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Thread: Favorite Hollywood Golden Age soundtrack

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    Senior Member TudorMihai's Avatar
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    Default Favorite Hollywood Golden Age soundtrack

    Here we can discuss about our favorite soundtracks from Hollywood's Golden Age (1930's-1960's). For me, my favorite is Korngold's music for The Adventures of Robin Hood.

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    Senior Member Prodromides's Avatar
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    Hello, TudorMihai.

    While the term "Golden" may applicable to anything which attains the age of 50, Hollywood's Golden Age film scores have the additional connotation of being written within specific styles.

    I tend to think of Hollywood's Golden Age in film music as starting around 1932 (the early scores by Max Steiner or Alfred Newman) and enduring for more than 30 years up until 1964 - a year in which the popularity of The Beatles and the James Bond soundtrack GOLDFINGER altered the film-scoring milieu away from orchestral music in romantic idioms.

    Personally, the portion of the Golden Age which I like starts in 1951 (with the entry of Alex North and Elmer Bernstein into the scoring stages) and especially by 1955 and later when Leonard Rosenman began to incorporate techniques from contemporary absolute/concert music into his film scores.

    I have plenty of favorites from this era, so I won't be able to limit myself to only a single soundtrack.

    With the next few posts, though, I'll deposit a few titles per composer...

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    Senior Member Prodromides's Avatar
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    My favorite Golden Age soundtrack is THE BAD SEED by Alex North, which is also my 2nd favorite soundtrack by North.



    This image comes from the RCA LP album (THE BAD SEED unfortunately doesn't exist officially on CD format)

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    Senior Member Prodromides's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Elmer Bernstein

    My favorite 5 soundtracks by Elmer Bernstein all fall within a short period (from 1957 up to 1962)

    • SUMMER AND SMOKE (1961) is #1 Elmer Bernstein with me.




    • DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS (1958) = 2nd favorite.




    • DRANGO (1957)




    • MEN IN WAR (1957)




    • BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ (1962)



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    Senior Member TudorMihai's Avatar
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    If I can name my favorite Golden Age film scores per composer, these would be my list:

    - Max Steiner: Gone With the Wind, Now, Voyager, The Adventures of Mark Twain, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Flame and the Arrow;
    - Alfred Newman: The Song of Bernadette, The Black Swan, How Green Was My Valley, The Greatest Story Ever Told, How the West Was Won, Airport;
    - Miklos Rozsa: The Jungle Book, Spellbound, Ben-Hur, El Cid, Quo Vadis, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
    - Erich Wolfgang Korngold: The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, The Prince and the Pauper, The Sea Hawk;
    - Dimitri Tiomkin: Red River, The Old Man and the Sea, Tarzan and the Mermaids, The Fall of the Roman Empire, The Alamo;
    - Victor Young: Around the World in 80 Days, Shane, The Left Hand of God, The Quiet Man, Scaramouche;
    - Franz Waxman: The Bride of Frankenstein, Peyton Place, Sunset Boulevard, A Place in the Sun;
    - Bernard Herrmann: Citizen Kane, Psycho, North by Northwest, Taxi Driver, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir;

    I would also add Mutiny on the Bounty by Bronislaw Kaper.

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    Senior Member Prodromides's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Hugo Friedhofer

    Of the composers who had worked in Hollywood since the 1930s, my favorite is Hugo Friedhofer.

    • ABOVE AND BEYOND (1952)



    • THE BARBARIAN AND THE GEISHA (1958)



    • ONE EYED JACKS (1961)



    • BOY ON A DOLPHIN (1957)



    • THE RAINS OF RANCHIPUR (1955)



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    I never tire of watching these serials and listening to the soundtrack, especially the first 1'20" of this clip.


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    I was wondering when soundtracks first made their appearance as commercial product. Wikipedia tells me the first one was for a Disney animation film, followed eight years later by a Jerome Kern musical.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soundtrack

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    Senior Member TudorMihai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaneyes View Post
    I was wondering when soundtracks first made their appearance as commercial product. Wikipedia tells me the first one was for a Disney animation film, followed eight years later by a Jerome Kern musical.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soundtrack
    Yes, many sources indicate that Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was the first movie to have a soundtrack album released but only with the songs from the film. Then, a few years later Disney released the music for "Pinocchio", claiming to be the first time the phrase "original soundtrack" was used on an album. Again, this release contained only songs. I haven't found which was the first film score released commercially but I've found that one of the first film scores released on record was Alfred Newman's music for "The Song of Bernadette" (1943).

    What you said above, Vaneyes, about Jerome Kern, that was the first release of a soundtrack from a non-Disney film but again, it contained only songs. The film was "Till the Clouds Roll By" (1946).

    http://www.scaruffi.com/history/film.html

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  18. #10
    CountenanceAnglaise
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prodromides View Post
    Hello, TudorMihai.

    While the term "Golden" may applicable to anything which attains the age of 50, Hollywood's Golden Age film scores have the additional connotation of being written within specific styles.

    I tend to think of Hollywood's Golden Age in film music as starting around 1932 (the early scores by Max Steiner or Alfred Newman) and enduring for more than 30 years up until 1964 - a year in which the popularity of The Beatles and the James Bond soundtrack GOLDFINGER altered the film-scoring milieu away from orchestral music in romantic idioms.

    Personally, the portion of the Golden Age which I like starts in 1951 (with the entry of Alex North and Elmer Bernstein into the scoring stages) and especially by 1955 and later when Leonard Rosenman began to incorporate techniques from contemporary absolute/concert music into his film scores.

    I have plenty of favorites from this era, so I won't be able to limit myself to only a single soundtrack.

    With the next few posts, though, I'll deposit a few titles per composer...
    Those names you mention - Alex North, Leonard Rosenman, Elmer Bernstein: these were GREAT film composers. And, yes, Korngold, Newman, Rosza, Herrmann, Friedhofer - emigre Jews escaping Europe and thank God for the rest of us because of their fabulous legacy. Here's a total favourite, gooey cheese and all!! And the modality of this music, OMG:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kt5C9EruZ94

    Another glorious soundtrack, but the title music seems to have been deleted on U-Tube (try and hear it in the background here). This is my favourite film OF ALL TIME. And March steals the film, especially the scene where he arrives home and walks up to Myrna Loy. Poetry!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo39YvLwoKI

    And for film score "tragics" and buffs like myself, here's a great place to be:

    http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/boar....cfm?forumID=1

    A masterful opening to a film, Mamoulian's "Love Me Tonight" 1932. (I had the chance to meet Mamoulian in 1974 when I worked in television but I turned down the offer - he was sitting in the office next door - because I didn't know who he was!!!!! One of the WORST DECISIONS OF MY LIFE. The original producer (Broadway) of "Porgy & Bess" and "Oklahoma", notwithstanding his brilliant films!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VinvK-xEhBg

    (Now where do you suppose Hitchcock got that idea about the intrusive camera going into the window at the beginning of "Psycho"!!?)

    Here's another sequence from "Love Me Tonight" - Larry Hart's "Isn't it Romantic". This sequence shows the originality of Mamoulian as he was one of the first directors to liberate the camera in the era of sound and get it moving. Five years after the invention of sound film you can see the camera has a life of its own (no more blimps the size of a hot air balloon, nor phone booths for the camera):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGNQ7TrVDrg
    Last edited by CountenanceAnglaise; Mar-20-2013 at 07:17.

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    CountenanceAnglaise
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    Here's an excellent soundtrack written by Leonard Rosenman, "East of Eden":

    http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/2...g-Credits.html

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    King Kong, Steiner.

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    CountenanceAnglaise
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    Quote Originally Posted by TudorMihai View Post
    Yes, many sources indicate that Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" was the first movie to have a soundtrack album released but only with the songs from the film. Then, a few years later Disney released the music for "Pinocchio", claiming to be the first time the phrase "original soundtrack" was used on an album. Again, this release contained only songs. I haven't found which was the first film score released commercially but I've found that one of the first film scores released on record was Alfred Newman's music for "The Song of Bernadette" (1943).

    What you said above, Vaneyes, about Jerome Kern, that was the first release of a soundtrack from a non-Disney film but again, it contained only songs. The film was "Till the Clouds Roll By" (1946).

    http://www.scaruffi.com/history/film.html
    Jerome Kern - TOTAL LEGEND; TOTAL!! And, you know, he dropped dead on a NY street and people stepped over him!! I love his work, all of it. He was, like Porter, classically trained and his music is full of enharmonic modulations and wonderful harmonies. (Oh, Dick Rodgers was a music school grad. too. Curtis Institute, I think. Read his book, "Musical Stages".)

    Yesterday, as I cleaned my porcelain flooring, I was listening to the soundtrack of "Oklahoma", with extended tracks - which contains all the music from the film. I think it was orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennett and it is easily the best musical of Dick and Oscar, IMO. All their films put onto film had dark undercurrents: domestic violence in "Carousel", obsession and violence in 'Oklahoma", authoritarianism in "The King and I" and racism in "South Pacific". And the magnificent ballets in all films (except "South Pacific") were remarkable. Can you imagine audiences today sitting through 20 minutes of Agnes de Mille or similar?

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    Senior Member Prodromides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountenanceAnglaise View Post
    he dropped dead on a NY street and people stepped over him!!
    This will probably happen to me, too.

  25. #15
    CountenanceAnglaise
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prodromides View Post
    This will probably happen to me, too.
    But I think that's where the similarity will end!!

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