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Posts Tagged ‘Roy Webb’

THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE – Roy Webb

October 11, 2021 Leave a comment

GREATEST SCORES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Renowned producer David O. Selznick saw opportunity for a riveting, suspenseful murder thriller film based on the 1933 novel Some Must Watch by Ethel Lina White. He purchased the film rights, and envisioned Ingrid Bergman in the lead role. His plans for production however never came to fruition as he was forced to sell the film rights to RKO Pictures in 1946 to cover the massive cost overruns of his passion project, Duel In The Sun. RKO executives gave the green light to proceed with Dore Schary placed in charge of production, and provided a modest budget of $750,000. Robert Siodmak was tasked with directing, and screenwriter Mel Dinelli was hired to adapt the novel, which resulted in a change in the film’s title, as well as shifting its setting from England to New England. A fine cast was assembled, which included Dorothy McGuire as Helen, George Brent as Professor Albert Warren, Ethel Barrymore as Mrs. Warren, Kent Smith as Dr. Arthur Parry, and Gordon Oliver as Steven Warren. Read more…

NOTORIOUS – Roy Webb

September 13, 2021 Leave a comment

MOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

The genesis of the film arose in 1944 from renown producer David O. Selznick and director Alfred Hitchcock who conceived a story of a woman sold into sexual enslavement for political purposes, which was based on the short story “The Song of the Dragon” (1921) by John Traintor Foote. William Dozier an RKO executive was also interested in bringing the story to the big screen and saw opportunity when he learned that Selznick’s production of “Duel in the Sun” (1946) was significantly over budget. He negotiated a purchase deal for $800,000 and 50% of the profits, which specified that Alfred Hitchcock would be the director, Ben Hecht the screenwriter, with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman as the starring actors. Alfred Hitchcock took on the reins to also produce the film with RKO Pictures providing a $1.0 million budget. Hitchcock assembled a cast for the ages with Cary Grant as agent T. R. Devlin, Ingrid Bergman as Alicia Huberman, Claude Rains as Alexander Alex, Louis Calhern as Captain Paul Prescott, and Leopoldine Konstantin as Madame Anna Alex. Read more…

SINBAD THE SAILOR – Roy Webb

September 6, 2021 Leave a comment

GREATEST SCORES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Original Review by Craig Lysy

In March of 1944 RKO Studios producer William Pereira proposed to studio executives to follow-up on the success of their swashbuckler film The Spanish Main (1945) with a new effort in the genre. Douglas Fairbanks Jr., who had just returned from a five-year WWII stint in the US Navy, would star in the titular role. Stephen Ames who produced “The Spanish Main” was assigned to produce the film, and he hired John Twist and George Worthing Yates to write an original screenplay based on the eighth voyage of Sinbad. A budget of $2.5 million dollars was provided and Richard Wallace was tasked with directing. A fine cast was assembled to join Fairbanks including Maureen O’Hara as Shireen, Walter Slezak as the villain Melik, Anthony Quinn as the Emir of Daibul, George Tobias as Abbu, and Mike Mazurki as Yusuf. The story draws inspiration from the 8th Voyage of Sinbad, which is set in the early 9th century C.E. and involves the search for the lost treasure of Alexander the Great. Sinbad secures a ship but must forge an uneasy alliance of convenience with villainous Melik who stole his map, memorized it, and then burnt it. After many adventures and overcoming Melik’s tracheary, Sinbad succeeds with his quest to secure the treasure, and wins the hand of the beautiful Shireen. The film was a modest success earning a profit of $300,000. critical success was tepid and it secured no Academy Award nominations. The film’s poor performance pretty much ended the viability of the swashbuckling genre. Read more…