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Posts Tagged ‘Miklos Rozsa’

BEN-HUR – Miklós Rózsa

September 18, 2017 3 comments

100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

As a new decade dawned, MGM studio executives began searching for a grand tale to bring to the screen. They decided in 1952 to cast their lot with a remake of their epic 1925 silent film, Ben-Hur. The film’s source material would again reference Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. It would take six years before producer Sam Zimbalist could bring the project to fruition. It required twelve versions of the script, from four different writers, to finally satisfy the demands of director William Wyler. Casting was also challenging as over 5,000 people needed to be hired for minor roles and extras. The studio spared no expense, ultimately providing Wyler with an astounding $15 million budget. Charlton Heston secured the titular role of Judah Ben-Hur and was supported by a fine cast, which included Stephen Boyd as Messala, Jack Hawkins as Quintus Arius, Haya Harareet as Esther, Martha Scott as Miriam, Sam Jaffe as Simonides, Hugh Griffith as Sheik Ilderim, Cathy O’Donnell as Tirzah, Frank Thring as Pontius Pilate, and Finlay Currie as Balthazar narrator. Read more…

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EL CID – Miklós Rózsa

September 11, 2017 Leave a comment

100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Producer Samuel Bronston had just finished his epic film King of Kings (1961) and decided that the time was finally right to realize his long desired ambition to bring the story of El Cid to the screen. Fredric Frank, a longtime collaborator with Cecil B. DeMille, had written a brilliant story and Bronson tasked him, Philip Yordan and Ben Barzman with writing the screenplay. Anthony Mann was given the director reigns and a stellar cast was hired. Charlton Heston was cast for the titular role and joined by Sophia Loren as Doña Chimene, Herbert Lom as Ibn Yussuf, Raf Vallone as Count García Ordóñez, Geneviève Page as Doña Urraca, John Fraser as King Alfonso VI, Michael Hordem as Don Diego, and Frank Thring as Emir Al-Kadir. Controversy among the two principle actors arose when Heston found out that Loren was being paid one million dollars more than him. He became furious and his disdain leaked out into his performance. You will notice that he consistently refuses to look at Loren, even during romantic moments, which detracted from his performance and the film’s narrative. Read more…

THE THIEF OF BAGDAD – Miklós Rózsa

December 12, 2016 Leave a comment

thiefofbagdadMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Renowned director Alexander Korda had long envisioned embarking on a remake of the 1924 fantasy adventure The Thief of Bagdad. He set his plans into motion early in 1939, selecting German director Ludwig Berger to manage the project. Creative differences however led to Berger’s replacement as well as his composer Oscar Straus. British director Michael Powell was brought in, however when World War II began, he was transferred to the War Office to begin work on a morale-boosting documentary. Because of the Nazi Blitz, Korda was forced to move film production to Hollywood and American director Tim Whelan was tasked with salvaging the film. The original cast was retained, which included; Conrad Veidt as Jaffar, Sabu as Abu, June Duprez as the Princess, John Justin as Ahmed, Rex Ingram as Djinn, Miles Malleson as the Sultan. The story takes inspiration from the classic Arabian tale One Thousand and One Nights, as well as the novel The Tower and the Elephant by Robert Howard, and offers a classic villain, the love story of a handsome young prince and princess, a heroic young boy, magic, and adventure. Read more…

SPELLBOUND – Miklós Rósza

September 19, 2016 Leave a comment

spellbound100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

The 1945 Alfred Hitchcock mystery/suspense film Spellbound dealt with the new field of psychoanalysis and the inner workings of the human mind. The story offers testimony to Hitchock’s supreme mastery of suspense, camera work, and cinematography. The stellar cast included Ingrid Bergman playing Dr. Constance Peterson, a psychoanalyst working at the Green Manors mental hospital and Gregory Peck playing her love interest, the dashing Dr. Edwards. This is at its crux a love story. We see a cool and analytical Constance lose her professional detachment and immediately fall in love with Dr. Edwards upon his arrival. Sadly unsettling aspects of his personality slowly begin to slowly reveal themselves. As the story unfolds she discovers that her love interest is really an imposter, an outsider trying to falsely portray himself as Dr. Anthony Edwards. Driven by love, Constance seeks to illuminate his path back to sanity by trying to resurrect repressed memories without shattering him in the process, as such the story is a classic commentary on the eternal conflict of heart vs mind. Read more…

DOUBLE INDEMNITY – Miklós Rózsa

September 5, 2016 Leave a comment

doubleindemnity100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

James Cain’s story “Double Indemnity” was first published in 1935 as an eight part serial in Liberty Magazine, but because of its sordid narrative studios were loathe buying the film rights, fearful of censoring by the Hayes Commission. When it was released as a successful novel in 1943, director Billy Wilder convinced Paramount to let him take on the project. Raymond Chandler was hired to collaborate with Wilder in writing the screenplay. Yet they clashed and Chandler stormed off the project, refusing to return unless his demands were met. The Studio agreed and work continued, although the two men detested each other. Casting was challenging as many actors were loathe to take on such reprehensible roles. Yet Wilder was persistent and eventfully secured a stellar cast, which included Fred McMurray as Walter Neff, Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson, Edgar G. Robinson as Barton Keyes, Porter Hall as Mr. Jackson, Jean Heather as Lola Dietrichson, Tom Powers as Mr. Dietrichson and Byron Barr as Nino Zachetti. Read more…

MIKLÓS RÓZSA – Fathers of Film Music, Part 6

November 1, 2014 2 comments

Miklós RózsaArticle by Craig Lysy

Born: 18 April 1907, Budapest, Hungary.
Died: 27 July 1995

Miklós Rózsa was born to upper class parents who resided in Budapest during the waning years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His mother, Regina Berkovits, was an accomplished pianist who had studied with pupils of Franz Liszt, while his father, Gyula, was a prominent industrialist. Both had a love for classical music, traditional folk songs and instilled in Miklós a love of music. His maternal uncle Lajos Berkovits, an accomplished violinist with the Budapest Opera, presented him with his first instrument, a violin at the age of five. Rózsa began formal study under Lajos Berkovits (a pupil of Hubay), which also included training with both the viola and piano. By age eight he was already composing original works and performing in public, which included a movement from a Mozart violin concerto where he dressed as Mozart, and also as conductor of a children’s orchestra where he turned in a splendid performance of Haydn’s Toy Symphony. Read more…

SPELLBOUND – Miklós Rózsa

July 24, 2013 2 comments

spellboundMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

The 1945 Alfred Hitchcock mystery/suspense film Spellbound dealt with the new field of psychoanalysis and the inner workings of the human mind. The story offers testimony to Hitchock’s supreme mastery of suspense, camera work, and cinematography. The stellar cast included Ingrid Bergman playing Dr. Constance Peterson, a psychoanalyst working at the Green Manors mental hospital and Gregory Peck playing her love interest, the dashing Dr. Edwards. This is, at its crux, a love story. We see a cool and analytical Constance lose her professional detachment and immediately fall in love with Dr. Edwards upon his arrival. Sadly unsettling aspects of his personality slowly begin to reveal themselves. As the story unfolds she discovers that her love interest is really an imposter, an outsider trying to falsely portray himself as Dr. Anthony Edwards. Driven by love, Constance seeks to illuminate his path back to sanity by trying to resurrect repressed memories without shattering him in the process, as such the story is a classic commentary on the eternal conflict of heart vs. mind. Read more…