Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Herrmann and Hitchcock

It's impossible to think about Alfred Hitchcock's classic films of the late 50's/early 60's without thinking of Bernard Herrmann. Herrmann was a classical composer who just happened to write for the movies. In addition to his collaborations with Hitch he compiled a magnificent list of credits beginning with Citizen Kane and ending with Taxi Driver! Arguably Herrmann's best work was on Hitchcock's 1958 film Vertigo. Jack Sullivan writes in The Wall Street Journal on the 50th anniversary of cinema's greatest score.

Here's Bernard Herrmann (playing the conductor) in the Royal Albert Hall sequence that ends Hitchcock's 1956 remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much, starring Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day. There's an amusing shot at the 8:05 mark of Herrmann framed between two cymbals poised to crash. I can almost hear the Master of Suspense chortling.

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