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Music in

1900 - 2000


Music in Films

Alfred Newman


Newman's film music

Alfred Newman (March 17, 1901 – February 17, 1970) was an American composer, arranger, and conductor of film music. In 1930 he moved to Hollywood shortly after the movies had started to talk, and worked as an arranger and then a composer for United Artists, on films such as The Devil To Pay, Indiscreet, The Unholy Garden and Arrowsmith. His ‘immortal’ melancholy title theme for Street Scene (1931), echoed through the years in many a later film depicting urban decay. His scores for other 30s films included I Cover The Waterfront (1933), Nana (1934), The Count Of Monte Cristo (1934), Clive Of India (1935), Les Misérables (1935), Dodsworth (1936), The Prisoner Of Zenda (1937), The Goldwyn Follies (1938), The Cowboy And The Lady (1938), Trade Winds (1938), Gunga Din (1939), Wuthering Heights (1939), Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) and Beau Geste (1939). He also served as musical director for Samuel Goldwyn (1933-39), and won Academy Awards for his work on Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1938), Tin Pan Alley (1940), Mother Wore Tights (1947), With A Song In My Heart (1952), Call Me Madam (1953), The King And I (1956, with co-writer Ken Darby), Camelot (1967, again with Darby) and Hello, Dolly! (1969, with Lennie Hayton).


Newman gained further Oscars for his complete background scores to The Song Of Bernadette (1943) and Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing (1955). His film credits during the 40s included The Grapes Of Wrath (1940), The Blue Bird (1940), Lillian Russell (1940), How Green Was My Valley (1941), Charley’s Aunt (1941), Life Begins At Eight Thirty (1942), The Black Swan (1942), Heaven Can Wait (1943), Claudia (1943), The Keys Of The Kingdom (1944), Wilson (1944), Leave Her To Heaven (1945), A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (1945), The Razor’s Edge (1946), Captain From Castille (1947), Centennial Summer (1946), Unfaithfully Yours (1948), The Snake Pit (1948), A Letter To Three Wives (1949), Yellow Sky (1948), Twelve O’Clock High and Pinky (1949).  In 1950 while still at Fox, Newman wrote the score for ‘the wittiest, most devastating, adult and literate motion picture ever made’, All About Eve, starring Bette Davis and George Sanders. The remainder of his 50s music was of a superb standard, too, for films such as Panic In The Streets (1950), David And Bathsheba (1951), What Price Glory? (1952), The Snows Of Kilimanjaro (1952), The Robe (1953), The Seven Year Itch (1955), Anastasia (1956), Bus Stop (1956, with Cyril Mockridge), A Certain Smile (1958), The Diary Of Anne Frank (1959) and The Best Of Everything (1959).

The latter film’s title song (lyric by Sammy Cahn) became popular for Johnny Mathis, and several other earlier pieces of Newman’s film music had lives of their own apart from the soundtracks. These included ‘Moon of Manakoora’ (lyric by Frank Loesser), sung by Dorothy Lamour in The Hurricane, and popularized by her fellow ‘Road’ traveller, Bing Crosby; ‘Through A Long And Sleepless Night’ (lyric by Mack Gordon), from Come To The Stable; and the title songs from How Green Was My Valley, Anastasia and The Best Of Everything. In the 60s his rousing scores for How The West Was Won and The Greatest Story Ever Told spawned bestselling albums. His music for the melodramatic Airport (1970), which featured the popular theme, was the last of Newman’s works for the big screen.

Alfred Newman - Conducts His Great Film Music 
1.  Conquest from "Captain from Castile" 
2.  Catana from "Captain from Castile" 
3.  23rd Psalm from "David and Bathsheba" 
4.  Palm Sunday from "The Robe" 
5.  Hallellujah from "The Robe" 
6.  Anastasia 
7.  The Moon of Manakoora from "The Hurricane" 
8.  The Pleasure of His Company 
9.  Pinky 
10.  Laura 
11.  Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing 

1937 The Prisoner of Zenda
1939 Wuthering Heights 
1939 The Hunchback of Notre Dame

1940 Foreign Correspondent 
1940 The Mark of Zorro
How Green Was My Valley  
1942 The Black Swan   
1943 The Song of Bernadette
1944 The Keys of the Kingdo

1947 Captain from Castile
1948 The Snake Pit 

1950 All About Eve 
1951 David and Bathsheba
1953  The Robe
1955  Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing
1955 - The Seven Year Itch
1956 - Anastasia
1959 - The Diary of Anne Frank

1962 - How the West Was Won
The Greatest Story Ever Told
1970 Airport


The Prisoner of Zenda

The Prisoner of Zenda is a 1937 American black-and-white adventure film based on Anthony Hope's 1894 novel of the same name and the 1896 play.

The film starred Ronald Colman, Madeleine Carroll and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., with a supporting cast including C. Aubrey Smith, Raymond Massey, Mary Astor and David Niven. It was directed by John Cromwell, produced by David O. Selznick for Selznick International Pictures, and distributed by United Artists. The screenplay was written by John L. Balderston, adapted by Wells Root from the novel, with dramatisation by Edward Rose; Donald Ogden Stewart was responsible for additional dialogue, and Ben Hecht and Sidney Howard made uncredited contributions.

Alfred Newman received the first of his 43 Academy Award nominations, for Original Music Score, while Lyle R. Wheeler was nominated for Best Art Direction. In 1991, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in its National Film Registry.

Alfred Newman : Prisoner of Zenda, Suite from the film music (1937)

The prisoner of zenda  - the Farewell scene

wuthering heights 1939 01.jpeg

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights is a 1939 American drama romance film directed by William Wyler and produced by Samuel Goldwyn. It is based on the novel, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. The film depicts only sixteen of the novel's thirty-four chapters, eliminating the second generation of characters. The novel was adapted for the screen by Charles MacArthur, Ben Hecht and John Huston. The film won the 1939 New York Film Critics Award for Best Film. It earned nominations for eight Academy Awards, including for Best Picture and Best Actor in what many consider Hollywood's greatest single year. The 1940 Academy Award for Best Cinematography, black-and-white category, was awarded to Gregg Toland for his work. Nominated for original score (but losing to The Wizard of Oz) was the prolific film composer, Alfred Newman, whose poignant "Cathy's Theme" does so much "to maintain its life as a masterpiece of romantic filmmaking."

It was largely filmed in Thousand Oaks, California, with scenes shot in Wildwood Regional Park and at the current site of California Lutheran University.

In 2007, Wuthering Heights was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Laurence Olivier - O Morro dos Ventos Uivantes -Wuthering Heights - 1939

Wuthering Heights - Soundtrack Suite - Alfred Newman


The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a 1939 American film starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara. Directed by William Dieterle and produced by Pandro S. Berman, the film is based on Victor Hugo's 1831 novel.


Alfred Newman - The Hunchback of Notre Dame 

The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Trailer (1939)


Foreign Correspondent

Foreign Correspondent (a.k.a. Imposter and Personal History) is a 1940 American spy thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It tells the story of an American reporter who tries to expose enemy spies in Britain who are involved in a fictional continent-wide conspiracy in the prelude to World War II. It stars Joel McCrea and features 19-year old Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders, Albert Bassermann, and Robert Benchley, along with Edmund Gwenn.

Foreign Correspondent was Hitchcock's second Hollywood production after leaving the United Kingdom in 1939 (the first was Rebecca) and had an unusually large number of writers: Robert Benchley, Charles Bennett, Harold Clurman, Joan Harrison, Ben Hecht, James Hilton, John Howard Lawson, John Lee Mahin, Richard Maibaum, and Budd Schulberg, with Bennett, Benchley, Harrison, and Hilton the only writers credited in the finished film. It was based on Vincent Sheean's political memoir Personal History (1935), the rights to which were purchased by producer Walter Wanger for $10,000.

The film was one of two Hitchcock films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1941, the other being Rebecca, which went on to win the award. Foreign Correspondent was nominated for six Academy Awards, including one for Albert Basserman for Best Supporting Actor, but did not win any Academy Awards.

Foreign Correspondent - 1940 Trailer - Alfred Hitchcock

Foreign Correspondent - Alfred Hitchcock, 1940 Part 1

Foreign Correspondent - Alfred Hitchcock, 1940 Part 2

Foreign Correspondent - Alfred Hitchcock, 1940

Foreign Correspondent -  1940 - Windmill and Hat Scene

Foreign Correspondent - Alfred Hitchcock, 1940


The Mark of Zorro

The Mark of Zorro is a 1940 American black-and-white swashbuckling adventure film from 20th Century Fox, produced by Darryl F. Zanuck, directed by Rouben Mamoulian, that stars Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, and Basil Rathbone.

The Mark of Zorro was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score. The film was named to the National Film Registry in 2009 by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant", and to be preserved for all time.

The film is based on The Curse of Capistrano written by Johnston McCulley, originally published in 1919 in five serialized installments in All-Story Weekly, which introduced the masked hero Zorro; the story is set in Southern California during the early 19th century. After the enormous success of the silent 1920 film adaptation, The Mark of Zorro, the story was republished under that name by Grosset & Dunlap.


The Mark of Zorro (1940) Tyrone Power vs Basil Rathbone

The Mark of Zorro - 1940 - Alfred Newman - Suite


How Green Was My Valley

How Green Was My Valley is a 1941 drama film directed by John Ford. The film, based on the 1939 novel of the same name by Richard Llewellyn, was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and scripted by Philip Dunne. The movie features Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp, and Roddy McDowall. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards, famously beating Citizen Kane for Best Picture along with winning Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Supporting Actor.

The movie tells of the Morgans, a hard-working Welsh mining family living in the heart of the South Wales Valleys during the 19th century. The story chronicles life in the South Wales coalfields, the loss of that way of life and its effects on the family. The fictional village in the movie is based on Gilfach Goch; Llewellyn spent many summers there visiting his grandfather, and it served as the inspiration for the novel.

In 1990, the movie was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The Academy Film Archive preserved How Green Was My Valley during 1998.

How Green Was My Valley - Soundtrack Suite -Alfred Newman

How Green Was My Valley - Trailer -1941


The Black Swan

The Black Swan is a 1942 American swashbuckler Technicolor film by Henry King, based on a novel by Rafael Sabatini, and starring Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara. It was nominated for two Academy Awards, and won one for Best Cinematography, Color.

The Black Swan - 1942 

The Black Swan - Trailer |

Tyrone Power & Maureen O'Hara - Scene from "The Black Swan" - 1942


The Song of Bernadette

The Song of Bernadette is a 1943 biographical drama film based on the 1941 novel of the same name by Franz Werfel. It stars Jennifer Jones in the title role, which tells the story of Bernadette Soubirous (later canonized Saint Bernadette) who, from February to July 1858 in Lourdes, France, reported eighteen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The film was directed by Henry King, from a screenplay written by George Seaton.

The novel was extremely popular, spending more than a year on The New York Times Best Seller list and thirteen weeks heading the list. The story was also turned into a Broadway play, which opened at the Belasco Theatre in March 1946.

The Song Of Bernadette - Soundtrack Suite - Alfred Newman
Composed and Conducted by Alfred Newman.

The Song of Bernadette -1943


The Keys of the Kingdom

The Keys of the Kingdom is a 1944 American film based on the 1941 novel The Keys of the Kingdom by A. J. Cronin. The film was adapted by Nunnally Johnson, directed by John M. Stahl, and produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. It stars Gregory Peck, Thomas Mitchell, and Vincent Price, and tells the story of the trials and tribulations of a Catholic priest who goes to China to evangelize.

Alfred Newman incorporated Irish and Chinese elements into the score. The theme at the heart of the track, "The Hill of the Brilliant Green Jade", is associated with a Chinese nobleman who befriends Father Chisholm after he has saved his son’s life.

The Keys of the Kingdom 1944 Trailer

The Keys of the Kingdom - 1944 - Alfred Newman


Captain from Castile

Captain from Castile is a historical adventure film released by 20th Century Fox in 1947. Directed by Henry King, the Technicolor film stars Tyrone Power, Jean Peters, and Cesar Romero. Shot on location in Michoacán, Mexico, the film includes scenes of the Parícutin volcano, which was then erupting. Captain from Castile was the feature film debut of Jean Peters, who later married industrialist Howard Hughes, and of Mohawk actor Jay Silverheels, who later portrayed Tonto on the television series The Lone Ranger.

The film is an adaptation of the 1945 best-selling novel Captain from Castile by Samuel Shellabarger. The film's story covers the first half of the historical epic, describing the protagonist's persecution at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition and his escape to the New World to join Hernán Cortés in an expedition to conquer Mexico.

Captain from Castile - 1947 - Trailer

Alfred Newman - Captain from Castile - Suite


The Snake Pit

The Snake Pit is a 1948 American film noir directed by Anatole Litvak and stars Olivia de Havilland, Mark Stevens, Leo Genn, Celeste Holm, Beulah Bondi, and Lee Patrick. Based on Mary Jane Ward's 1946 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, the film tells the story of a woman who finds herself in an insane asylum and cannot remember how she got there.

THE SNAKE PIT (1948) trailer

Alfred Newman  - The Snake Pit    


All About Eve

All About Eve is a 1950 American drama film written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. It was based on the 1946 short story "The Wisdom of Eve" by Mary Orr, although screen credit was not given for it.

The film stars Bette Davis as Margo Channing, a highly regarded but aging Broadway star. Anne Baxter plays Eve Harrington, an ambitious young fan who insinuates herself into Channing's life, ultimately threatening Channing's career and her personal relationships. The film co-stars George Sanders, Celeste Holm, and features Gary Merrill, Hugh Marlowe, Thelma Ritter, Marilyn Monroe in one of her earliest roles, Gregory Ratoff, Barbara Bates and Walter Hampden.

Praised by critics at the time of its release, All About Eve received 14 Academy Award nominations and won six, including Best Picture. All About Eve is the only film in Oscar history to receive four female acting nominations (Davis and Baxter as Best Actress, Holm and Ritter as Best Supporting Actress). All About Eve was selected in 1990 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry and was among the first 50 films to be registered. All About Eve appeared at #16 on AFI's 1998 list of the 100 best American films.


All About Eve (1/5) 

All About Eve (2/5) 

All About Eve (4/5) 

All About Eve (3/5) 

All About Eve (5/5) 


David and Bathsheba

David and Bathsheba is a 1951 historical Technicolor epic film about King David made by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Henry King, produced by Darryl F. Zanuck, from a screenplay by Philip Dunne. The cinematography was by Leon Shamroy. Gregory Peck stars as King David and the film follows King David's life as he adjusts to ruling as a King, and about his relationship with Uriah's wife Bathsheba (Susan Hayward). Goliath of Gath was portrayed by 203 cm-tall (6'8") Lithuanian wrestler Walter Talun.


Alfred Newman - David and Bathsheba - David Sees Bathsheba From His Rooftop

David and Bathsheba - 1951

Alfred Newman - David and Bathsheba - On the Terrace 


The Robe 

The Robe is a 1953 American Biblical epic film that tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that is responsible for the Crucifixion of Jesus. The film was released by 20th Century Fox and was the first film released in the widescreen process CinemaScope. Like other early CinemaScope films, The Robe was shot with Henri Chrétien's original Hypergonar anamorphic lenses.

The film was directed by Henry Koster and produced by Frank Ross. The screenplay was adapted by Gina Kaus, Albert Maltz, and Philip Dunne from Lloyd C. Douglas' eponymous 1942 novel. The score was composed by Alfred Newman, and the cinematography was by Leon Shamroy.

The film stars Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature, and Michael Rennie and co-stars Dean Jagger, Jay Robinson, Richard Boone, and Jeff Morrow. The Robe had a 1954 sequel Demetrius and the Gladiators.

The Robe - Soundtrack Suite - Alfred Newman

The Robe - Trailer 


Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing is a 1955 Deluxe color American drama-romance film in CinemaScope. Set in 1949–50 in Hong Kong, it tells the story of a married, but separated, American reporter Mark Elliot (played by William Holden), who falls in love with a Eurasian doctor Han Suyin originally from China (played by Jennifer Jones), only to encounter prejudice from her family and from Hong Kong society.

The film was adapted by John Patrick from the 1952 autobiographical novel A Many-Splendoured Thing by Han Suyin. The film was directed by Henry King.

Love Is A Many Splendored Thing - Soundtrack Suite - Alfred Newman

Love Is a Many Splendored Thing - Traile


The Seven Year Itch

The Seven Year Itch is a 1955 American romantic comedy film based on a three-act play with the same name by George Axelrod. The film was co-written and directed by Billy Wilder, and stars Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell, reprising his Broadway role from the play. It contains one of the most notable images of the 20th century – Monroe standing on a subway grate as her white dress is blown upwards by a passing train. The titular phrase, which refers to declining interest in a monogamous relationship after seven years of marriage, has been used by psychologists.

ALFRED NEWMAN - "The Seven Year Itch" 


The Prisoner of Zenda

Anastasia is a 1956 American historical drama film directed by Anatole Litvak and written by Arthur Laurents. Set in interwar France, the film follows the story of a suicidal amnesiac (Ingrid Bergman), whose remarkable resemblance to the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia — the youngest daughter of the late Tsar Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, who is rumored to have survived the execution of her family — draws her into a plot devised by the former Russian White General Bounine (Yul Brynner) and his associates to swindle from the Grand Duchess an inheritance of £10 million. However, the ultimate hurdle to their plan is the exiled Russian aristocracy — in particular the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna (Helen Hayes) — whom their handpicked claimant must convince of her legitimacy if they wish for their scheme to succeed.

The origins of Anastasia lie in a play written by Marcelle Maurette, which was in turn inspired by Anna Anderson, the most famous of the many Anastasia impostors who appeared after the death of the Imperial family in July 1918. An animated musical adaptation of Anastasia was released by Fox Animation Studios in 1997, keeping much of Maurette's original storyline.

Alfred Newman - Anastasia - Theme

Anastasia (1956)


The Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank is a 1959 film based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, which was based on the diary of Anne Frank. It was directed by George Stevens, with a screenplay by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. It is the first film version of both the play and the original story, and features three members of the original Broadway cast.

The film was based on the personal diary of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who lived in hiding with her family during World War II. All her writings to her diary were addressed as "Dear Kitty". It was published after the end of the war by her father, Otto Frank (played in the film by Joseph Schildkraut, also Jewish). All of his family members had been killed by the Nazis. The film was shot on a sound stage duplicate of the factory in Los Angeles, while exteriors were filmed at the actual building in Amsterdam.

The film won three Academy Awards in 1960, including Best Supporting Actress for Shelley Winters. Shelley later donated her Oscar to the Anne Frank Museum. In 2006, it was honored as the eighteenth most inspiring American film on the list AFI's 100 Years…100 Cheers.

Alfred Newman: The Diary of Anne Frank - The Captives

Alfred Newman: The Diary of Anne Frank - 

The Diary Of Anne Frank 1959 Trailer

Anne Frank - A Life In Pictures


How the West Was Won

How the West Was Won is a 1962 American Metrocolor epic-western film. The picture was one of the last "old-fashioned" epic films made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to enjoy great success. Set between 1839 and 1889, it follows four generations of a family (starting as the Prescotts) as they move from western New York to the Pacific Ocean. The picture was one of only two dramatic films made in the curved-screen three-projector Cinerama process, which added to its original impact.

The all-star cast includes Carroll Baker, Lee J. Cobb, Henry Fonda, Carolyn Jones, Karl Malden, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, James Stewart, Eli Wallach, John Wayne, and Richard Widmark. The film is narrated by Spencer Tracy.

The score was listed at number 25 on the American Film Institute's 100 Years of Film Scores. The film also gained widespread critical acclaim. In 1997, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

How the West Was Won, 1962 Soundtrack,
Side A, Alfred Newman

How the West Was Won, 1962 Soundtrack,
Side B, Alfred Newman

How the west was Won (1962) Trailer

How the West Was Won - the grand finale


The Greatest Story Ever Told

The Greatest Story Ever Told is a 1965 American epic film produced and directed by George Stevens. It is a retelling of the Biblical account about Jesus of Nazareth, from the Nativity through to the Ascension. Along with the ensemble cast, it marked Claude Rains's final film role.

Alfred Newman : The Greatest Story Ever Told

The Greatest Story Ever Told Official - Trailer 



Airport is a 1970 American air disaster-drama film starring Burt Lancaster and Dean Martin, directed and written by George Seaton, and based on Arthur Hailey's 1968 novel of the same name. It originated the 1970s disaster film genre. It is also the first in the Airport film series. Produced on a $10 million budget, it earned over $100 million.

The film is about an airport manager trying to keep his airport open during a snowstorm, while a suicidal bomber plots to blow up a Boeing 707 airliner in flight. It takes place at fictional Lincoln International Airport near Chicago, Illinois. The film was a commercial success and surpassed Spartacus as Universal Pictures' biggest moneymaker. The movie won Helen Hayes an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as an elderly stowaway and was nominated for nine other Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Cinematography, and Best Costume Design for designer Edith Head.

With attention paid to the detail of day-to-day airport and airline operations, the plot concerns the response to a paralyzing snowstorm, environmental concerns over noise pollution, and an attempt to blow up an airliner. The film is characterized by personal stories intertwining while decisions are made minute-by-minute by the airport and airline staffs, operations and maintenance crews, flight crews, and Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers.

Ernest Laszlo photographed it in 70 mm Todd-AO. It is the last film scored by Alfred Newman and the last film roles for Van Heflin and Jessie Royce Landis.

Airport - Soundtrack Suite - Alfred Newman

Airport - 1970 - Trailer

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