he "edited out the superfluous soap" from the episode, though I'm hoping he wouldn't dare edit out any of it which was accompanied by Goldsmith's love theme which zooba praised. I think I'll use Ray's upload to do a Complete Score Breakdown in the near future, and we can see just how much Jerry wrote for this project (or at least, how much was used in the episode).

Yavar

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 30, 2016 - 9:31 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

Here's the great Love Theme in the episode, starting at 0:30 Yes it seems to be sorely missing from the above clip. It comes at the very end of the episode followed by the End Title song/music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyDlh6xkRHM

 
 Posted:   Sep 30, 2016 - 10:10 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Thanks for letting me know, zooba. So I guess I'll hold off on doing this one after all, since I don't have a complete version to work from. Any chance of uploading an unedited version to YouTube, Ray? I'd be ever so grateful!

Yavar

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 18, 2020 - 11:57 AM   
 By:   Dylan   (Member)

Just wanted to chime in and say that - while I appreciate Ray's upload very much - I too would really appreciate seeing the complete version of this "Bracken's World" episode. I love this entire series and its music, so seeing the complete episode would be of supreme interest.

Ray, I wanted to add that your YouTube channel is superb! Thank you for uploading so much wonderful material. Wow!

In addition to the Goldsmith music, I love David Rose and his music for this series. A CD of selections from the two seasons of scoring would be fantastic. A blu-ray or streaming release of the series would be great too!

 
 Posted:   Nov 19, 2020 - 8:53 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Okay folks. Here is the COMPLETE episode:

https://vimeo.com/481240210

 
 Posted:   Nov 19, 2020 - 9:23 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Thanks for all the uploads, Ray!

Great fun - never saw this growing up, wish I had.

I love how the "is he modeled on Jerry Goldsmith?" composer is sporting what looks like an ID bracelet - very much like the bracelet Jerry seems always to wear over the decades (though more often on his left wrist in the 90's).

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 19, 2020 - 9:34 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

I watched the series in the early 1980s (or possibly the late '70s) on Barbadian TV... I remember LOATHING the second season theme song, still do.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 19, 2020 - 11:37 AM   
 By:   Dylan   (Member)

Thank you so very much, Ray. How wonderful.

For the record, I love the season 2 title song. Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman (who are both still with us), sung in that soft and dreamy late 60s pop style, and based on a love theme from the show that one can hear as early as the pilot (which is what I posted above). I, for one, wish TV show themes still sounded like this.

 
 Posted:   Nov 19, 2020 - 12:44 PM   
 By:   Lukas Kendall   (Member)


Wow, so great to see this after hearing about it for so many years! Leslie Nielsen, being very serious! Linda Harrison barely believable as a Hollywood actress! And insufferable asshole "Jerry Stavis" whose music sounds like Goldsmith's "Music for Orchestra"!

Lukas

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 21, 2020 - 12:30 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

I LOVED BRACKEN’S WORLD!!!

What a hoot each episode was! Many of the behind-the-scenes, on the set, legends and salacious rumors of old Hollywood Golden-Age moviemaking seemed baked into the plots and characters of BRACKEN’S WORLD.

I think I was drawn into the series first by its setting at TCF, and by its then star, Eleanor Parker, who was always one of my favorites in those days. She played “Sylvia Caldwell”, the executive secretary to “Bracken”, CEO of the studio who (at that point in the series) was never seen, only heard. Parker lasted for 16 episodes of the series and then left, because the scripts gave her next to nothing to do. At that point, they brought in Leslie Nielsen as the star, who played “Bracken” on screen for the rest of the series, which lasted to a total of 40 episodes. (I believe that when the show later ran in syndication for a short time, the sequences with Parker were excised entirely, perhaps for contractual reasons, but more likely to allow for more commercial insertions. Of the few 16mm TV prints I’ve seen, some of which originally included Parker, none had Parker anymore.)

By 1969-70 when the series aired, I, and my long-time friend, Steve Burum (later the distinguished cameraman of such films as THE UNTOUCHABLES, RUMBLE FISH, and BODY DOUBLE, among many others) were in the beginnings of our later 40-year careers in the film biz. We had known some of the technical people at Fox since the early ‘60s and been on the lot a number of times so we already had an inside appreciation of the studio and its staff and layout.

So, every week, after each show aired, we would call one another and review each episode, laughing at the over-the-top plots and situations. I don’t remember many of the shows anymore, but two stood out in my mind, particularly because they involved cameramen:

One was “Diffusion” starring Anne Baxter. Baxter played a fading actress/star who was now cast in a kind of Anna Magnani role in a tenement drama the studio was producing. In the film-within-a-film she had a buxom and gorgeous daughter, played by one of the starlets on the studio lot. The Baxter character had been a real star, but now she was reduced to playing a mother, and, by the costuming, hair, and make-up, a somewhat dowdy one at that. She complained to the producer and director about how she was being photographed and costumed in the film, but they told her it was part of the role, and no changes would be made. So, as the episode progressed, we find that Baxter has enlisted the aid of “her” cameraman and wardrobe people, and subtly, scene by scene, she is lit more glamorously, costumed more provocatively and by the time some of this footage is cut with the earlier footage, we see that she is looking younger and more vivacious than her 20-year-old daughter in the sequences----which is totally wrong for the plot. The producers realize what is happening, lay down the law to her, they reshoot some of the footage and, as I recall, the Baxter character wins all sorts of acting awards for not only her performance, but for her willingness to let herself be seen in the less flattering light.

The other episode was called “Infinity” and starred Darren McGavin as a studio cameraman. McGavin is a brilliant cameraman with many credits for the studio, but in a series of sorta’ psychedelic moments, we realize he is going blind. If the studio finds this out, his career is done. So he finds ways of covering his tracks for awhile, faking the reading of his light meter to gauge his exposures, working out signals with his grips and lighting crew, and, eventually having his “gaffer” actually do the set lighting for him, since this long-time associate knows well McGavin’s photographic style. How will it end?…..Will he truly go blind?......How soon until the whole studio finds out? Steve and I were deeply engrossed in this one for a long time. Fortunately, neither Steve nor I have yet gone blind from our photographic work all these years, and, in fact, neither of us has ever heard of a blind Hollywood cameraman, though I suppose it’s possible with the extreme intensity of the lighting units we worked with in those days, now 50-60 years ago.

Another interesting episode I recall concerned an actor who is idolized by his young son. When the son visits the set one day, he discovers that his father is doing the acting alright, but someone else---someone impersonating his father---is doing the dangerous stunts. What a shock to the son! To gain the respect of his son all over again, the actor decides that HE will do the dangerous stunt that is scheduled next---a jump off a tall bridge onto the top of a truck which is driving at high speed under the bridge. He rehearses it, works it all out, and doesn’t tell anyone on the set. He will come up behind the actual stuntman on the bridge, waylay him, and do the stunt himself, thus gaining the respect of his son once again. But the plan gets thwarted. He is unable to stop the actual stuntman, who goes on to do the stunt as planned, and the stuntman is very seriously injured when the stunt goes wrong. The stuntman goes to the hospital, father goes back to his son, and son is so happy it wasn’t his father who was badly injured. I seem to remember that Dennis Cole may have played the father in this episode called, “The Stunt”.

The series cleverly used most of the studio’s young contract players at this time in regular, continuing roles, and the series also had many uncredited guest bits or acting cameos by major stars of the day who were making pictures around the lot at that time, including Edward G. Robinson, Ray Milland, James Coburn, Cliff Robertson, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Raquel Welch, Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds, Walter Pidgeon and others. As a viewer it was fun to link the guest star names to the probable pictures being shot on the lot at the time of the series. It was also interesting to see the actual studio facilities---commissary, soundstages, wardrobe department, editing rooms, music recording stage, art department, etc.

I’m surprised that Fox never put this series on DVD or video over the years. It’s great fun and a real insiders time-capsule of another era of Hollywood.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 21, 2020 - 1:12 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)

I've always regretted that it was cancelled before Harlan Ellison could write about it.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 21, 2020 - 1:37 AM   
 By:   CindyLover   (Member)


Another interesting episode I recall concerned an actor who is idolized by his young son. When the son visits the set one day, he discovers that his father is doing the acting alright, but someone else---someone impersonating his father---is doing the dangerous stunts. What a shock to the son! To gain the respect of his son all over again, the actor decides that HE will do the dangerous stunt that is scheduled next---a jump off a tall bridge onto the top of a truck which is driving at high speed under the bridge. He rehearses it, works it all out, and doesn’t tell anyone on the set. He will come up behind the actual stuntman on the bridge, waylay him, and do the stunt himself, thus gaining the respect of his son once again. But the plan gets thwarted. He is unable to stop the actual stuntman, who goes on to do the stunt as planned, and the stuntman is very seriously injured when the stunt goes wrong. The stuntman goes to the hospital, father goes back to his son, and son is so happy it wasn’t his father who was badly injured. I seem to remember that Dennis Cole may have played the father in this episode called, “The Stunt”.


Cole was one of the regulars, playing a stuntman...

 
 Posted:   Nov 21, 2020 - 10:14 AM   
 By:   Jeff Bond   (Member)

I'm still not sure how Goldsmith intended his music in the episode--it's clearly done in a very academic serial style like his concert music, which I think even he would say was inappropriate for an actual movie or TV episode (in his film scores he knew how to stretch this style so it really worked with the drama). It almost seems like a satire of an "overly artistic" composer ignoring the actual dramatic needs of the film in order to express his own ideas (you can contrast it directly to the scoring for the actual episode scenes, which obviously does work dramatically and speaks to the audience in a way they can understand). It always mystifies me when Nielsen happily tells the composer the score does everything a score is supposed to do when to me it does not relate to what's going on in the film-within-a-film...I sort of expect him to go ballistic and accuse Jerry of going too far in his own direction.

 
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