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Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Top Five.

Here they are, and then we will be done with it.

In descending order, from number 5 to number 1, with 1 being my all-time favorite.

5- "Kings Row"

This score was composed by the great Erich Wolfgang Korngold, primarily know for his
scores for Errol Flynn swashbucklers, and for "The Adventures of Robin Hood", where Errol also swashed and buckled.
"Kings Row" didn't have Errol Flynn.
It starred Ronald Reagan.
Draw that one on a graph.
"Kings Row" was a 1940's precursor to "Peyton Place", a sudsy, soapy potboiler, not very good, notable for Reagan waking up, not knowing his legs had been amputated, and
crying out to Ann Sheridan "Randy! Where's the rest of me?!"
It wasn't there.
But that great Korngold score was there.
Far better than that picture deserved.
Far better than anything else he ever wrote.
Far better than almost anything.

4- "The Bad And The Beautiful"

Awesome score by David Raksin for a very good movie about Hollywood backstabbing,
made in the early 1950's.
The movie seems a little dated now, as Hollywood backstabbing has become a far more refined artform.
Almost downright respectable.
But the lush, bluesy score that Raksin turned out is memorable and timeless.

3- "Friendly Persuasion"

Dmitri Tiomkin's masterpiece.
Gary Cooper and Anthony Perkins in a drama about a family of Quakers getting caught
up in the Civil War.
Really good movie, totally enhanced by Tiomkin's score and title song, sung by Pat
Boone, at his golden-throated best.
Pat even got a hit record from the title song, "Thee I Love"

2- "The Big Country"

Picking between number 2 and number 1 was really tough.
It was practically "flip a coin"
I ended up choosing "The Big Country" as number two.
It is probably the most impressive, influential musical theme ever.
"The Magnificent Seven" and "Blazing Saddles" were direct descendants.
It was composed by Jerome Moross, who never really composed anything else for the
movies, and only a handful of TV westerns.
The theme for this very long western is huge, sprawling, and dramatic.
The movie is only huge, sprawling, and long.
Another case of the theme being far better than the movie.

1- "The Rainmaker"

From 1956, starring Burt Lancaster and Katherine Hepburn.
I sat and listened back and forth between this score, by Alex North, and "The Big
Country" to determine 1 and 2.
I finally went with "The Rainmaker", because as good as "The Big Country" is musically, it doesn't move me.
"The Rainmaker" is a great movie.
It moves me.
And it's theme music moves me even more, and makes a great movie almost infinitely greater.

That's it.
Next time, I will actually write about something else.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.




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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."