Friday, December 11, 2020

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1970, Day Six: Original Song

Fascinating that none of the Let It Be tracks wound up here, but then again, there is a curious trend of Song Score/Adapted Score winners not even being nominated in this category, like Victor/Victoria or Purple Rain. Interestingly, the only entrant to miss a Golden Globe nomination - the only "precursor" for this category - wound up taking the Oscar:

The nominees are:

"Whistling Away the Dark" from Darling Lili
music by Henry Mancini
lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Golden Globe winner for Best Original Song

The opening number, filmed like it should be the opening credits, but weirdly not. It's a great song, really got my hopes up for the rest of the movie: "Often I think this sad old world is whistling in the dark." The whole movie should've been like this, sexy and sad. Alas, it is not. Does the song fit the film proper? Is it right that it promise so much and deliver so little? These are questions that keep me up.

"For All we Know" from Lovers and Other Strangers
music by Fred Karlin
lyrics by Robb Royer (as Robb Wilson) and Jimmy Griffin (as Arthur James)

The many romantic plots of Lovers and Other Strangers revolve around an upcoming wedding. This song plays during the ceremony, a neat entr'acte leading us into the final act: the reception. Lovely tune, whether performed by Larry Meredith (as in the film) or the Carpenters (as on the radio). And it's what the film is all about: "Love, look at the two of us/Strangers in many ways..."

"Till Love Touches Your Life" from Madron
music by Riz Ortolani
lyrics by Arthur Hamilton
Golden Globe nominee for Best Original Song

Plays in the opening and closing credits of this Israeli-shot western in which an aged gunslinger and a French nun wander the desert. The film is mostly unobjectionable, unless you object to being bored. As for the song, there were so many other options, I can't even begin to think why this received a nomination.

"Pieces of Dreams" from Pieces of Dreams
music by Michel Legrand
lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Golden Globe nominee for Best Original Song

A young priest questions his vocation after falling in love with a social worker. Quiet, contemplative film, as reflected in this tune. I thought it'd be a throwaway thing, but no, the haunting melody and lyrics, played over a romantic montage of our two lovers, do a great job reflecting the priest's conflict: "Little boy lost in search of little boy found/You go a-wondering, wandering/Stumbling, tumbling round, round!"

"Thank You Very Much" from Scrooge
music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse
Golden Globe nominee for Best Original Song

Give it credit for being the greatest earworm in the film. Extra credit, even, for it being presented in the film as a dedication to a much-hated person finally dying, your joy of life increased ten-fold by their departure! How many songs in this category can said to be vengeful celebrations of someone shuffling off this mortal coil?  


My vote goes to:


Tomorrow, a day of rest. And then Sunday, the nominees for Best Director: Robert Altman (MASH), Federico Fellini (Fellini Satyricon), Arthur Hiller (Love Story), Ken Russell (Women in Love) and Franklin J. Schaffner (Patton).

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