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Posts Tagged ‘Alfred Newman’

THE ROBE – Alfred Newman

April 3, 2017 Leave a comment

100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

20th Century Fox Studio chief Darryl Zanuck chose to use “The Robe” to introduce his new creation Cinemascope to the world. Cinemascope used an anamorphic lens that allowed the filming process to create an image of up to a 2.66:1 aspect ratio, almost twice as wide as the industry standard. He hired veteran Henry Koster to direct and adapted the script from the novel by Lloyd Douglas, which he had envisioned for years. “The Robe” is a Biblical epic, a love story and a tale of a man’s struggle for redemption. Marcellus (Richard Burton) is a Roman military tribune from a noble family who offends Caligula, heir to the Roman throne. In retribution he is deployed to Palestine, thus separating him from his life of luxury and his lover Diana (Jean Simmons). Upon his arrival he is given command of the unit charged with executing Jesus Christ, which he dutifully discharges. While drunk he happens to win in a craps game Jesus’ homespun robe after the crucifixion. The death of Jesus affects Marcellus profoundly, and henceforth he is tormented by recurring nightmares, delusions and guilt for his role in his crucifixion. On orders from Tiberius he returns to Palestine in search of the robe, which he believes has bewitched him. He thus begins a personal journey that will lead him to discover faith, forgiveness and ultimately redemption. The film was a huge critical success, winning two Oscars and a Golden Globe for Best Picture. The film and Cinemascope were also a huge commercial success, earning profits seven times that of its production costs. Read more…

CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE – Alfred Newman

November 28, 2016 Leave a comment

captainfromcastile100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

20th Century studio executive Darryl F. Zanuck came across the novel Captain From Castile (1945) by Samuel Shellabarger and was captivated by its love story and grand adventure. He paid an astounding $100,000 for the film rights and hired trusted director Henry King to manage the project. Lamar Trotti wrote the screenplay, which had to go through several incarnations to appease the Hayes Commission and the Catholic Church who objected to the novel’s critical portrayal of the Spanish Inquisition. King brought in a fine cast, which included; Tyrone Power as Pedro de Vargas, Jean Peters as Catana Pérez, Cesar Romero as Hernán Cortéz, Lee J. Cobb as Juan García, John Sutton as Diego de Silva, Antonio Moreno as Don Francisco de Vargas, and Thomas Gomez as Father Bartolomé de Olmedo. The story is set in Spain circa 1518 CE and offers a classic romance and adventure. Our hero Pedro de Vargas and his family are opposed to the Spanish Inquisition, which is directed by the diabolical Diego de Silva. Read more…

THE SONG OF BERNADETTE – Alfred Newman

August 15, 2016 Leave a comment

songofbernadette100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Producer William Perlberg of 20th Century Fox saw opportunity for the studio after reading the novel “The Song Of Bernadette” (1942) by Franz Werfel, and so resolved to bring this inspired and miraculous story to the big screen. Henry King was hired to direct and veteran screenwriter George Seaton tasked with writing the screenplay. For the actors, a nationwide talent search found 24 year old Jennifer Jones, who was selected to play the title character of Bernadette Soubirous. Supporting actors included Vincent Price in perhaps his finest performance as (Prosecutor Vital Dutour), Aubrey Mather (Mayor Lacade), Charles Dingle (Chief of Police Jocomet), Charles Bickford (Dean of Lourdes) and Gladys Cooper (Sister Therese Vauzous). The film was made in 1943, as the world suffered under the dark pall of Nazism. Its narrative offers an intimate venerative, and sympathetic accounting of a young peasant girl, who one day beholds, a miraculous vision of a refulgent “Beautiful Lady”. We bear witness to her stirring and remarkable journey of faith and courage, as well as a commentary against the banality of government, the skepticism of science and the dogmatism of organized religion. Bernadette’s sincerity, innocence, and purity of heart eventually overcome all critics, skeptics, and obstacles. A shrine is eventually built to commemorate the miracle of her vision of Mary, and she spends her final days secluded in a nunnery, suffering from a very painful form of tuberculosis of the bone, from which she succumbed at the young age of 35. The film was both a commercial and critical success, earning an astounding twelve Academy Award nominations, winning four for, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and best Musical Score. Read more…

WUTHERING HEIGHTS – Alfred Newman

November 23, 2015 Leave a comment

wutheringheights100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Alfred Newman’s score to this Emily Bronte classic out performs all that have followed in this genre and offers irrefutable testimony to his supreme gift, and mastery of his craft. It provides a grand and operatic sweep full of passion, pathos and tragedy. Indeed Wuthering Heights offers what some critics believe to be the finest score for tragic love in film score art. Remarkably, there is currently no CD recording of the complete score that is commercially available. This is for me completely baffling, and a totally unacceptable state of affairs, which needs to be rectified. What I suggest in the interim is the compilation CD “Wuthering Heights: A Tribute to Alfred Newman” by Richard Kaufman with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and New Zealand Youth Chorus, which provides a 12:46 minute suite. Newman’s primary themes are presented and it does a fine job revealing the beauty of his music. The additional suites on the album are also well worth your exploration. Read more…

THE SONG OF BERNADETTE – Alfred Newman

June 15, 2015 1 comment

songofbernadetteMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Producer William Perlberg of 20th Century Fox saw opportunity for the studio after reading the novel 1942 novel The Song of Bernadette by Franz Werfel, and so resolved to bring this inspired and miraculous story to the big screen. Henry King was hired to direct and veteran screenwriter George Seaton tasked with writing the screenplay. For the actors, a nationwide talent search found 24 year old Jennifer Jones, who was selected to play the title character of Bernadette Soubirous. Supporting actors included Vincent Price in perhaps his finest performance as (Prosecutor Vital Dutour), Aubrey Mather (Mayor Lacade), Charles Dingle (Chief of Police Jocomet), Charles Bickford (Dean of Lourdes) and Gladys Cooper (Sister Therese Vauzous). The film was made in 1943, as the world suffered under the dark pall of Nazism. Its narrative offers an intimate venerative, and sympathetic accounting of a young peasant girl, who one day beholds a miraculous vision of a refulgent “Beautiful Lady”. We bear witness to her stirring and remarkable journey of faith and courage, as well as a commentary against the banality of government, the skepticism of science and the dogmatism of organized religion. Bernadette’s sincerity, innocence, and purity of heart eventually overcome all critics, skeptics, and obstacles. A shrine is eventually built to commemorate the miracle of her vision of Mary, and she spends her final days secluded in a nunnery, suffering from a very painful form of tuberculosis of the bone, from which she succumbed at the young age of 35. The film was both a commercial and critical success, earning an astounding twelve Academy Award nominations, winning four for, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and best Musical Score. Read more…

LOVE IS A MANY-SPLENDORED THING – Alfred Newman

December 10, 2014 Leave a comment

loveisamanysplendoredthingMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Buddy Adler, the Production Head of Fox Studios saw money to be made by the hit novel “A Many Splendored Thing” by Han Suyin. He purchased the film rights an hired trusted screenwriter John Patrick to adapt it for the big screen. The story offers a potent commentary on an inter-racial romance set in Hong Kong during the waning days of the 1940s. American reporter Mark Elliot (William Holden), who is estranged from his wife, falls passionately in love with widowed Eurasian doctor Han Suyin (Jennifer Jones). For a short time they manage to find happiness together, but events soon overtake them. Mark’s wife refuses his request for a divorce, and their romance precipitates a palpable prejudice from both her family and Hong Kong society. Han is eventually ostracized from the community and loses her position at the hospital. As Mark ships out to cover the Korean War they desperately write each other in hope of maintaining a connection and salvaging their relationship, but alas, it is to no avail as Mark gets killed during the war. Han does not relent in her love and the story ends with her visiting the green hill where they used to meet. The film was both a commercial and critical success, earning eight Academy Awards nominations, winning three for Best Costume Design, Best Song and Best Score. Read more…

ALFRED NEWMAN – Fathers of Film Music, Part 3

August 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Alfred NewmanArticle by Craig Lysy

Born: 17 March 1900, New Haven, Connecticut.
Died: 17 February 1970

Alfred Newman is remembered as one of the Titans of film music. Indeed the Newman family has collectively gained recognition as one of the most gifted ever to grace the recording studios of Hollywood. His two younger brothers, Emil and Lionel, were both composers, as are his sons David, Thomas and his nephew Randy. The Newman family legacy is nothing short of remarkable.

Alfred was born humbly of Jewish ancestry, the eldest of ten children. He quickly revealed an appetite for music and we are thankful that his mother, despite their poverty, somehow managed at age six, to secure him piano lessons for 25 cents a session. Everyday Alfred would walk the ten-mile round trip to practice on a neighbor’s piano. It became apparent early on that he was a prodigy and that his gift required tutelage beyond the skills of this local piano teacher. Read more…