This year marks the centenary of Bernard Herrmann, cinema’s foremost composer of soundtracks, and the collaborator with some of Dirk’s favourite auteurs, Welles, Scorsese, Hitchcock and Harryhaussen.
This list is an acknowledgement of his contribution to great films of the last century.
1) PSYCHO (1960) – the shower scene wouldn’t be the shower scene without the screeching strings. Like Gus Van Sant, I also feel that the original would benefit from having a cut-a-way to a sheep.
2) VERTIGO (1958) – Hitch and Herrmann eventually fell out over THE TORN CURTAIN, but not before working on this film about literarily ‘falling out’, with a dizzying jangle that evokes psychosis and platinum blonds.
3) TAXI DRIVER (1975) – His last and arguably best summoning of hell on earth with rolling drums and a sulphurous sax… it certainly ‘talks to me.’
4) CAPE FEAR (1962, 1991) – If only for the crashing theme that accompanies Mitchum/ De Niro it sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it…
5) THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1958) – One of my childhood favourites but the soundtrack is a repetitive, mock-Persian riff. Duh Duh Duh / De Dum De Dum De Dum/ Duh Duh Duh / De Dum De Dum De Dum etc etc repeat until a monster comes twitching across the screen.
I watched “On dangerous Ground” just because Herrmann did the score!, but overall it has to be “Citizen Kane”, a masterpiece in all departments, it was his first score, but won the Oscar for “All That Money Can Buy” a year later!
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