We all know the iconic theme from this TV Show but did you know it was not the original? The first year had the moody, unsettling feel that you were in a nightmare. This was composed by the great Bernard Herrmann whom I talked about in an earlier post. I like this theme quite a bit.
2. ONE STEP BEYOND-1959-1961
This came on at the same time as The Twilight Zone but it was supposed to be based on true events which some episodes made me feel quite creeped out. The music was created by Harry Lubin and one could actually buy this soundtrack. I'd love to have it.
I have only seen an episode here and there but never the whole series. It was actually a soap opera but with ghouls. Jonathan Frid played the vampire and gained quite the cult following plus this show had the legendary film actress Joan Bennett. The music is effectively eerie which was created by Robert Cobert and performed with his orchestra.
I will always go with this song and this show over The Adam's Family because I like the characters better, the house, the goofy Fred Gwynne as Herman, the music and that car! I want to drive in it one day...that would be so cool.
Fantasia is a great film from Disney and this image from a hellish night I thought was apt for my picks of music this week. This was created in 1940, way before Disney becoming the evil empire. I can't help myself, but they just seem to be too big and that's never good. Instead of Monster Mash and Time Warp the one song from Rocky Horror Picture Show, both which I love to dance to, I am going classical. Big surprise but, when I have this music on and the kids come to the door, they really get freaked out by the music and ask me about it, so here we go...
1. NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN FROM MODEST MUSSORGSKY-1867
This scene is actually from the justifiablely famous "Fantasia" that came out in 1940 way before CGI and computers so this was all hand done folks! Mussorgsky wrote this in one night, June 23, 1867, the night when, in Russian legend, the witches come out to dance near some mountain that is near Krakow, present day Poland. Once Rimsky-Korsakov re-worked it, it became famous and this is the version we hear with the great Leopold Stokowski conducting. It's quite scary, I think.
2. DANCE MACABRE BY CAMILLE SAINT-SAENS FROM 1874
The devil, with his nasty violin calls out to the dead to dance with him during the night. I love how the composer uses different instruments to tell a story especially the xylophone which represents the bones. I'd love to see a dance, not modern, done to this.
3. BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA SOUNDTRACK- THE OPENING THEME-1992
I thought Gary Oldman was superb as Dracula and I don't even mind Keanu Reeves who gets too much flack but meh, who cares. From the costumes, the cinematography to this great soundtrack, it really brings an eerie horror. The love theme is exquisite but I went for the opening which is great. So not a classical musician from times long gone, but Wojciech Kilar truly created a great soundtrack which I have on cassette tape...yup, you heard me, cassette! I have to get the CD of this along with Lord Of The Rings.
I have heard footsteps in my home when no one else was there plus my doggie, Katie, heard them too. Just when I was ready to see who was in my home, the footsteps stopped. Katie went out of my tv room and I found her in the library. Another time, my then husband and I heard someone fall with a metal walker just by the steps yet nothing was there. We asked my mom, who was upstairs in her apartment, if she was alright. She was annoyed with us because we interrupted her watching "Diagnosis Murder". Things have gone missing only to be there later and I know I looked there more than once. There are more unusual things that have happened but that gives you a clue. The people who owned the home before, he died in the house back in the mid 70s. He always wore regular shoes, never sneakers, and he needed a walker later on. My dear friends' parents were good friends with the people living here so that's how I know anoutvthe people. So, anything ever go bump in the night at your home...aside from sex of course:). Wandering Through The Shelves chose "new home" as the theme and homes are often a major player in movies from Tara to Amity house. Here are my 3 picks...
1. THE UNINVITED-1944
This is an excellent, spooky film starring Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey as a brother and sister who travel to England and see this great old house and decide to buy it. They do, for a song, (sorry, Ray plays a composer) not realizing why they got it so cheap. They meet the man's granddaughter, played by Gail Russell, who loves the home and feels a strong pull to the home. You find out there are 2 spirits-one good and one...not. It’s very eerie and atmospheric especially with the waves of the ocean. The famous song, "Stella by Starlight" comes from this film. It's really quite good and intelligent which I much prefer over slasher crap.
2. MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOME- 1948
Didn't expect this one eh? Well, if you ever owned a home, you know that it can be your own horror show with all the things that can go wrong...hell, we still have knob and tube wiring! This film stars Cary Grant and Myrns Loy who decide to screw the apartment life and buy a home. To say they bought a lemon is an understatement but they fell in love with the image they had in their heads. Along for the ride is Melvyn Douglas who is a family friend and lawyer who thinks they are nuts. It's hilarious and we can all relate to the nightmares of owning a home.
Newlyweds, played by Alec Baldwin and Gena Rowlands, buy a neat old home which they are fixing up but before you can say "paint dry", they die and are now ghosties in the home which they can't leave. Enter new home owners played by Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones and a young Winona Ryder who hates her life. She soon finds out about the ghosts but also finds out there is a miserable wretch called Beetlejuice who wants to be free. Well, guess what? Yup, he is freed and wants more than just to roam around. Now the sweet ghosts and the young lass are trying to figure out what to do. Meanwhile Catherine is redesigning the beautiful home into something gross and the dad just wants one room he can call his own. This is funny especially the dinner scene with the Belafonte song is done in full tiltthat makes me laugh every plus you have the great Sylvia Sydney as a clerk for the dead.
Now, yesterday I asked which 1984 song won the Oscar, which was Nominated and which got nuttin'. Here are the answers...
"I Just Called To Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder won the Oscar. "Ghostbusters" was nominated and the Prince song didn't get any love.
What home horrors have you dealt with? Any hornet nests in between the walls? Mice? Let me know and let me know what film you can think of.
What can I say, isn't Harley cute? It's that time again... to choose your Oscar song:)). I decided to pick 1984 and even got a little Halloween fun with this one. I was 20 when this Oscar event rolled through and was in my 2nd year of university enjoying the partying spirit...oh and learning.....hahahaaa...no, it was the partying. So, let’s see if you can guess which song won, which one was nominated and which song got nadda.
1. PURPLE RAIN SUNG BY PRINCE
Prince was all the rage with his crummy movie and excellent songs. I remember when he arrived at the Oscars in his purple, sparkly, hooded outfit with an entourage of body guards surrounding the little guy. Later that week, I watched Johnny Carson who had the great Jimmy Stewart as a guest. I laughed so much when Johnny asked Jimmy what he thought of Prince’s arrival. Jimmy, who was at the Oscars, was perfect in describing what he saw.
2. I JUST CALLED TO SAY I LOVE YOU SUNG BY STEVIE WONDER
This was a song all over the airwaves which comes from the film, “The Woman In Red” and ..I just can’t stand this song. I think it was done to death and I found it so drippy but I am probably in the minority.
3. GHOSTBUSTERS SUNG BY RAY PARKER JNR
I always love hearing this song and the movie. I watch the movie every year and I recall how much I laughed when Mr. Staypuff made his appearance. Apparently, Huey Lewis, from Huey Lewis and the News, sued Ray Jnr for copying his song, “ I Wanna New Drug.” It was settled out of court and, later, it came out that the leads, Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis asked Ray to create a song with a beat similar to Huey Lewis’s song. I did not know that, but I still love this song.
So...which song won the Oscar, which was nominated and which got neither? I promise I will let you know in tomorrow’s post.
Last weekend was Thanksgiving for us Canucks and it was nice to have 3 days off but we were busy. We didn't have Turkey but a nice roast beef and invited my mom's best friend, Brigitte, over as she seemed to be lonely. She is 86 yrs young and wants to go on a Viking cruise next year provided Covid stops being a bitch. We also had very bad news, not us directly, but still family and we hope all will be OK.
You know, Wandering Through The Shelves picked another great theme this week which is all about the last girl. I know I have seen plenty of old 50s horror shlock but my brain went pffft so I went with the famous, well, the last 2 anyway. Here are my 3...
1. HOUSE OF WAX-1953
This is one of the first films to try the new 3D style to bring people back into the theatre and away from their black and white TVs. It stars Vincent Price, starting his horror acting adventure as a gifted man who could make realistic figures out of wax. The girl, Phyllis Thaxter, believes there is more to it than meets the eye when her friend disappears. What will happen to this lass? Will she make it? This is a remake of an earlier film starring Fay Wray but I have not seen that movie...yet.
I finally watched the original movie last year. All the years before, I found it just too scary. We all know the premise, psycho Mike Myers ( not the Canadian comedian... ooh behave!) has escaped the mental ward and wants to kill his sister, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. Hot on his trail is his doctor, played by one of my favourite actors, Donald Pleasance. Good ole Mikey decides to kill a few people before being stopped...well, he isn't as the many, many sequels can attest. Speaking of Neverending sequels, here is my next gal...
3. ALIEN- 1979
Yeah, so I still have not seen the whole movie. I make it to where John Hurt has an upset stomach and out pops cute little Alien baby freaking everyone out before the little thing scurries off to find mamma. I turn the channel to something sweet instead like FBI or the Simpsons. Sigourney Weaver plays that character that keeps coming back for more as every one on that space pod ends up dinner for that freaky alien...except the pussy cat. I just can't watch it...too scary.
I love this artist, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who, you have to admit, was very creative using fruits, vegetables and grains to create people. I love it. We are now getting into the halfway point in October...jumping Jehosaphat!! I can’t believe where we are already! Soon we will be seeing Halloween stuff beside Christmas stuff...Er...I did already see that, so...never mind. Ok here are my 3 Autumn music pieces that I enjoy listening to. The last one is a recent love, but I do enjoy hearing it.
1. AUTUMN FROM THE 4 SEASONS BY VIVALDI WRITTEN IN 1718-1720
I love the 4 seasons by Vivaldi and put it on always around this time especially in the car when I travel through some beautiful scenery. There are many variations to the 4 seasons but I found this one, with the tempo, just right. The violinist is the great Frederieke Saeijs, from The Netherlands, performing with the Amsterdam orchestra, just a few of them, whobtruly know how to do this piece justice. It's 11 minutes but it's excellent.
2. AUTUMN LEAVES SUNG BY DORIS DAY- 1956
There are many versions to this song but I really enjoy this one sung by the great Doris Day. This song was written in 1945 by Joseph Kosma with French lyrics by Jacques Prevert and sung by Irene Joachim and Yves Montand but later, the lyrics were written in English by Johnny Mercer. There is the full instrumental version made famous by Roger Williams in 1955 that became a #1 hit.
3. OCTOBER TWILIGHT BY FRANKIE CARLE AND SUNG BY NAN WRIGHT-1947
This is a good song with a hint of Halloween. Funny, it was written in 1922 by Henry Hadley with lyrics added only in 1947 by Guy Wood. I love the cartoon.
What song makes you feel like going for a drive to see the fall colours?
A Dahlia from our garden. It's just so pretty and it reminds me of my Oma who loved this flower. So, it's time to let ya know what I watched in September and I will try to make it short.....hahahaaaa.
1. THE AFRICAN QUEEN-1951
Katherine Hepburn plays a spinster who travels with, "I need a bath", Canadian Humphrey Bogart up the African River during WW1 and decide to do a little destruction for the war effort not thinking they will fall in love. Great movie and the behind the scenes are just as juicy. Poor Kate needed a vomit bucket off camera but Bogie and the director John Huston were fine. The reason? They only drank booze.
2. THE MAIDEN HEIST-2009
Talk about a fun movie where 3 security guards that work in an art museum find out their favourite art pieces have been sold to make the art museum look towards newer art. The decision? Steal their favourite art piece. It's funny and sweet with William H Macy stealing the scenes as a guard who must strip baked in front of his favourite art piece.
3. THE HUMBLING- 2010
Al Pacino plays a slightly nutty actor who has lost his way. Al playing someone off kilter? Hmm big surprise. I wanted to like it more than I really did.
4. HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE-1964
I'm surprised all the kids who hate the song, "Baby, it's cold outside" gave nit demanded this film be annihilated. Sorry, kids but get a life. I love this movie which is about how a free wheeling rich man, free of any burdensome wife, gets hitched to a luscious Italian gal who lusts after him and he succumbs. Awwww, poor slob. His valet, the great Terry-Thomas, is aghast that his boss married and doesn't kick her out. It's fun, silly and shows how, in the end, we hold the cards.
5. THE NEWS OF THE WORLD-2020
An excellent quiet western starring Tom Hanks as a man who brings the news to all the different towns out there only to come across a young girl who only wants to go vack to the Indian tribe that raised her. I love this film.
6. BLOWING WILD- 1953
Gary Cooper is hired by his friend, Anthony Quinn, to run his oil fields while Gary tries to rin away from the nutty, but lustful wife of Quinn, played by Barbara Stanwyck. Ruth Roman is the nice gal who falls for Cooper. It's a fun flick that is predictable but still fun.
1. RIPPER STREET-2012-2016
Excellent British TV show starring Matthew McFadyen as inspector Reid who is haunted by the recent Jack the Ripper murders but still must deal with the squalor of Whitechapel. He has his trusted right hand man, Bennet Drake and they come across a drunken, but brilliant American doctor Homer Jackson. Hubby and I binged-watched this series and loved every moment. See it if you can.
2. QUANTUM LEAP-2022
The jury is still out on this remake but I'm enjoying it. This QUANTUM LEAP is taken out of moth balls and a new man is now jumping around into other peoples' lives. My heart does belong to Scott Bacula.
3. DANCING WITH THE STARS- 2005-Present
My guilty pleasure that I started watching and my mom watched it too. We would talk and bitch about the dances and the music they picked. It's gone through some crap...like firing Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews for no reason...typical of today and then bringing in Tyra Banks...ughh. now, Disney grabbed it and have it on their channel. I thought that would be it but my ex can grab it and download it for me to watch. I enjoy it and feel my mom is beside me bitching about the music.
Wandering Through The Shelves has chosen a great theme and it would be fun to see this on other months, but this is Halloween and I can’t wait to see what everyone else chooses. I am certain we will hear “Jaws” today but I went with one composer whom, I think, just kicks ass when it comes to creating some great musical scores. His name is Bernard Herrmann who was born June 29, 1911 and died December 24, 1975 at only 64 from a heart attack and was a composer for Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock but created great works outside their realm including TV shows like the first theme for The Twilight Zone. Here are my 3 picks...
1. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL-1951
I love, love this theme that sounds, sorry...out of this world. The film is about a man from outer space who decides to learn about the human race by living along side them. It is not an easy path for this man who decides to learn what makes these paranoid Americans tick but realizes that they, and the rest of the world, may not be up to par with maintaining galactic peace...with the help of Gort. The music was created using some funky instruments like the Theremin and vibraphones.
We should all know this theme which just seems to jarr us when the credits cut across the screen. Herrmann thought it best to have this theme played with only strings since it was filmed in black and white. The slashing movement really becomes dominant once we see the shower scene. We almost think the music seems out of place when Marion Crane steals the money from her employer so she can marry the man she is sleeping with, until she decides to pull over into a motel during a rainstorm. It becomes one of the best known and great ways music is used to heighten the scene.
3. MYSTERIOUS ISLAND-1961
I love this prelude which makes you think what will one see in this film which is more adventurous than horrific but...who cares. You have people on an island inhabited by much larger creatures than one thinks like giant bees and a giant chick all thanks to Ray Harry Heusen. I love the movies with his work and Herrmann's music. This score was performed by the London Symphony.
Which horror music makes you sit on the edge of your seat.
I love Gary Larson and find him one of the funniest comics ever. This weekend is our Canadian Thanksgiving...the time we say thank you to the Native Americans for letting us steal their land, destroy the Buffalo almost to extinction, being the first to scalp the Indian, place them on reservations and deride them as human beings. Well, enough about thanking them, and on with some music that made me think about thanks. So here are my 3 picks...
1. I'VE GOT PLENTY TO BE THANKFUL FOR SUNG BY BING CROSBY-1942
This song was written by Irving Berlin for the classic movie, "Holiday Inn". This is the Thanksgiving part( duh) and it's just a nice song that makes us think what we truly should be thankful for. Funny, this part starts off with the cartoon turkey on the November calendar, running from one Thursday down to the following Thursday and back again before giving up and shrugging its shoulders. I guess FDR wanted to change the Thursday Thanksgiving was celebrated on and it became a heated debate.
2. THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC SUNG BY ABBA-1977
Well, of course I thought of ABBA and this is a great song that I loved listening to and I also have it in Spanish from their Spanish album, "Gracias Por La Musica".
3. THANK YOU SUNG BY DIDO- 1998
I actually like Dido and this song is so good. I first heard it in the movie "Love, Actually" and then I went on a search. I didn't know she was singing about depression but that didn't matter because it sounds ethereal to me.
DIED FROM: Heart Attack brought on from years of drug taking and alcohol
AFFAIRS: Libby Holman, Roddy McDowell, possibly Kevin McCarthy
REAL NAME: Edward Montgomery Clift
NICKNAMES: Monty and Rumpled Movie Star
KNOWN FOR: His sheer talent; having a twin sister (Edith or Roberta as a first name); His amazingly good looks; his chronic dysentery (probably had Colitis or Crohn's Disease); his inner anguish
OSCAR NOMINATIONS: The Search (1949), A Place In The Sun (1951), From Here To Eternity (1953) and Judgement At Nuremberg (1961)
This man was held in very high esteem by Marlon Brando, James Dean and many others for his sheer acting talent. Burt Lancaster visibly shook while acting opposite him out of sheer anxiety. Clift had major acting chops and was from the new school of acting called "Method" which did not bode well with some of the old guys of Hollywood like John Wayne although John Wayne did respect the kid's talent. Clift was offered the role, that went to William Holden in "Sunset Blvd", as it was written with him in mind, but he felt it hit too close to home since he was with Libby Holman at the time who was 16 yrs his senior and had a fascination for him. He became lifelong friends with Elizabeth Taylor when they starred in "A Place In The Sun" and it was rumoured she fell for him but he never reciprocated (or did he? Who knows and who cares as they were great friends). When he hit on hard times, she was one of the few who stayed by him along with Dean Martin.
It seems his mom spent every moment claiming to be from Southern high society and tried to prove it, while his dad was a bit of a jerk but he and his siblings (he had an older brother) didn't lack for anything. Due to his painful intestinal woes, he started taking prescription meds to dull the pain. During the making "Raintree County", with Taylor, he was in a horrible car accident. He was at a dinner party at Taylor's home with her then husband, Michael Wilding, and Kevin McCarthy and Rock Hudson etc... He left, with McCarthy driving ahead to help steer him down the curvy road, when Clift slammed into a tree. McCarthy went back to Taylor's home and she ran down to where the accident was. Clift couldn't breathe because 2 of his teeth were slammed partway down his throat, so she took her small hand and got the teeth out and held him until the ambulance arrived. Taylor, Kevin, Michael and Rock all shielded him from the reporters who were trying to take pictures of him. His face was quite smashed in and it took a few months before he could return to work. The sad thing is that people went to see the movie to figure out whether they could see how he looked before and after the accident. From that time on, he seemed to be on a straight downward path where, his former acting teacher, Robert Lewis, stated that it "was the longest suicide in Hollywood history."
When he made "Suddenly, Last Summer" with Liz Taylor and Katherine Hepburn, he was a mess to which, the director, Joseph Mankiewicz, really bullied the poor actor. When filming wrapped, Hepburn asked the director if she was needed for any more re-shoots etc.. When he said no, she spat in his face and told him off (good for her!). By this time, he was not only hooked on meds but was an alcoholic...he was one messed up guy. It is said he had a hard time dealing with his homosexuality which could be the case given the times but, I think, that is not it alone...having such strong-minded parents, chronic pain and many other issues, contributed to this man's short life. Marilyn Monroe once said that the only person more screwed up than her was Monty.