Wednesday, June 4, 2014

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Musical Score, 1953

Oh dear Lord, with these categories!

Friedrich Hollaender/Morris Stoloff adapting Hollaender for The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T

Magnificent. The main theme throughout is "Ten Little Fingers" -- as a dull teaching tool, as an ominous undercurrent, as "sneaking-around" music -- though "Dream Stuff" eventually starts to eclipse it. The stuff you can do with one tune!

Adolph Deutsch adapting Arthur Schwartz for The Band Wagon

The whole movie's incredibly well-mounted, as far as adapting a musical for a score goes. But "The Girl Hunt" is so cool. Hurrah. (Strangely enough, The Band Wagon almost turned me off because the solution for "The Girl Hunt" is complete nonsense, but then I remembered that The Band Wagon is far less concerned about "The Girl Hunt" than it is with The Band Wagon. So.)

Ray Heindorf adapting Sammy Fain for Calamity Jane

Things I like: the use of "Deadwood Stage" as transitional music, the little cues of "Higher Than a Hawk" and "Secret Love" in the appropriate scenes -- the love scenes, I mean. It's a fine arrangement of some top-notch songs.

Alfred Newman, adapting Irving Berlin for Call Me Madam

Lively, foreign-sounding, with those ocarinas suggested at the beginning before taking over completely. Irving Berlin surely doesn't need the help, but Alfred Newman goes BIG, guaranteeing you earworms for the next month.

Saul Chaplin/Andre Previn adapting Cole Porter for Kiss Me Kate

That little bit of fanfare, the subtle use of accordion, then that jazzier, sensual orchestration when Fosse's doing his thing. Witty, self-aware. But hardly memorable, and in a Porter score, that's disappointing.


Call Me Madam won its only Oscar here -- but I say the winners shoulda been...


Tomorrow: the nominees for Best Supporting Actor, from the films From Here to Eternity, Roman Holiday, Shane and Stalag 17.

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