FSCT Playlist #5 – Rosebud…

Thanks to the celebration of Bernard Herrmann’s 100th birthday, this past week featured a wealth of film music manna. For us fans, few pleasures equal revisiting the works of the giants of film music, whoever they happen to be in your world. Herrmann is one of those in mine.

  • CITIZEN KANE (1941, Bernard Herrmann)—Herrmann’s groundbreaking score brought a new musical voice to Hollywood. It’s not the easiest listen on album but the riches are there to be mined for the patient listener.
  • CARS 2 (2011, Michael Giacchino)—Energetic and fun, and far better than the film deserves.
  • VERTIGO (1958, Bernard Herrmann)—Those opposing directional arpeggios and a ravishing love theme are just the tip of the iceberg in this amazing work.
  • THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1947, Bernard Herrmann)—Herrmann’s favorite score of his and mine as well. Lush romanticism at its very best.
  • FAHRENHEIT 451 (1966, Bernard Herrmann)—Ravishing score for a less-than-ravishing adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s chilling, futuristic tale.
  • NOBODY’S FOOL (1994, Howard Shore)—A delightful film (featuring one of Paul Newman’s finest performances) and one of my favorite Shore scores.
  • NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959, Bernard Herrmann)—My favorite Hitchcock film contains arguably Herrmann’s most enjoyable score from start to finish. I never get tired of the classic opening fandango and the heartbreaking oboe love theme.
  • CITIZEN KANE: CLASSIC FILM SCORES OF BERNARD HERRMANN—A stunning collection of Herrmann works from the baton of the one and only Charles Gerhardt.
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 2 (2011, Alexandre Desplat)—Review coming soon.
  • THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR, VOLUME 1 (Bernard Herrmann)—A prime example of Herrmann’s television writing, remastered in stunning sound by Varese Sarabande.

  • TRANSFORMERS (2007, Steve Jablonsky)—Reacquainting myself with Jablonsky’s sonic world for a review of Part 3.
  • TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN (2009, Steve Jablonsky)—More of the same.
  • 10 (1979, Henry Mancini)—Though Mancini still has command of his memorable melodies, this is one of the composer’s weaker efforts and one of the most inexplicable Oscar nominees ever. Probably because of the inclusion of Ravel’s Bolero.
  • A BOUT DE SOUFFLE (aka BREATHLESS) (1960, Martial Solal)—Solal’s classic jazz score for Godard’s groundbreaking French New Wave film.
  • BAARIA (2009, Ennio Morricone)—Not A-list Morricone, but beautiful themes, as to be expected.
  • THE CABINET OF CALIGARI (1962, Gerald Fried)—An excellent reminder of Fried’s mainly unsung talents, including a memorable main theme.
  • D.O.A. (1950, Dimitri Tiomkin)—A mixture of Tiomkin’s brand of musical film noir and big band jazz source cues. Not A-list Tiomkin but enjoyable for fans of the composer.
  • UP (2009, Michael Giacchino)—Time has not diminished the charms of this film and Giacchino’s Oscar-winning score. The new collaboration between Intrada and Disney has produced a winner that now sounds even more glorious with the proper lossless mastering.
  • E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982, John Williams)—Just as magical as it ever was.
  • HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG (2003, James Horner)—A surprise Oscar nominee and a surprisingly understated, effective effort from Horner.
  • FABLE III (2010, Russell Shaw)—Classical guitar, piano and harpsichord make this an unusual and refreshing entry in the world of video game scores.


  1. This week, Jim, I have mostly been listening to Alan Silvestri; Van Helsing, Judge Dredd, but also Nelson Riddle’s Batman, Danny Elfman’s Beetlejuice, Jerry Goldsmith’s Deep Rising, Logan’s Run and First Blood, Lalo Schifrin’s Enter the Dragon, John Barry’s Goldfinger and Dances With Wolves, Ron Grainer’s Omega Man, David Shire’s The Taking of Pelham 123, David Arnold’s Tomorrow Never Dies, Ennio Morricone’s The Untouchables, Tyler Bates’ Watchmen (still no better, though I keep trying), Henry Jackman’s X-Men First Class, Dave Grusin’s Yakuza, and Alex North’s original 2001 score. Epic, but it just doesn’t conjure the film up.

  2. It wasn’t hard for me to celebrate Herrmann’s big birthday, either; and it was a great excuse to watch Ray Harryhausen!

    THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD – Herrmann’s score is as colorful and exciting as the film itself, and the blu-ray version of the film, with a DTS-HD stereo soundtrack, surpasses the original theatrical release. It is great to have the complete, Herrmann-conducted score now available on CD, although I listened to the wonderful original album version before rolling the film. Movie music magic!

    JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS – One of the defining films of my childhood, so imaginative and thrilling. The Bruce Broughton re-recording is a superior listening experience and well worth a spin before enjoying one of the great fantasy films of all time.

    A couple of new Soundtrack CDs:

    EL CONDOR/VILLA RIDES! A lively listen, featuring a couple of Maurice Jarre scores that I actually liked better than THE PROFESSIONALS!

    A STUDY IN TERROR – I’m a big John Scott fan and was delighted to get this superb soundtrack. Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper! The new performance by the Hollywood Symphony is just great.

  3. The 13th Warrior – Jerry Goldsmith
    The Egyptian – Alfred Newman/Bernard Herrmann
    I Spy (Vol. 1) – Earle Hagen
    Shrek Forever After – Harry Gregson-Williams
    Legends of the Fall – James Horner
    Timeline – Bryan Tyler
    Lost Season Four – Michael Giacchino
    The Last Valley – John Barry
    Inception – Hans Zimmer
    The Lost World – John Williams
    Star Trek VI – Cliff Eidelman
    Amelie – Yann Tiersen
    Sommersby – Danny Elfman
    The Da Vinci Code – Hans Zimmer

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