View Larger Image. Ask Seller a Question. Produced by David O. It was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and received the Oscar for Best Picture, the only Hitchcock work to be so honored. The majority of his research and publications have been on film music. Nathan Platte is assistant professor of musicology at the University of Iowa. His interests in film music, creative agency, and adaptations are reflected in articles published in Music and the Moving Image, 19th-Century Music, The Journal of Musicology, and multiple anthologies. Visit Seller's Storefront. Thank you for your interest in our books!
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Max, spurred on by the Stothart episode, really went to town, and the result is that by tomorrow we will have considerably more than half the picture scored…. I am sure that in any case we can credit all our attempts to get Stothart with leading Max to faster and greater efforts DOS to John Hay Whitney, 13 November , reprinted in Memo, Selznick later selected Stothart to write music for a live pageant held to benefit China Relief on 4 April Stewart, 7 April , HRC Stewart, 22 March , HRC His company, Selznick International Pictures, would specialize in prestige pictures, similar to the fare he had produced at M-G-M.
His first project, Little Lord Fauntleroy , emphasized this continuity.
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Both films even starred the same child actor, Freddie Bartholomew. Selznick International Pictures, however, would have different music. Constructing the score for Fauntleroy proved to be a happy project that progressed with few hitches. The producer drafted several sets of spotting notes in January of They dictate which scenes are to have music and when the music should begin and end. For Fauntleroy, Selznick determined that music would enhance scenes of tear-jerking sentimentality and depictions of royal living, thereby setting these portions of the film apart.
Thus, Selznick requested music for the tender scenes between Ceddie Lord Fauntleroy and his mother, Dearest. When heard performed first in the main titles, Steiner requested that the theme be given a 2 Notes of this detail were not unique to Selznick. Hal Wallis, executive producer for Warner Bros. Perhaps music from announcement of dinner to time Earl and Ceddie are seated at table?
After dinner in Library. Very, very soft music over this sequence to the dissolve. This to be decided by [composer Erich] Korngold. Archives, Los Angeles, California, File , 1. Selznick thrilled at all of this music, later requesting the reuse of all three melodies in later pictures. The producer made sure anything smacking of villainy did not receive music. Consecutive scenes concerning this false claimant constitute the longest stretch of the film lacking music.
Without music, their unsympathetic qualities are magnified. Earlier in the film, Selznick had initially requested music for a scuffle between Ceddie and a gang of jealous Brooklyn boys. It is the only substantial cut made in the entire Fauntleroy score. Steiner barely finished the score on schedule. After completing his work, Steiner wrote a warm letter of thanks to Selznick: Dear Boss Many thanks for having given me the opportunity to score Little Lord Fauntleroy.
I know you have a great picture and I wish you the grandest success you have ever had. Should the music help a little it will make me very happy. Seine Musik ist das Herz und die Seele der Filme. It was an auspicious beginning for Selznick International Pictures. Like Fauntleroy, it had silent film predecessors: two of them. A third film from is titled Biskra, Garden of Allah, but is likely not based on the same source text. There are, however, notes from the producer requesting changes in music Steiner had already scored and recorded.
Some of the comments arrived as Steiner was still working. Selznick made a few suggestions the last time he ran the picture: A little better blending of the European music into the Oriental music under the insert of the note tying into the Bazaar sequence. The change as it is, Mr. Selznick feels, is a little too abrupt. For instance, the walk home from the dance hall, beautiful as it is, could have had even more romantic music under the first part of the scene—the romantic swell comes now at the end of the scene.
However, do not do this over. In the future, Selznick would not be so concise or flexible in the matter of rewrites. For Allah, Steiner admits to drawing upon life experience for the score: I was stranded once in Cairo, when a theatrical group which I, at the age of fourteen, had joined as conductor, was disbanded.
Secondly, it never becomes obtrusive. It makes no attempt to force itself upon the attention of the audience as a feature of the performance, but keeps its proper position as an aid in the portrayal and intensification of the mood. It is mostly restrained in dynamic scale, rising to a forte only when there is a pause in the dialogue, a silence to which music can contribute a definite meaning.
She made us goulash, wiener schnitzel and all her wonderful specialties. Down the road, this lack of infrastructure would trouble the producer more, but for now extravagance in the name of music could be afforded and even privately admired. The success of Selznick International Pictures would continue unabated into For Steiner, though, the honeymoon was about to end. In both, a Hollywood hopeful falls in love with an actor at the peak of his career.
The actress, now star, must learn to live on. Though based on the same storyline, What Price was not a film that received background scoring in In the intervening five years, however, Selznick had helped to radically change musical expectations for such films. Consequently, A Star is Born carried a much lengthier symphonic score to accompany its scenes of aspiration, humor, love, and tragedy.
No proscriptive spotting notes from Selznick have been found for Star.
The first set of notes from 29 March are four pages long and include comments on the sound, visual editing, and music. Scene slow anyway—music should help. There is little detail and hardly any suggestion of how things should be improved. Two days later, a much shorter document devoted entirely to music was sent to Steiner from production secretary Barbara Keon. Selznick last night. Selznick wants one piece of music, without changes, that will run all the way through this scene. This would be the first of many occasions in which the producer opted for music from an earlier Selznick feature.
There is even a detectable trace of the previously discussed impulse—born out of silent film musical techniques—to apply familiar tunes to recurring, generic situations. As outlined in the above comment, Selznick and Keon wanted to use this theme in Star to convey a similar filial attachment between Esther and her grandmother. A notable instance is a Hollywood party for which Esther has been hired as a server.
She has not yet landed a film role. Is the scene helped by withholding the score? In this case, no. There are too many lengthy pauses, as though the editor had intentionally left room for laughs and music—music that is no longer there. Steiner also had to rewrite many cues, including instances in which material from Fauntleroy was reused. Old themes still had to be arranged for their new context. The rewrites, however, also forced Steiner to generate new thematic material, some of which is quite effective.
Her first theme is lyrical, but rhythmically square, with repeated eighth notes on a single pitch declaiming her stubborn resilience, but little else. Though absent from his initial Star score, Steiner liked his newly minted waltz. Sacrificing carefully positioned motivic correspondences because a particular cue had to be rewritten was frustrating. Yet while producer and composer were frustrated, neither was about to abandon an otherwise fruitful working relationship. On some of these films Steiner would provide compositional assistance, but he no longer served as the music director handling all music-related matters.
For the next project, The Prisoner of Zenda, that responsibility would largely fall to Alfred Newman. The musical correlation is wrecked, however, because the initial appearance of this music is removed and replaced by excerpts from Fauntleroy. Selznick considered a number of individuals, including Kurt Weill a curious candidate and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The two sets of notes, drafted roughly a month apart, mostly agree with one another and with the finished film. The scene plays without music until the very end, at which point the next cue begins, providing transition into the following scene.
For the ball sequence, Selznick had an unusual request for Newman. The music temporarily shuts this world out, bringing the spectator deeper into the private sphere of the romantic couple. Though prompted by Selznick, Newman was clearly pleased with his elegant solution. He would repeat the device in other films involving romantic couples on the peripheries of dancing or chattering crowds, including Wuthering Heights and Foreign Correspondent Copyright Renewed.
All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. Newman also incorporated preexistent classical works by J. Newman said—facetiously to be sure, but nevertheless importantly—that after all he was working for Goldwyn first and for us second. The M-G-M version is an uncanny replica, with most of the lines and camera angles copied, though with a different cast and in Technicolor. At other times Selznick would rankle when he suspected Forbes of siding with composers and against him. Most of the time Forbes occupied the unenviable position of middleman, well aware that his survival depended on an ability to assuage, encourage, and occasionally manipulate employer and employees see figure 3.
Figure 3. Courtesy of the David O. An integral element of the post- production process of American feature films, it survives only in its role for audience previews. Although it is not clear when the practice of using preview scores began, Selznick was not the only practitioner by the late s, although he appears to have relied upon it more heavily than other studio departments. As William Rosar states: Gilbert Kurland, who was for a time both music and sound supervisor at Universal in the s told me that they regularly previewed their films with temp tracks, and that sometimes the music worked so well, that they just kept it in the film.
It would appear that they would then also hire a composer to write additional cues as well. Waxman actually interpolated one of his own themes into the cue and they rerecorded it new for the picture. Arthur Morton told me how he temp tracked Hunchback of Notre Dame with recordings of Shostakovich, Vaughan-Williams, and Hindemith, and it worked so well that it was a hard act for Newman to follow. Newman was angry and told him to never do that again! E-mail communication from William Roar to the author, 22 July Studio producers and directors rested easy knowing a small army of musicians could be summoned to quickly write, arrange, perform, and record any music needed for their films.
These music departments were elaborate operations intended to handle a high volume of films. The idea of Selznick supporting a bevy of musicians while only releasing several films a year was fiscally preposterous, but working without a music department was problematic—especially for Selznick. In most cases, the producer had to borrow talent from the major studios. His closest tie was to Warner Bros. A small number of composers, like Dimitri Tiomkin, freelanced, which meant Selznick could hire them without having to pay additional fees to a contract-holding studio.
Inevitably, though, Selznick had to pay more for his music than the studios did for theirs. An expensive music bill became more expensive because Selznick was more committed to getting the desired musical effect than balancing the budget. It was a philosophy that did not just extend to music, as Selznick boasted: Put me in the automobile business and I would be as well an organized executive as you ever saw, but success in the picture business lies in deciding when to be a showman and when to be a perfectly operating official.
When these aims conflict I have long since learned that the only intelligent choice is to be a showman. Yet even though Selznick was interested more in musical results than the budget, he became increasingly frustrated with the strictures of hiring from the studios and the steady buildup of unanticipated expenses. I still think, however, we need a great score for this picture.
In lieu of a full music department, Forbes was hired to keep tabs on the scoring process and establish a semblance of organization that might save the producer some money. Overall, Forbes succeeded. His first job did not require much. Nothing Sacred was a screwball comedy about a journalist and his story subject, a woman purportedly dying of radium poisoning who looks—and is—quite healthy. Selznick hired concert pianist, composer, and actor Oscar Levant to write the music.
The few other music cues were arrangements of preexistent works performed by the Raymond Scott Orchestra or cues selected by Forbes from earlier Selznick films, like Prisoner of Zenda. Otherwise an unremarkable score, Nothing Sacred at least gave Forbes an opportunity to familiarize himself with Selznick International before tackling more formidable projects. For The Adventures of Tom Sawyer , Made for Each Other , and Intermezzo , Forbes assumed control of scoring matters, essentially taking the responsibilities normally shouldered by the composer.
When Franz Waxman, the composer selected for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, suddenly quit the production likely called away by his home studio, M-G-M ,46 Forbes sat down with Selznick and Henry Ginsberg to select music tracks that could be cobbled into a final score. Their conference notes show that they mostly considered music from earlier Selznick films: Little Women47 , Viva Villa! As] The Plainsman score proved[, I] can write Tom Sawyer and Gone with the Wind scores with more real contribution to effect and drama of these pictures than any other composer here.
I really have worked for this break many years and deserve it. Selznick does not appear to have been interested George Antheil to Mrs. Additional notes appended to this sheet show that music from King Kong was also considered. Though Tom Sawyer lacks the musical interest of a specially composed score, Forbes did remarkably well under the circumstances, mixing and matching old Steiner cues with new material. Forbes then hired Oscar Levant, Hugo Friedhofer, and Nico Grigor to arrange and adapt these works while composing some new material.
Scoring for Intermezzo was accomplished in a similar fashion. Selznick had been intrigued by a Swedish film in which a concert violinist leaves children and wife to pursue a musical love affair with a pianist.
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The producer resolved to remake the film for Hollywood and use the same actress who had played the alluring yet good-hearted pianist in the original: Ingrid Bergman. Muir, 27— This would hardly do for a Selznick picture, so the producer had Forbes fill the soundtrack of the new version, following the example of Made for Each Other and Tom Sawyer: I think that Steiner and Forbes should definitely be told that they will have one week from the time we turn the picture over to them to do the scoring….
Forbes has done a splendid job of demonstrating the effectiveness of what I asked him to do, which was the use of standard music. The outstanding point that has been commented on by so many, and that certainly has served to make the score so beautiful, is its use of classical music to such a great extent instead of original music hastily written. This is a point on which I have been fighting for years with little success.
For now though, Forbes had once again successfully coordinated a team to complete a score in a fraction of the time it would have taken an individual composer. The possible exception is Intermezzo, which alternates diegetic performances with nondiegetic scoring to create an overwhelmingly musical film. Their less customized scores appropriately offer a lesser grade of musical tailoring and finesse.
For more important films, like Gone with the Wind and Rebecca, Selznick would continue to rely on a single composer instead of the team approach. Nevertheless, the distinction between these two models—the single credited composer vs. Before embarking on these major productions, however, Selznick had an odd comedy that needed meticulously synchronized musical accompaniment. Produced after Sawyer but before Made for Each Other, this was not a film that could be covered by taking cues from other films.
The Young in Heart needed special scoring of its own. At best, The Young in Heart has only received passing mention. The film is not grandiose, bold, or challenging; it is simple, sentimental, even silly. He was initially brought on to score The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and even compiled a set of spotting notes, sketched a series of themes, and drafted several cues before leaving.
In the s he studied at the Berlin Conservatory while supporting himself playing piano in nightclubs and jamming with the Weintraub Syncopators. Assault at the hands of Nazi thugs impelled Waxman to leave Berlin for Paris, then Hollywood, where he quickly distinguished himself with a thematically dense and strikingly textured score for Bride of Frankenstein In Heart, Waxman would have the opportunity to display a facet of musical talent that had thus far been underutilized in Hollywood: a remarkable acumen for funny music.
The Carletons are an endearing family of fortune hunters, kind souls who nonetheless rely on sponging to support their lifestyle of leisure. Ignominious exposure of the family ruptures both matches and the family of four with Roland Young and Billie Burke expertly cast as the oddball parents are forced to return from the Riviera to London. On the train, the Carletons meet the lonely Miss Fortune Minnie Dupree , an elderly wealthy woman who lacks family or friends.
The father and son even go so far as to acquire legitimate employment. There are also romantic complications. Richard, meanwhile, has taken a liking for his colleague Paulette Goddard at the engineering office, but has to prove his worth as a worker before she will take him seriously. In the end, of course, all ends well. Miss Fortune learns the truth about the Carletons but is not dissuaded in her devotion. Fortunes and fortune hunting have been relinquished, but the family has grown. Selznick wanted a familiar, 64 B.
Dickey—and present loneliness. Regret impossible secure quotation as all Kreisler compositions restricted for synchronized uses. The textural resemblance likely pleased Selznick, who relished working with Stothart. The scoring notes indicate that the producer had already planned to use music for humorous effect in a number of scenes. One wonders to what degree this change in style was inspired directly by Waxman.
Animated films, however, were different. In animated shorts, musical underscoring was inseparable from visual and verbal gags, an idea that intrigued Selznick. When Richard and Leslie engage in romantic banter, the music shifts deftly to their love theme, set in the upper register of the violins. When they begin to kiss the violins hold as the camera cuts abruptly to Oscar, who hops down four steps, his wind band punctuating each landing over the holding violins—1…2…3…4…—before the camera cuts back to Richard and Leslie finishing their embrace.
In this odd sequence, music and visuals poke fun at Production Code prudery. Butcher, 29 April , HRC After Richard and Leslie walk away, Oscar gets one last bow as his peculiar music nimbly concludes the cue. Father and son play the scene straight, heightening the comedy. Though the unusual choice of solo instrument and tongue-in-cheek repertoire selection undermine any pretensions to seriousness, the cue becomes still less subtle as the scene progresses.
The Funeral March returns, but when the father leaves to enter the Wombat dealership, the automated 75 Ibid. Such gross mickey-mousing is almost too crass for cartoons; in a live action film it is especially absurd. He shrugs. Full orchestral accompaniment gives his dejected gait heroic weight as he shuffles into the dealership. Saxophones grotesquely squeal the Funeral March in his wake. In a later cue, Waxman reprises the Chopin and Wagner comic routine while introducing a nice dash of original music.
The father, who has long enjoyed the false title of Colonel Carleton a holdover from his days as a bit player in the theatrical Sweethearts of the Bengal Lancers , has just been called aside by his employer. Carleton fears his false identity has again been discovered. He is about to receive a promotion.
The unanticipated victory is marked by a satisfying dominant-tonic resolution into a playful, chromatic march, performed initially on flute with muted brass emphases on downbeats. After the employer leaves, Carleton revels in his good fortune. As the scene fades out, the cue concludes nobly—with the final cadential motion carried by a lone and honky bass clarinet. Other scenes accomplish similar effects, in part because the producer requested unusual music that would commandeer spectator attention. The cacophony ends suddenly, however, leaving only the shimmering sonority of a sustained vibraphone holding over.
The shift from ultra- modern to ultra mickey-mousing is accomplished in several seconds. Composers were now fortunate if they even received brief acknowledgement in general film reviews. From its customary role in screen productions as the mere creator of moods and a handy filler for gaps in dialogue, orchestral music here steps into the part of a sly and subtle comedian, contributing perhaps as much humor to the film as do the actors themselves.
Much of this score is written in a satirical vein and, instead of creating sympathy for the characters, seems slyly to mock them…. From the context of the article, it is taken from a New York daily, ca. November FWP Box Feeling trapped by prison picture assignments and unhappy playing second fiddle to Korngold, Max Steiner all but begged Jack Warner for permission to work with producer David O.
It is as necessary for me, my pride, my standing and my future activity to do Gone with the Wind, as it is necessary for an actor to get a break once in awhile. They take it off and put it in score. The following pages foreground their work, thereby revealing a special collaborative dynamic not present in other Selznick productions.
The scoring team was large. Max Steiner and Lou Forbes headed the operation and are the only two to receive onscreen credit. Steiner composed most of the music and conducted all of it. Lou Forbes served his standard role as music director. Hugo Friedhofer is not listed in the credits, but his contributions were substantial.
Adolph Deutsch, Heinz Roemheld, and Joseph Nussbaum also served as composers, arrangers, and orchestrators, contributing another sixteen minutes of music heard in the film. Rice, Cecil Copping, and Dudley B. Chambers, who handled vocal arranging. Forty minutes is enough to constitute a score unto itself. To a certain extent, these cue assignments reveal musical typecasting.
Their slicing of the Tara theme into motivic snippets is especially interesting. At the heart of the score lies a group of five or six thematic fragments, each lasting two or three measures at most. The melody heard under this dialogue is striking for several reasons. First, it is only heard at the beginning of the conversation and never later in the film. Second, it begins with a downward octave plunge, followed by a balancing melodic ascent, an approximate inversion of the Tara theme. As the previous overview has shown, many of the action and suspense sequences were distributed to others.
But after all the baby always comes—after screwing! So why not??? Great Balls of Fire change anything you want—even your underwear!! It might smell a little!! The voices are all over the place. There is no dialogue at all so [it] should sound good schamltz and very much. It is an effect Waxman would reuse in Rebecca to similarly heighten suspense discussed below. Crestfallen, Steiner wrote to Selznick, While I do not question or criticize your liking that piece of preview track, I do strongly object to it on account of bad modulation, different type recording, different orchestra, and improper ending under the scream….
Why have such glaring imperfections in what may prove to be the best picture to date, and why, to top it all, have a botched up job in one of the best scenes where there is not even any dialogue to cover it up? Please excuse my rotten typing, but I am extremely nervous and worried.
Selznick, for his part, would also remember this cue and request that it be used on the preview track for Since You Went Away during the hypnosis scene with the shell-shocked soldier Barbara Keon to Hal Kern, 18 February , HRC Lou Forbes came to the defense of the music team when Selznick complained that one cue did not meet his expectations. Forbes and Mr. Explaining his rationale for switching between background scoring for Melanie and Ashley and source music for Scarlett with her beaux, Selznick wrote: this few hundred feet is important in that it is the only glimpse we get of the rich and aristocratic side in the whole picture plus being the introduction of the Ashley-Melanie relationship and plus being our first opportunity to contrast Melanie and Scarlett musically and therefore, [make] the most lasting impression… 99 Lou Forbes to DOS, 29 November , HRC Scoring notes from previous pictures had yet to exceed four pages, though on occasion he drafted revised copies.
Numerous memos from the producer related to music were collated into a thirteen-page document dated 6 November The importance of the project simply drove Selznick to focus even more attention on music than he had before. Appreciating the stature of their assignment and knowing that the producer would be listening attentively, Steiner and company pulled together and worked extraordinarily hard.
Even Friedhofer indulged in chatty commentary for cues to be orchestrated by others. It is also clear that Steiner had lost patience with Selznick, who was repeatedly requesting rewrites. The details of this production are discussed further below. Gone with the Wind was clearly a special project for Steiner as well as for his collaborators. Taken together—the marginalia, the various skirmishes with Selznick, the substantial contributions of Friedhofer, Deutsch, Roemheld, and Nussbaum, and the music itself—indicate that the score for Gone with the Wind is hardly the accomplishment of a single individual, but rather a remarkable feat effected by a team of individuals, whose intertwining relationships and antagonisms shaped one of the most famous Hollywood scores.
Van Hopper: Most girls would give their eyes for a chance to see Monte. This helps to explain why, in contrast to the pages and pages of scoring notes generated for GWTW, there are relatively few scoring notes from Selznick on Rebecca. During preproduction and filming he was especially involved, monitoring the work of his newly contracted director, Alfred Hitchcock.
Rebecca is markedly different from anything Selznick had made before. That difference is emphasized by music. Beginning with Rebecca, many of the characters in Selznick films would be psychologically troubled beings, ruled by repressed fears and irrational desires to which the audience is only afforded a limited explanation. Compare this with Scarlett in Gone with the Wind, whose every thought and emotion can be read straight from her eyes. Rebecca, on the other hand, with its story of an alluring, dead wife whose memory dominates her widower husband and his second wife, is a wholly different world.
Here music speaks when characters refuse or are unable. As with his previous films, Selznick appears to have drafted some scoring notes, but they are presently lost. Instead Waxman brought his own notes to Selznick in early December, much as he had done on the aborted Tom Sawyer score.
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These notes have not been found. Though Selznick later complains that one scene completely goes against the style he had outlined in his notes, there is no other indication in the sources that others saw these notes. Quickly realizing the improbability of this scheme, Selznick turned to Waxman. I saw Mr. In a memo from the day before, Esther Roberts reports to Mr. We ran the picture from the beginning thru the Confession Scene, and I sent a complete set of notes to Mr. Tomorrow morning Mr. Waxman is meeting Mr. Hitchcock at Mr. Klune, 1 December , HRC Selznick and Mr. On page two of the notes, Waxman enters a similar question, this time just addressed to Mr.
The question as to what Hitchcock may have contributed to the document—if anything—remains an open question. See Sullivan 66—67 and Appendix B of this dissertation. All are scores by Franz Waxman. The first set by Lou Forbes is only two pages long and covers the film from the beginning up to the Manderley Ball. If this is the case, old material is interpolated with new suggestions arising from a conference between Waxman and Selznick held on 9 February in which the composer played excerpts for the producer. Selznick thinks that the preview music track over the prologue was excellent and hopes he will be just as crazy about Mr.
Waxman for Mr. Following this, Waxman rounds out the scene with a lushly scored portion of the Manderley theme that unexpectedly reverses melodic direction, reaching upward hopefully instead of drooping downward, as it is does during the preceding prologue. These additional bars of music bring much to this scene and the film as a whole. The music adds dimension to the exchange, with the tentative introduction of their love theme portending greater things to come it also Ibid.
This, in combination with time constraints, meant the producer did not ask for rewrites. Two inner-voices diverge chromatically as a rhythmically erratic melody wends its way downward two and a half octaves from g-sharp3 to d1, ending badly on a G dominant-seventh chord with an added G-sharp see figure 3. Internatioanl Copyright Secured. Sommer composed a genial and generic theme for Crawley that failed to satisfy Selznick. There is also a certain intertextual logic to this selection: in Star the theme characterizes a young woman aspiring to be a great actress. Barnes and Company, , 78; and Sullivan, It consisted of three instruments—an electrical organ and two novachords.
A novachord is a newly invented instrument which produces its sound by means of radio tubes. Without a word of dialogue, music and visuals create delectable tension, until the splitting ring of a telephone shatters the aura m. Fortunately the cuts are discreet. The instrument had a six-octave range and could play chords as well as individual notes.
Selznick had no intention of tampering with these expertly wrought passages. This is hardly sabotage, just someone intent on having the best musical-visual effect at all times. You also have not learned, as believe me you will, not to judge music by what it sounds like separately, on the scoring stage or in the projection room. All these elements should form an harmonious effect to deepen the scenes and to intensify the characters and their conflicts…. One of the most talented men for balancing these various elements of a motion picture is David O. His interest and painstaking work for the most minute detail in the production of a motion picture is stimulating to the creative artist.
When Hitchcock was loaned to producer Walter Wanger for a picture, Selznick recommended Forbes, noting that: He has the unique combination of a very fine scoring talent as well as a business ability…. Unlike Steiner, Tansman was perfectly able to complete his score; Selznick just did not like the music.
Though Steiner expressed ambivalence about the score, the Oscar represented a triumph for Selznick. It reaffirmed his hunch that SYWA benefited from a musical accompaniment drastically different from the one Tansman had offered. Since You Went Away proved to be an intense, emotional drain on the producer for several reasons.
Rebecca had been released in ; Since You Went Away opened in Before Rebecca, Selznick had produced at least one feature film every year from to The sole exception is , when he was shifting between studios; he produced over twenty pictures at RKO the following year. Instead, Since You Went Away would transform the typical into the universal by depicting life on the American home front as an epic saga. The premise was simple. Father has left for war; mother Claudette Colbert and two daughters Jennifer Jones and Shirley Temple learn to live and serve America in his absence.
They take on a boarder Monty Woolley , the elder daughter works in a hospital and falls in love with a serviceman Robert Walker , the mother takes a job in a factory, and the younger daughter collects rubbish for reuse. Meanwhile, the family attends dances, makes new friends, loses loved ones to war, defends American ideals in the face of skeptics, and suffers the perpetual angst of uncertainty—will the family ever be complete again?
At any other studio such indulgent length would have been checked and edited down by half, but this was a film by the producer of Gone with the Wind. Yes, the family will adjust to financial hardship, service for the cause, and intermittent tragedy, but otherwise life will carry on. As biographers Thomson and Haver relate, Selznick wanted very much to be involved with the war effort, but was ill-equipped for the military classified 4F on account of flatfeet, nearsightedness, and age and not savvy in dealing with Washington officials. Any short cut or attempt to spare expense would be, in the eyes of the producer, unpatriotic.
The composer selected for SYWA would have a lot to live up to. He assumed the war would be lucky to get him…. See also Haver, Arthur Goodman did not get the job, but Alexandre Tansman did. In January , Selznick asked for a list of available composers, along with their salient credits. Tansman prominence as a prolific concert composer was also a draw for Selznick, who welcomed—at least in theory—the involvement of prestigious concert composers on his productions. Taylor would be of great help to whomever does the score, what we have in mind is the publicity value, which hopefully would include, incidentally, some plugs on his radio program but which I also feel we could publicize widely in other ways.
I also feel it would give a certain little extra distinction to the picture. Among musicians and music lovers Tansman ranks head and shoulders over all the other men in Hollywood who are writing scores, most of whom have little or no position in the music world, however effective their work may be for motion pictures….
I understand that…Tansman is the sixth most-often played composer…among all modern composers, including such men as Rachmaninoff, by symphony orchestras in this country. If you have any doubt about it, I suggest that you and Mrs. Tansman come over and play it for me. Also it should, of course, be handled diplomatically and be kept between ourselves so as not to frighten or discourage Tansman.
My purpose is to hear a couple reels of his music before he proceeds with the whole picture, so that if I am going to get any shocks or disappointments it will be limited to these few reels and I will know with the least possible delay whether or not I have to make a switch. Since You Went Away was to be her final screen role. Neither Tansman nor Charlie Previn were consulted for the application of these recordings to the scenes, and they had no idea s to how they were used.
I would also like to mention that the recording of the temporary track was made with a small orchestra at Mr. It might be this comparison which caused Mr. In view of these facts, it seems unfair to judge the work that Mr. Tansman has done for the final recording, especially since Mr. Selznick heard most of the themes, and I understand he was highly pleased with them… In other words, Tansman had not received a fair trial. Reading between the lines, one can surmise that Tansman likely stumbled into a Selznick-specific pitfall.
Steiner and Newman had resisted, knowing how much a film could change between script and edited footage. Tansman did not, and suffered the consequences when Selznick viewed footage and music together in a work-in-progress state.
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There are no instrumental indications though such information may have been conveyed verbally to orchestrators , and no visual or dialogue cues. Timing markings are given at the end of the cue and occasionally within the cue, though these markings often follow regular subdivisions— , , —and do not seem to be aligned with music-visual synch points.
Aside from reel numbers listed in the upper left-hand corner, there is no other indication that his music is film music or even orchestral music. Whether it was aesthetics or not proved moot. Steiner did not compose a replacement cue for this sequence, which shows the younger daughter organizing material in the pile before joining her elder sister to walk home. Consequently, the scene plays without music in the film. I regret that so much of your time was taken, but I ask you to weigh against this the fact that we suffered considerable loss financially through not using the music in this picture, and—much more importantly—very valuable time.
I am sure you cannot do other than agree that I went to every possible extreme and expense to try to convince myself that your music was what I was after, and to give it every opportunity—to an extent I have never heard of before—to have it presented properly. My judgment about it conceivably is quite wrong, but in the final analysis, right or wrong, I must follow my own judgment. Warmest regards to Mrs. Tansman and yourself. Generally, producers were rather uncultured people. There were a number of conventions used in film music.
In a love scene, for example, they required divided strings in the high register. On the other hand, I chose to use French horns for such a scene—it was a big issue to have that accepted…. Life in Hollywood was very artificial. It was not much fun for us. He was working on a popular and patriotic film whose many constituent parts, including music, would ultimately reflect on him.
For an independent producer who made a small number of highly expensive films, the need to succeed with the masses was even greater than for studio producers churning out many films each year. He hired Max Steiner. When Warner Bros. He has done magnificent work in so short a time. I am wildly enthusiastic how the score is going to shape up.
Thank heavens for Maxie. For Gone with the Wind, Steiner had pleaded for the opportunity to work again with Selznick. Selznick went direct to Mr. Jack Warner and borrowed him, as there is no work at the studio for him for several weeks. See HRC His father was dying and had been hospitalized, Steiner himself was suffering from a back tumor that required surgery, and his marriage to Louise was breaking up.
He would receive divorce papers in September. He just could not help himself. The producer had already generated a stack of notes for Tansman and he continued to add to the pile as Steiner worked. First, six of the nine themes are associated with pairs of characters. The remaining themes delineate and emphasize relationships among family and friends. The thematic structure of the score also reveals implicit exclusion and stratification.
Unlike the boarder, who has a theme for himself and a theme pairing him with the younger daughter, Fidelia is not musically linked to anyone. Her nuanced performance simultaneously reinforced and transcended racial stereotypes and made history when she became the first African American to receive an Academy Award Best Supporting Actress. Steiner was reluctant to assist music sales for a song he had not written himself. I am very pleased with you!
The chipper music Steiner had composed for a light- hearted scene in A Star is Born becomes a theme for the younger daughter and the boarder. Drawing predominantly from Selznick films further helped as these earlier films were readily available. In theory, getting clearances on music from his own films would require little effort. An effective or memorable passage in The notes also indicate that the love theme for the elder daughter Jane and a young man Bill who ultimately dies in battle was to be drawn from the Steiner-Warner Bros.
For this last selection, however, Steiner changed his mind. In its place are crossed out pages and rewritten cues. Unfortunately, this was not to be the case. After dispensing with one composer, Selznick wanted to make sure the new effort lived up to his expectations, even when those expectations changed.
Start music treatment very lightly, then into Tim theme on toast. Include reminder of Bill [who was killed at Salerno] in hall with Tony-Jane [theme]. Then back to gay Tony music. Should be change in tempo and whole treatment of music for interruption of Bill- Colonel theme, and for Bill-Jane theme in hall. Steiner appears to have worked from these notes, as his initial effort sprints through the requested themes.
Though slightly later than proscribed, the cue begins as Jane answers the door and Tony enters. At the beginning of the film, when Jane has a pronounced and undisguised crush for the older Tony, a dashing officer with a penchant for unexpected visits, the melodic allusion is humorously appropriate.
Without the slightest trace of irony, Selznick pronounced the cue to be overly choppy, with too many themes. There are two or three times too many bits and pieces. It should be one continuous piece of music, less broken up as to themes, up to the time [Tony] goes into the dining room and greets the Colonel.
The second serious piece is when he greets the Colonel—but without the Colonel theme. After the second serious piece, it should be again one continuous piece of music instead of what it is now. Do not want the intermediary piece and the Fidelia theme. Nevertheless, concerns regarding time, gesture, and broad alignment between music and visuals are strikingly similar. Steiner rolled up his sleeves and rewrote the cue, making all the requested changes. Consequently the cue becomes more cohesive.
Instead of theme-hopping, one hears the Jane-Tony theme in ever new renditions, with melodic extensions, shifting orchestral textures, tempo changes, and key modulations carefully positioned to align with important lines of dialogue that had originally initiated section breaks. Instead the Tony-Jane theme seems to hesitate, digressing into a somber, lamenting descent of half-notes mm. In the end, the music carries the scene much better, improving the pacing and flow. Tony played with disarming candor by Joseph Cotten seems to breeze through the scene and his lines are helped by a cue that maintains forward motion.
If there is too much detail, as in my piece…[the] choreography becomes a slave to the music and it results in just a simple pantomime Quoted in Stephen D. I am particularly mindful of the personal problems that you had during the period, and also of the fact that you were not feeling too well physically. Please know that I am sincerely grateful. Though Cromwell describes specific scenes, his complaints can be summarized in several observations: 1. The music is dubbed too loudly. There is too much music. The music anticipates dramatic turns within scenes, thereby stealing their thunder.
Gone with the Wind could arguably engage audiences without music. With music, it was all the better. But so many scenes in SYWA—including the one analyzed above—lack this immediacy, the desire to simply learn what happens next. Instead, audiences drift with characters through the everyday and incidental, thereby laying the burden on music to provide energy and motion when the story does not.
It is not his strongest score, but in terms of bolstering a film, it is certainly one of his most valuable. With seven acclaimed American films under his belt, Alfred Hitchcock was no longer the Hollywood rookie he had been for Rebecca. For Spellbound he would have his own scoring notes. Figure 4. Romm and other specialists wince. Romm and see if there is something we can put after her name besides M S M D. I think the MD is all right, but the MS is not impressive, and I would rather add something to the effect that she is a member of the American Society of Psychiatrists, or something of the sort.
Romm, M. Simply because had I not done so it would have been produced in a much more undesirable form than it is now. New York: Oxford University Press, , 84— Screams were hard to subdue. I had a wonderful time. Spellbound offers much to please and excite in its adventure, in the virtuosity of its passages of intensity…. Objections that the romantic elements slow the melodrama can be sustained but they do enrich the whole picture with a warmth and humanness somewhat rare in Hitchcock.
Synopsis and Secondary Literature Spellbound begins at Green Manors, a sanitarium for psychologically disturbed patients that is about to undergo a change in command. The aging Dr. Murchison Leo Carroll is retiring—albeit reluctantly—and the esteemed Dr. Edwardes will soon arrive to take his place. When Dr. Edwardes does arrive, everyone is surprised at how such an established name in the field could belong to such a young man Gregory Peck.
Constance Peterson Ingrid Berman , the only female doctor on the staff, is especially taken by the doctor. Her reaction surprises Dr. Edwardes, but something is not quite right: Dr. Following two irrational outbursts and Dr. Edwardes is not Dr. Edwardes, but rather an attractive amnesiac who only thought he was Dr. Convinced he is Dr.
Constance follows with the intention of curing his paranoia before he is apprehended by the police. Already operating outside the law, she must also work outside the social expectations of her gender. When her teacher and mentor, Dr. First, he accidentally killed his younger brother. Second, he was skiing with Dr. Edwardes when Edwardes went over the edge of a cliff and died. Edwardes back. JB is hauled off to prison while Constance investigates further. Murchison, the previous head doctor of Green Manors who was unenthused about retirement.
When Constance confronts Dr. Murchison, he takes out a revolver and points it at her. Constance walks slowly out of the room; the spectator watches her down the barrel of the gun, a strange subjective shot that positions the audience in Dr. The gun then turns to the camera—and fires. A disjunctively cheery epilogue with Constance and JB kissing at the train station ends the film.
Brown, for example, argues that Spellbound has long been recognized as a piece of Freudian cinema, and not a very convincing one at that…. But if one takes the point of view of…Constance Peterson, a much different perspective comes into view. The addition of these introductory words reminds us that the film that follows was both the product of and a participant in a specific historical event: the full integration of psychoanalysis into American cultural life. The psychoanalyst seeks only to induce the patient to talk about his hidden problems, to open the hidden doors of his mind.
Once the complexes that have been disturbing the patient are uncovered and interpreted, the illness and confusion disappear…and the evils of unreason are driven from the human soul. Hence, it is not surprising that women far outnumber men as patients in these films in a film like Spellbound, where precisely the opposite may appear to be the case…it can in fact be demonstrated that [Constance] is ultimately constituted as analysand—she suffers from a frigidity constantly associated with intellectual women in the cinema.
The score itself has received substantial attention. Theremin historian Albert Glinsky asserts that Robert D. Spellbound is the very centerpiece for his study. In his monograph on the musical Lady in the Dark, bruce d. Differentiating theremin from other otherworldly sound effects can sometimes be difficult, and I question whether theremin was actually used in this instance.
The aural distinction has to do with the width and speed of the vibrato, which is wider and faster in the case of the theremin. Access to studio records, however, would be necessary to confirm either assertion. The monopoly of authorship in either case is problematic, an issue that surfaces during even a cursory study of the archival material.
Hitchcock has asked me to investigate a Mr. Waxman who he states is a good possibility to be in charge of music, scoring, orchestrations, etc. Johnston, 2 September , HRC He had also made a name for himself in the concert music world. In the early s he lived in Paris, composing chamber and orchestral music, including his celebrated Theme, Variations, and Finale for Orchestra, Op.
I was thinking of the musicals I had seen in Germany and of films like The Blue Angel, so I asked him if he meant fox-trots and popular songs.