Well folks, the time is drawing near! In a little over a month we will be celebrating the great composer Bernard Herrmann with a blogathon. I am beyond excited to be hosting and am overwhelmed by the response and appreciation you all have shown for this influential, prolific artist.
(To check out the complete list of participants and their topics of choice click HERE.)
That being said, there are some fantastic titles and topics still available. If you are undecided about joining or need some ideas, here’s a few to get you started…
The Birds (1963) CLAIMED
Herrmann didn’t compose music for Hitchcock’s thriller about what would happen if our fine feathered friends turned against us, but he was the sound consultant for the film. Just how did they produce those birdy sounds anyways?
Bonus: Did the choice not to include music make the film more scary…or not?
The Trouble With Harry (1955) CLAIMED
Take a virtual vacation to picturesque New England and find out why poor Harry just won’t stay buried. Herrmann displays his sense of humor in Hitch’s dark comedy which is interspersed with tender moments. Delightful character actors Edmund Gwenn and Mildred Natwick join Shirley MacLaine in her film debut.
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) CLAIMED
Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day become involved in political intrigue in Hitchcock’s remaking of his 1934 movie of the same title. Herrmann’s conducting cameo comes in the most exciting sequence of the film.
On Dangerous Ground (1951) CLAIMED
I have yet to see this film, but it is often cited as an underrated Herrmann score and for good reason. Its moments of tension are accompanied by equal parts tenderness as only Herrmann can provide. One of the few noirs in the composer’s filmography, directed by Nicholas Ray, it stars Robert Ryan and Ida Lupino.
Citizen Kane (1941) CLAIMED
The first sounds Herrmann made in Hollywood were the low, ominous tones heard in the opening of this revered classic. Moody, dark, and atmospheric, this film score showed the industry what was to come from the revolutionary composer, garnering him the first of his five nominations.
The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)
A dying author lies at the base of Kilimanjaro and recalls his life and his loves. Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, and Ava Gardner star in this romantic rendition of Ernest Hemingway’s short story.
Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)
The wonder, danger, and excitement of the Fantastical is explored through Herrmann’s imaginative score for Jules Verne’s classic adventure story. Leading the way are stars James Mason, Arlene Dahl, and Pat Boone.
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
High adventure at its best which marked a series of firsts for Ray Harryhausen: the first of three Sinbad films; his first color film; and the first of four films he made with Herrmann, of which the special effects artist said the score was the best of their collaborative efforts.
Psycho (1960) CLAIMED
Made on a shoestring budget which prompted the use of a strings only score – unheard of for a horror film at the time – Herrmann’s ingenuity made history. Hitch insisted the shower scene remain scoreless; Herrmann thought differently, winning the director over with his piercing, shrieking violins.
Television — The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
Herrmann scored 17 episodes of this television program which is available for easy viewing on Peacock at the time of this writing. (The Herrmann episodes start with Season 2 listed under The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.) Click HERE for a list of Herrmann scored episodes.
Hopefully these titles whet your appetite for what’s to come next month! There’s still time to sign up. Please leave me a comment if you’d like to join!
For more ideas, see the announcement post HERE.