All posts under Hugo Friedhofer

9 Film Scores That Deserved a Pulitzer


The Pulitzer Prizes, handed out every April, are arguably the most prestigious prizes for journalism, arts and letters, and music in the U.S. Their monetary value is nominal; what matters is the prestige. In this month’s newsletter, I discussed the 2004 changes that came about in the Pulitzer rules allowing film music into consideration for the Music prize. Only one film score has ever won a Pulitzer—Virgil Thomson’s score to the 1948 documentary LOUISIANA STORY. So I thought it might be fun in this month’s “9 on the 9th” post…

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9 Oscar-Nominated Scores That Deserve (Re)discovery


With the 2010 Academy Awards just weeks away, this month’s “9 on the 9th” post covers some real “lost in the shuffle” Oscar-nominated film scores. With over 75 years worth of scores to choose from, I had to set myself some ground rules. The main rule was no CD’s. Sure, a CD does not necessarily guarantee discovery by general film music fans, but the odds improve significantly. LP releases were eligible. These scores are not necessarily my “favorites” per se, as in other posts, though I heartily recommend them all. Instead,…

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CD Review: Captain Blood – Classic Film Scores for Errol Flynn

Captain Blood

Out of the numerous albums in Charles Gerhardt’s Classic Film Scores series, CAPTAIN BLOOD–CLASSIC FILM SCORES FOR ERROL FLYNN, released in 1975, was the final album devoted to a particular star. While some of the scores on the album are familiar from other entires in the series, Gerhardt and the New Philharmonic Orchestra once again bring this great Golden Age film music stunningly to life. Three of Flynn’s most famous films were featured on Gerhardt’s first album in the series, THE SEA HAWK, devoted to the music of Erich Wolfgang Korngold….

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“Best” is an apt word for THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES. The 1946 film won 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Fredric March), Best Director (William Wyler), and another for Hugo Friedhofer‘s classic score. The film tells the story of three soldiers (March, Dana Andrews, Harold Russell) returning to the homefront after World War II and their difficulties in assimilating back into civilian life. Producer Sam Goldwyn set the wheels in motion after reading an article in Time magazine describing the reaction of a trainload of Marines…

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The Bishop’s Wife

The Bishop's Wife

THE BISHOP’S WIFE contains one of Hugo Friedhofer‘s most heavenly scores. Cary Grant stars as an angel who is summoned to earth in answer to the Bishop’s (David Niven) prayer to help him find his way in building a new cathedral.  Instead, Dudley (Grant) helps the Bishop reignite his relationship with his wife (Loretta Young) and his love for his vocation. Friedhofer utilizes all the proper instruments of the season—chorus, organ, sleigh bells–and subtly weaves in a number of Christmas carols. The score is based on a series of leitmotifs, much…

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