What's It All About?

What's It All About?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Overlooked at the Oscars (Well, Underlooked Anyway) Part 3

From the time I first loved movies, the musical scores have always played a large part in my admiration for a film.  Over the years I kept a mental list of the scores I loved the best, music that moved and thrilled me. Eventually, when I became interested enough in what went on behind the camera to see who did what, I had a revelation -- every single one of my favorites were written by Bernard Herrmann.   I also love Elmer Bernstein, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Miklos Rosza and other greats.  But there was always something about Herrmann that caught at my heart and mind before I even knew who he was.  He was the ultimate romantic, his music lush and gorgeous.

This picture of Herrmann is taken from his cameo in Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much.
He did win one Oscar in 1942, for The Devil and Daniel Webster.  It was a good score, but after that, Herrmann never won another Oscar.  This is the man who composed incredible music for so many great and popular movies, much of it music that is well-known -- Psycho, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Citizen KaneThe Day the Earth Stood Still, Fahrenheit 451, Jane Eyre, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (Herrmann's personal favorite), and many more.  Herrmann was a ground-breaker as well as a classical composer.  The Day the Earth Stood Still stands out with instruments and sounds that became standard for science fiction movies.  At the end of his career, Herrmann composed a marvelous, jazzy, dark score for Taxi Driver, music quite different from his previous work, and it was perfect for that movie.  He died right after he recorded the soundtrack for the studio.

So, I suppose he was not totally overlooked at the Oscars, but I think he should have won enough Oscars to cover every coffee table in his home.  I will never understand the thinking of the voters during his career.  Herrmann was a giant in the movie industry, and was treated like Tom Thumb by the Oscars.  I thought some of my readers might enjoy hearing some of my favorites by Herrmann, so I have posted some really good pieces, most of which are 2-3 minutes long.  Wonderful stuff...


Fahrenheit 451




Jane Eyre




Citizen Kane




The Ghost and Mrs. Muir




The Day the Earth Stood Still




Taxi Driver




Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Christmas, Everybody


19th Century Spanish Nativity 

Classic Becky's Brain Food has been sadly inactive the past few months, mainly because Classic Becky's brain has not received enough nourishment to feed it ... well, health problems aside, it is my hope that this Christmas season will see some activity emerging on my blog.  Since its beginning, I have had the good luck to be associated with the wonderful people of the Classic Movie Blog Association, as well as other followers whom I treasure.  I wish for all of you a joyful Christmas!