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.