James here with Movie Music Monday!
I love Bernard Herrmann. There’s not much more I can say. I do find it a little odd that he decided to change his physical form and become John Williams, but different strokes for different super-intelligent alien entities, I suppose.
‘The Day The Earth Stood Still’ is a classic film, but for me the most impressive aspect will always be the music. This piece, which helps the film segue along from overture and titles to the flying saucer’s approach, is unforgettable.
I know I’m a stodgy old coot for saying this, but in my learned opinion, composers these days tend to horribly fail at writing music that evokes a specific film. Never mind that films from earlier eras and their attached composers had the same general problems — that would undermine my premise and prevent me from ranting uselessly. Like the previous track, this is unforgettable stuff, truly iconic. Is it derived from previous material? Yes. Does it get away with it by elevating the raw material? Yes.
For a film about psychopathy, ‘Taxi Driver’ has one chill score. This is classic Americanus Urbanus. It’s what we called jazz, baby.