Cat People

One of the most versatile composers of the 1930’s and 1940’s was Roy Webb, whose twenty-five year tenure with RKO Pictures resulted in a plethora of effective and memorable film scores in a wide variety of musical styles and film genres. Born in New York City on Oct. 3, 1888, Roy Webb had initially been…

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D.O.A.

Rudolph Maté’s memorable film noir thriller, D.O.A. (1949), concerned an innocent man who suddenly realizes he’s been murdered with a slow-acting and irreversible poison, and who becomes desperate to learn who committed the crime, and why, before the foul chemical reaches its course. Well-acted by Edmund O’Brien and Pamela Britton, the film was aided immeasurably…

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Ginrin

In 2005, the avant-garde Public Relations film Ginrin (Silver Wheels, 1956) was discovered. Since its location had been unknown almost for a half century, it was regarded as a non-existent or lost film. Originally, the Japanese Bicycle Industry Association (Nihon Jitensha Kôgyôkai) organized this Public Relations film project as an advertisement for bicycles aimed at…

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Hands of the Ripper

One of the best horror movie scores of the 1970s was for Hammer Film’s 1971 thriller, HANDS OF THE RIPPER. The film was a poignant story of a young woman possessed by the unwholesome spirit of her father – Jack the Ripper. The picture benefitted from a literate script, excellent direction, convincing performances, and fine…

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Invaders from Mars

Not only is the music for the recent INVADERS FROM MARS re-make entangled in strange cir­cumstances, but the score for the original 1953 film is likewise surrounded by contro­versy. Credited to Raoul Krau­shaar, a Paris-born composer who was educated in the United States and began working in films in 1928 as a musical assistant and…

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Julius Caesar

In my previous articles about the music of QUO VADIS, IVANHOE and PLYMOUTH ADVENTURE I have expanded my theories about music written for historical films. Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR presented new problems. If it had been merely a historical film about Julius Caesar I would have undoubtedly tried a reconstruction or approximation of the Roman music…

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Lust for Life

Hollywood has not exactly achieved world fame for the historical accuracy of its film biographies, as the carefree manner in which it often juggles historical facts with sheer fantasy to suit its own dramatic purposes is its Achilles heel, where it can be – and usually is – attacked. LUST FOR LIFE, however, is a…

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