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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Yet Even Better Honorables.

I'll offer up four today, then next time, we'll have the last five Honorables,
then the actual Top Ten.

Continuing on:

"Calamity Jane"

One of the best movie musicals ever, certainly one of the most underrated.
Made during the glory days of the Freed Unit at MGM.
Only it wasn't made at MGM, or by Freed.
It was made at Warner Brothers.
The only superior movie musical made by Warners at that time.
It starred Doris Day, who was in lots o' musicals made there around that time.
Only they weren't any good.
And most of them co-starred Gordon MacRae.
But "Calamity Jane" was terrific.
And had Howard Keel, a veteran of MGM musicals, instead of Gordon MacRae.
It was a better fit.
The theme music was whistled by a chorus.
It was a version of the opening song, "Whip Crack Away".
This led us into Doris singing "Whip Crack Away", which was even better.

"The Misfits"

A great, haunting score by my favorite movie composer, Alex North.
Alex north also composed the score for "Spartacus", and my favorite TV theme,
"Playhouse 90"
"The Misfits" is the kind of movie that, the more often you see it, the more
affected you are by it.
The same can be said for the music.

"The Magnificent Seven"

Certainly a classic, and would have been even more prestigious if it hadn't been
appropriated by Marlboro cigarettes for their commercials all those years.
But in my mind, not even in the top three themes for Westerns.
Those will follow as we proceed on.

"The High And The Mighty"

Dmitri Tiomkin should be represented here, if only for how prolific he was.
The main appeal is the title song, which completely dominates a very entertaining
movie.
I believe there were even hit singles turned out of it during its time.

Okay,
That's it for now.
But we're pounding down the Honorables homestretch.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

******

8 comments:

  1. Hi.

    Dmitri Tiomkin is already represented in this blog series.

    "High Noon", remember?

    As long as I'm here, how about brief shout-outs for Elmer Bernstein ("Magnificent 7") and the team of Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster ("Calamity Jane").

    Webster was one of the best Hollywood lyricists ever.
    Think about that - he wrote:

    "Once I had a secret love ..."

    and:
    "Go to your left, your right, your left ..."

    and:
    "Who is the tall dark stranger there
    Maverick is the name...."

    and especially:
    "SpiderMan, SpiderMan,
    Does whatever a spider can ..."

    There's a career ...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Forgot that Tiomkin wrote "Do not forsake me..."
    I have a CD of Sammy Fain singing his own songs. It is first rate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, Ned Washington wrote "Do not forsake me ... " to Tiomkin's music.

      The same way he wrote "Rollin' rollin' rollin' ... " for the "Rawhide theme.

      Lyricists are every bit as important as composers.

      Just ask any composer who worked with Johnny Mercer.

      And check your Sammy Fain CD and see how many of the songs have Paul Francis Webster lyrics.

      Sight unseen, I'll bet the liner notes praise Webster to the skies.


      One more thing about Webster's "Maverick" lyric:

      Webster wrote it without collaborating directly with David Buttolph, the composer.

      During "Maverick"s first season, the theme was instrumental.

      WB decided to add lyrics in season 2, and engaged Webster to add words to the existing melody.

      Those words fit the music so perfectly, it's hard to believe that it wasn't a direct collaboration.

      OK, off-topic (sort of), but I just like to show off sometimes ...

      Delete
  3. For some ungodly strange reason my kid brother was terrified of the opening of Playhouse 90 (the star shaped mobile) and the theme music. He would howl in fear and hide behind the couch when he heard it. As middle aged guys in our fifties I once asked him what it was that frightened him so. He had no idea.

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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 macchus999@aol.com. 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."