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9 Favorite FSM CDs

With the release of Jerry Fielding’s THE WILD BUNCH last month, it’s the end of the line for the Film Score Monthly label. With a roster of 250 releases since 1996, FSM filled a very important void in the soundtrack business. With its primary concentration on the MGM library (which later incorporated other studios), producer… More

A Double Life

The Green-Eyed Monster

O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on. (Othello, Act 3, Scene 3) Jealousy certainly does make monsters of us all. In A DOUBLE LIFE (1947), Ronald Colman stars as an actor whose latest role as the jealous, murderous Othello begins to take over his… More

The Music Man

9 Favorite Film Music Marches

Because my quota of clever (such as it is) is already used up for the month, March’s “9 on the 9th” post celebrates, well, marches. (Oy.) Having spent more than my dues in marching bands back in high school, the strict 4/4 march tempo can make me break out in a cold sweat, as do… More

Double Indemnity

Double Indemnity

Billy Wilder’s DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) wasn’t the first film noir, but it was the beginning of a new phase in Miklos Rozsa’s already stellar career. Adapted from James M. Cain’s classic crime novel, Fred MacMurray stars as insurance salesman Walter Neff, Barbara Stanwyck is the sultry housewife Phyllis who convinces him to bump off her husband for the… More

Ben-Hur

9 Favorite Miklos Rozsa Scores

I just recently finished Film Score Monthly’s massive, and massively entertaining, 15-CD Miklos Rozsa Treasury (1949-1968). So who better to focus on for this month’s “9 on the 9th” post than this multiple Oscar-winner. If you listen to Rozsa’s music with any regularity, you’ll notice many of the same harmonic progressions and rhythmic motifs. Much… More

Spellbound

Spellbound

Producer David O. Selznick, who had recently gone through a “successful” bout of therapy (not at all common in the mid-1940s), was determined to bring the world of psychoanalysis to the screen and hired his REBECCA director, Alfred Hitchcock, to direct SPELLBOUND (1945). Ingrid Bergman stars as a cold-hearted therapist who falls in love with an… More

benhur

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

In 1959, M-G-M’s future was riding on the success or failure of the studio’s $15 million remake of the 1925 silent classic, BEN-HUR. They needn’t have worried. Epics with biblical themes reaped big rewards at the box office in the 1950s and BEN-HUR was no exception. It turned into a colossal hit and became the number… More

Julius Caesar

Lend Me Your Ears

From the 1920s through the 1960s, certain bigger films played what were known as roadshow engagements. Roadshows would open in a select number of larger markets (New York, Los Angeles, etc.) for a certain period of time before opening in wider release. Features of roadshow productions included reserved seats and souvenir programs. These films were shown only… More