“Forgotten Hollywood”- A Pioneer of the Film Noir Score…

Posted on May 4, 2017 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here… 

“`Alfred Newman was one of the most celebrated composers of his time. Nominated for a total of 43 Academy Awards, he won nine Oscars for cinematic classics, such as The Hurricane, The Song of Bernadette, The King and I, With a Song in My Heart, and Camelot. He composed the familiar fanfare that accompanies the studio logo at the beginning of 20th Century Fox productions. It still introduces Fox pictures today. A segment of a score for David O. Selznick’s The Prisoner of Zenda became the standard music that accompanies the Selznick International logo at the start of their motion pictures. Consider a third reason to remember Alfred Newman (right).

“`Street Scene is a pre-code 1931 production, produced by Samuel Goldwyn and directed by King Vidor. The movie starred Sylvia Sydney and Beulah Bondi (in her film debut). The theme by Newman, was his first complete cinematic score.  Alfred composed the eponymous title, in the style of George Gershwin’s An American in Paris. The score mirrored the frantic sounds of daily life in New York’s Lower East Side of the 1930s.

“`When 20th Century Fox needed a film noir theme,  his Street Scene score became the soundtrack of the genre. The same time The Maltese Falcon was released,  in 1941, that score was used  in I Wake Up Screaming.  It starred Betty Grable, Victor Mature and Carole Landis. The Dark Corner, Kiss of DeathCry of the City, and  Where the Sidewalk Ends followed with the effective use of this familiar ditty. The catchy tune defined 1940s film noir.

“`He used the theme in other flicks, including How to Marry a Millionaire in 1953, which opens with Newman conducting an orchestra. It’s also heard in Gentleman’s Agreement.

“`The legacy of Alfred Newman and his influence on the language of music for the cinema is practically unmatched by anyone in Hollywood history. Cue the Street Scene theme.


Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 4th, 2017 at 2:36 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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