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Movie Tournament: Classic Film Scores


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#1 of 997 OFFLINE   Agee Bassett

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Posted June 30 2002 - 04:52 PM

FINALE
pg. 33



Welcome to my Classic Film Scores tourney. Before I proceed with the regulatory rigmarole, allow me to offer my thanks to Rain, who graciously allowed me to partially plagiarize his tourney format, and even lift passages from his rule descriptions almost verbatim. Posted Image



Guidelines


I. Here, “classic” denotes the era in filmmaking prior to 1976; meaning that any film score which postdates John Williams’ Jaws (outside the confines of the year in which it premiered, 1975) is ineligible. So as to forestall ambiguity, hereafter, except in cases in which the score was composed after the premiere of a film, the date of the film’s public debut will be considered the date of the score. This means, for example, that Richard Einhorn’s score for The Passion of Joan of Arc, though written for a 1928 film, is ineligible, as it was composed in 1988. On the other hand, “recreated” scores (such as that recently done for Metropolis) are eligible, as long as the original composer is credited.

II. “Film score” is defined as:

a. An original musical composition written specifically for the film in which it appears. This is differentiated from what is commonly referred to as a “soundtrack”—a collection of catalogue musical pieces which appear alongside or in the place of original music composed for a film (this includes, but is not limited to, rock, classical, jazz, ragtime, etc.). For example, neither the music featured in American Graffiti nor 2001: A Space Odyssey is eligible, as they are comprised of music written by composers independent of the film production.

However, this does not preclude original film music composed after the themes of another composer (credited or otherwise). For example, this means that both Dimitri Tiomkin’s original musical score to Portrait of Jennie (based on themes by Debussy), and Charles Strouse’s Bonnie and Clyde (based on “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” by Flatt & Scruggs) are eligible.

This also does not preclude original music composed for a film, but not used in the final cut. For example, both Bernard Herrmann’s Torn Curtain (replaced by an original composition by John Addison) and Alex North’s original score to 2001 (replaced by various classical catalogue pieces) are eligible.

b. An original musical composition not conceived in Musical form. This is here defined as music in which lyrics/songs are employed as an integral narrative device. This does not preclude scores in which original choral music is used in the service of background accompaniment; or scores in which brief segments of this form are interspersed, whether as a complement to the diagetic world of the film’s action or setting, or as a momentary “departure” from its main structure. For example, whereas both Sergei Prokofiev’s original cantata Alexander Nevsky (in which the action is frequently accompanied by solo or choral voices) and Max Steiner’s Casablanca (in which “As Time Goes By”, and various other songs, play a prominent role in establishing the diagetic setting of the film’s action) are eligible, Bock & Harnick’s Fiddler on the Roof (which tells the story of Tevye fundamentally through lyrical songs) is not. Furthermore, Burt Bacharach’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (which features both a single, brief song interlude, as well as solo and choral vocal accompaniment) is eligible; whereas Alan Price’s O Lucky Man! (in which the song interludes are integral to the film’s narrative) is not. A little discretion may be required. Posted Image (Oft-times, a score’s categorization for Academy Awards will be a short-cut in determining its eligibility.)



Rules


1. Brackets are decided upon purely by random draw. If the match-up seems unfair, please consult your clergyman/therapist/celestial chart for the possible culprit. Posted Image

2. To vote in any given bracket, you must have either:

a.Seen both films.

b.Listened to both scores on audio CD, in at least mostly complete form.

This tourney is just for kicks, and not a winner-take-all deathmatch, so I trust it to the voter’s discretion to decide what comprises “mostly complete.”

To weigh in with the obligatory controversial mandate (as well as dispense with some of the obvious prejudices and egomania of the tourney host Posted Image), while I would, of course, strongly prefer the voter to have actually seen the films on which their respective scores were based (as one of the leading virtues of a score is its fluency in commenting upon the action of the film), it is not, as noted above, a requirement. Indeed, I would argue that, to the person who possesses both the cultured musical ear and fluent understanding of cinema, some filmic compositions betray their superior musicianship and skillful conception even when heard in isolation from the film. For example, there is at least one film composition (which shall, for the present, go unnamed) included in the list below of which I confess to regarding as something of a litmus test to see purely whose musical tastes are worthy of my respect. Posted Image As ever, as neither this tourney nor my opinion is anything to get worked up over, I would take it friendly if the contributor would receive the whole enterprise with a very discreet and humorous pinch of salt. Posted Image


3. In the event of a tie, sudden death rules prevail--next vote takes it. If there is still no vote 24 hours later, I call it. See also disclaimer below.

4. There are 64 drafted entrees in the tourney, as well as 32 "wild card" spots. During Round 1, you may nominate a composer and film of your choice. If someone seconds your nomination, it secures a wild card spot. The system is first come, first served. Everyone gets a max of 4 nominations/seconds--mix and match as you please. You may not second your own nomination. If there are wild card spots open by the end of the 16th bracket, additional noms/seconds will be forthcoming for everyone. If there are still open spots by the end of Round 1, the host reserves the right to fill all remaining vacancies with the film score(s) of his choice.

5. In Round 2, the wild cards are pitted against the winners from Round 1. In Round 2, you may not vote in the bracket in which your nominee is competing. Those who seconded the nominations CAN vote. In Round 3, everyone gets to vote again regardless of which score is competing.

6. So as not to skew the tourney too unfairly in favor of any particular composer, there will be allowed a max of 10 12 film scores (drafted entrees and wild cards combined) entered by each respective composer. If you have a nominated a composer who has already exhausted his maximum, you will be asked to nominate another composer.

In special cases in which more than one composer is responsible for a film’s score (such as Dimitri Tiomkin’s Portrait of Jennie, in which one cue was composed by Bernard Herrmann), the only exemption from this rule will be if either composer’s contribution is relegated to a separate, and inferior, citation in the film’s credits (as in the case of Jennie); or if it is omitted altogether. (The exception to this is if no composer is credited, as in the case of The Magnificent Ambersons, where segments of Herrmann’s original score were replaced by cues written by Roy Webb. In such cases, the author of the majority of a film’s score will be considered the sole author.) Therefore, neither the contributions by Herrmann in the first instance, nor Webb in the second, would be considered as counting against their max, in the case of these respective films being drafted/nominated. Lyricists are, of course, automatically disqualified from consideration (see guideline IIb).

7. Please do not make “deals” with other participants to vote in/for your nominees/pet favorites. Otherwise, I might get my friends in the mental health field to relocate Christou to a minimum-security institution near you. Posted Image

And, as no “legal” document is complete without a disclaimer...

Disclaimer: I must add that I have made a point of intentionally drafting a few rather “obscure” entrees which I fully expect to be received with some reticence (however, as noted above, almost all of the drafted scores are available with the film on DVD, or separately on audio CD; and most are available on both). One of the motivating purposes of this tourney is to edify, not to be popular. As mentioned before, if there is a tie, or if no votes have been cast for an entrant, I will call it. However, if I feel that an “obscure” choice is consistently undermining the democratic process, I want to assuage any supposed anxieties by emphasizing that this factor will wield a strong influence upon how my deciding vote is cast. As in all things, I ask the contributor only for a little indulgence. Posted Image

The 64 drafted entrees:
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood* (Erich Wolfgang Korngold)
    Alexander Nevsky*& (Sergei Prokofiev)

    Around the World in Eighty Days* (Victor Young)
    Ben-Hur*& [1959] (Miklos Rozsa)

    The Best Years of Our Lives& (Hugo Friedhofer)
    The Big Country#& (Jerome Moross)

    The Big Sleep& (Max Steiner)
    Bonnie and Clyde& (Charles Strouse)
    Breakfast at Tiffany’s*& (Henry Mancini)
    The Bride of Frankenstein*& (Franz Waxman)
    The Bridge on the River Kwai*& (Malcolm Arnold)

    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid*& (Burt Bacharach)
    Captain Blood@ (Erich Wolfgang Korngold)
    Casablanca*& (Max Steiner)

    Chinatown*& (Jerry Goldsmith)
    Citizen Kane*& (Bernard Herrmann)
    The Devil and Daniel Webster@ [1941] (Bernard Herrmann)

    Doctor Zhivago*& (Maurice Jarre)
    Double Indemnity@& (Miklos Rozsa)
    Duel in the Sun@& (Dimitri Tiomkin)
    The Ghost and Mrs. Muir* (Bernard Herrmann)
    The Godfather*& (Nino Rota)

    Goldfinger*& (John Barry)
    Gone With the Wind*& (Max Steiner)
    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly*& (Ennio Morricone)

    The Great Race#& (Henry Mancini)
    Henry V*& [1944] (William Walton)

    High Noon@& (Dimitri Tiomkin)
    It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World*& (Ernest Gold)
    Ivan the Terrible, parts I & II*& (Sergei Prokofiev)
    Jaws*& (John Williams)
    King Kong*& [1933] (Max Steiner)

    Kings Row* (Erich Wolfgang Korngold)
    Laura@ (David Raksin)

    Lawrence of Arabia*& (Maurice Jarre)
    Limelight@& (Charles Chaplin, Raymond Rasch, Larry Russell)
    Lost Horizon*& [1937] (Dimitri Tiomkin)
    The Magnificent Seven*& (Elmer Bernstein)
    North by Northwest*& (Bernard Herrmann)

    Once Upon a Time in the West* (Ennio Morricone)
    Oliver Twist@& [1948] (Arnold Bax)
    Patton*& (Jerry Goldsmith)
    Portrait of Jennie& (Dimitri Tiomkin)
    The Prisoner of Zenda@ [1937] (Alfred Newman)

    Psycho*& (Bernard Herrmann)
    Rebecca*& (Franz Waxman)
    Red River@& (Dimitri Tiomkin)

    The Red Shoes*& (Brian Easdale)
    The Sea Hawk* (Erich Wolfgang Korngold)

    The Sea Wolf@ (Erich Wolfgang Korngold)
    Sergeant York (Max Steiner)
    Spellbound* (Miklos Rozsa)
    Strangers on a Train@& (Dimitri Tiomkin)

    Sunset Boulevard* (Franz Waxman)
    Sweet Smell of Success& (Elmer Bernstein)
    The Thief of Baghdad# [1940] (Miklos Rozsa)

    Things to Come@& (Arthur Bliss)
    The Third Man*& (Anton Karas)
    To Be or Not to Be [1942] (Werner Heymann)
    Tom Jones@& (John Addison)

    Vertigo*& (Bernard Herrmann) - WINNER
    The Vikings*& (Mario Nascimbene)
    Where Eagles Dare* (Ron Goodwin)
    Wuthering Heights@& [1939] (Alfred Newman)
& - Movie available on DVD.
* - Complete score available on audio CD.
# - Complete score available on audio CD import.
@ - Partial score available on audio CD.


The 32 wild-cards:
  • Aguirre: The Wrath of God (Popul Vuh)
    The Apartment (Adolph Deutsch)
    The Bicycle Thief (Alessandro Cicognini)
    Cape Fear (Bernard Herrmann)
    Charade (Henry Mancini)
    City Lights (Charles Chaplin, Arthur Johnston, Jose Padilla)

    El Cid (Miklos Rozsa)

    Fahrenheit 451 (Bernard Herrmann)
    Godzilla (Akira Ifukube)
    The Great Escape (Elmer Bernstein)
    The Greatest Story Ever Told (Alfred Newman)
    The Guns of Navarone (Dimitri Tiomkin)

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Alfred Newman)
    Jane Eyre (John Williams)
    Jules and Jim (Georges Delerue)
    The Magnificent Ambersons (Bernard Herrmann)

    Midnight Cowboy (John Barry)
    Mon Oncle (Franck Barcellini, Alain Romans)
    The Night of the Hunter (Walter Schumann)
    Nights of Cabiria (Nino Rota)
    Of Mice and Men (Aaron Copland)
    On Her Majesty's Secret Service (John Barry)
    On the Waterfront (Leonard Bernstein)
    Pather Panchali (Ravi Shankar)

    The Pink Panther (Henry Mancini)
    The Sand Pebbles (Jerry Goldsmith)
    The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (Bernard Herrmann)
    Spartacus (Alex North)
    A Streetcar Named Desire (Alex North)
    To Kill a Mockingbird (Elmer Bernstein)
    Woman in the Dunes (Toru Takemitsu)
    Young Frankenstein (John Morris)

-----------------------------------------------------------

ROUND 1; Bracket 1:

The Red Shoes (Brian Easdale)

vs.

Chinatown (Jerry Goldsmith)

-----------------------------------------------------------[/size]

"By conservative estimate, the goddamned-ist thing ever seen." - James Agee on Bill and Coo (1948)

#2 of 997 OFFLINE   Agee Bassett

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Posted September 09 2002 - 04:00 PM

Let the games begin. Posted Image
"By conservative estimate, the goddamned-ist thing ever seen." - James Agee on Bill and Coo (1948)

#3 of 997 OFFLINE   Justin Doring

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Posted September 09 2002 - 04:29 PM

Chinatown

I nominate:

El Cid (Miklos Rozsa)
Fahrenheit 451 (Bernard Herrmann)
Spartacus (Alex North)
Taras Bulba (Franz Waxman)
"Home is where the theater is!"

#4 of 997 OFFLINE   Agee Bassett

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Posted September 09 2002 - 04:33 PM

And we're underway. Posted Image
"By conservative estimate, the goddamned-ist thing ever seen." - James Agee on Bill and Coo (1948)

#5 of 997 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted September 09 2002 - 05:57 PM

And I'll have to abstain. Posted Image

#6 of 997 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted September 09 2002 - 10:44 PM

Chinatown

I'll nominate

The Great Escape (Elmer Bernstein)
Young Frankenstein (John Morris)
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#7 of 997 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted September 10 2002 - 02:07 AM

The Red Shoes

Great idea for a tournament. Especially limiting the field to ‘classic’ scores (regardless of the cutoff date). This way the only argument is the date, not discussions as to the merits of Williams v Herrmann.

I appreciate your inclusion of some ‘obscure’ scores. I have seen (and heard) a fair number of (classic) films and scores, but you have got me stumped on a couple.

1st Wild Card Pick
Second:
Spartacus
¡Time is not my master!

#8 of 997 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted September 10 2002 - 03:02 AM

The Red Shoes
"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon

#9 of 997 OFFLINE   Agee Bassett

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Posted September 10 2002 - 04:17 AM

Spartacus (Alex North) goes in as the first wild-card.

SteveGon: Are there any scores you can nom/second?

Lew Crippen: As a face unfamiliar to me in the "Tourney Forum", welcome! Your eclectic knowledge of classic film scores may be a valuable asset to my tourney. Posted Image


Edit: Thread has been purged of all posts prior to yesterday.
"By conservative estimate, the goddamned-ist thing ever seen." - James Agee on Bill and Coo (1948)

#10 of 997 OFFLINE   Joe Bernardi

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Posted September 10 2002 - 04:27 AM

The Red Shoes

#11 of 997 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted September 10 2002 - 09:48 AM

Nominate:

A Streetcar Named Desire (Alex North)—Just to make sure that jazz is represented.
Jules and Jim (Georges Delerue)—So we have a representative from France. Also it’s a perfect score.
Godzilla (Akira Ifukube)—and one from Japan. I started with Ran in this slot, but looked it up after thinking that it might be post 1975. And it is by a decade. I’m just not used to thinking of a Kurosawa film being outside of the ‘classic’ period. However this should provide a good contrast to Max Steiner’s King Kong, already on the list.

I am unable to add so many, many more, as I’m out of noms. But for thought starters, How Green Was My Valley and To Kill a Mockingbird, great scores by Alfred Newman and Elmer Bernstein have not been mentioned. Of course they are already represented by other entires.
¡Time is not my master!

#12 of 997 OFFLINE   Rob Tomlin

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Posted September 10 2002 - 11:39 AM

The Red Shoes

I nominate Bernard Herrmann for his work on Cape Fear! Posted Image

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#13 of 997 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted September 10 2002 - 01:43 PM

The Red Shoes


This tourney needs more international flavor
Nominate:
Nights of Cabiria - Nino Rota
Woman in the Dunes - Toru Takemitsu
Aguirre, The Wrath of God - Popol Vuh
2002 Sight & Sound Challenge: 321  Last Watched: L'enfance Nue
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#14 of 997 OFFLINE   Agee Bassett

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Posted September 10 2002 - 01:59 PM

Updated.

Lew: Jazz is already represented by Elmer Bernstein's cynically upbeat Sweet Smell of Success (which usurped his even more renowned The Man with the Golden Arm on this list only by virtue of its presence on DVD). But good call on North's swelteringly sexual Streetcar, the vanguard of jazz film scores. Posted Image

Brook: You trying to sic the abstainees on me? Posted Image


Edit: Got yours too, Steve.
"By conservative estimate, the goddamned-ist thing ever seen." - James Agee on Bill and Coo (1948)

#15 of 997 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted September 10 2002 - 02:01 PM

I'll nominate Gerald Fried for Paths of Glory. A sparse but effective score.

I'll second Nights of Cariria and Aguirre: The Wrath of God.

Yeesh, I may be in over my head, here! Posted Image

Edit: I've see Brook's nominees. Posted Image

#16 of 997 OFFLINE   Justin Doring

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Posted September 10 2002 - 02:48 PM

How about giving us 4 nominations and 4 seconds?
"Home is where the theater is!"

#17 of 997 OFFLINE   Agee Bassett

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Posted September 10 2002 - 03:57 PM

The Red Shoes (Brian Easdale) takes the first bracket, 5-2.

Justin: That may be a consideration, but I would first like to wait a little longer to see what kind of participation I can expect for this tourney. Posted Image


-----------------------------------------------------------

ROUND 1; Bracket 2:

Ben-Hur [1959] (Miklos Rozsa)

vs.

Oliver Twist [1948] (Arnold Bax)

-----------------------------------------------------------

"By conservative estimate, the goddamned-ist thing ever seen." - James Agee on Bill and Coo (1948)

#18 of 997 OFFLINE   Justin Doring

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Posted September 10 2002 - 05:01 PM

Ben-Hur, arguably the greatest film score ever written.
"Home is where the theater is!"

#19 of 997 OFFLINE   Evan Case

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Posted September 10 2002 - 05:05 PM

Abstain on this round as I haven't seen Oliver Twist (I tried to rectify this over the summer by requesting it through Borders, but it remained on backorder for four months and I canceled the order).

I'll nominate City Lights by Charles Chaplin and The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad by Bernard Herrmann.

Evan
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#20 of 997 OFFLINE   Cameron Seaman

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Posted September 10 2002 - 05:25 PM

Agee,

I love the tourney link in your sig. I might steal that idea if it's ok. Posted Image