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Thread: Max Steiner

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    Senior Member mbhaub's Avatar
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    Default Max Steiner

    Recenty I read Steven Smith's extraordinary biography of legendary film composer Max Steiner. Over the years I've collected several dozen soundtrack recordings and in general am a big fan of the composer. So now I've started a huge project: can I watch every film make that Steiner scored? I started in early July and so far have watched 32 of the movies - a bit more than 10%. Long ways to go. Some excellent films, some great, some awful. Thanks to Amazon, Warner Home VIdeo on demand, Grit TV, TCM, Movies! and other cable channels there's a lot to watch - and so many, many more to go.

    I did the same project with the Korngold movies a few years back, but that was easy - he only scored 18. Has anyone ever tried something like this?
    "It is surprising how easily one can become used to bad music" - F. Mendelssohn

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    Admirable persistence.

    I tend to only watch (such old) films if they have very high notes on imdb, or a score that I already know and admire.

    I think I have watched about 50% of the films scored by Korngold, Herrmann, and Williams so far, but these three combined means still fewer films than a complete Steiner

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    Senior Member Forster's Avatar
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    Good luck with Steiner. He did score some great films.

    Something like it, yes. I've set off to watch and write a review on my blog of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

    I'm using the 5th Edition of the book. So far, I've got from 1902 to 1930, but have also watched a spread from later decades too.

    70 down, 931 to go!

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    Senior Member mbhaub's Avatar
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    That's an idea! But sometimes I wonder if there are even 1001 movies worth watching!
    "It is surprising how easily one can become used to bad music" - F. Mendelssohn

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    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    Recenty I read Steven Smith's extraordinary biography of legendary film composer Max Steiner. Over the years I've collected several dozen soundtrack recordings and in general am a big fan of the composer. So now I've started a huge project: can I watch every film make that Steiner scored? I started in early July and so far have watched 32 of the movies - a bit more than 10%. Long ways to go. Some excellent films, some great, some awful. Thanks to Amazon, Warner Home VIdeo on demand, Grit TV, TCM, Movies! and other cable channels there's a lot to watch - and so many, many more to go.

    I did the same project with the Korngold movies a few years back, but that was easy - he only scored 18. Has anyone ever tried something like this?
    Great Googly Moogly.

    Steiner composed over 300 film scores over 36 years.

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    Senior Member Forster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    That's an idea! But sometimes I wonder if there are even 1001 movies worth watching!
    Well there probably are, but I only say that because some of my favourite movies are not on the list, and some that are are not, IMO, entitled to be there.

    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    Great Googly Moogly.

    Steiner composed over 300 film scores over 36 years.
    Well, it depends what's being included and what your source is. IMDB has only 241 credits as composer, but 398 credits as 'music department'.

    Still, that's a lot of movies!

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    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Well there probably are, but I only say that because some of my favourite movies are not on the list, and some that are are not, IMO, entitled to be there.



    Well, it depends what's being included and what your source is. IMDB has only 241 credits as composer, but 398 credits as 'music department'.

    Still, that's a lot of movies!
    Right. Way back in the beginning of film scoring, the Music Department Head would get credit for the score regardless of who actually composed it, at least as far as the Oscars went, and they didn't get around to giving out Oscars for music until 1934.

    The 1936 Oscars must have been a laugh riot for Steiner: He had two scores in the running, only one of which he got credit for in the nominations. Because Steiner was the head of the music department for Selznick International Pictures, his name was on the nomination for The Garden of Allah.

    But the score he composed for The Charge of the Light Brigade was credited to Leo F. Forbstein, the head of Warner Bros. Studio Music Department.

    Forbstein won the Oscar that year for Erich Wolfgang Korngold's score for Anthony Adverse.
    Last edited by pianozach; Aug-09-2021 at 03:17.

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    This is my personal fave by Max Steiner: even better than GWTW, in my opinion:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-zdqvJ_h2s

    "Mildred Pierce" is a hand-wringing melodrama but a wonderful noir and the best ever film directed by Michael Curtiz. Stand-out performances from Crawford and the (unjustifiably) under-rated Jack Carson. Ernie Haller's black and white cinematography is stunning as is the mise-en-scene and the blocking/choreography of the actors. This latter is very very difficult to achieve. Hawks, Cukor and Wyler were masters of it!!

    And I love the brassy sound achieved by Warners Brothers in their music - particularly for noir. I have to thank that extraordinary studio for so much - Raoul Walsh, noir and so much more. Here's another example of that WB brass:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPvVYjDwrN8

    Again, with Ernie Haller behind the camera.
    Last edited by Christabel; Aug-14-2021 at 01:46.

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