Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Inexhaustible Moments of 1963, Part 1

1963 Blogging, Part 1 of 5
Scores of 1963

In these long breaks between the signature 21 Essays series, I’m experimenting with a new feature focused on possibilities for future series.  I’ll spin the roulette wheel to pick a year (or set of years) and then brainstorm on some potential essay topics.  This time the wheel spins, gradually slows, then clicks to a stop, pointing at:  1963. 

So here’s my first 1963 series possibility:  classic film soundtracks.

From the soundtracks of 1963, my first love is the pulse-pounding syncopation that Henry Mancini delivers when Stanley Donen’s Charade kicks into high-gear for its climax.  I can’t show that scene (too many spoilers), so here’s a treat nearly as tasty.  These are the opening titles from Charade, scored by Henry Mancini with an instrumental version of the song “Charade” played over that great percussion track and with a visual design by Maurice Binder, the genius behind the James Bond title scenes.

But Charade is only the beginning of a year rich in magnificent soundtracks.  Other favorites of mine include Michel Legrand’s Bay of Angels, Elmer Bernstein’s The Great Escape, Nino Rota’s The Leopard, Bernard Herrmann’s Jason and the Argonauts, John Barry’s From Russia With Love, and Henry Mancini again with The Pink Panther.  At three essays apiece that should give me 21 essays of favorite soundtracks from 1963.

Over the next four days, I’ll be proposing some more 1963 ideas (with no promises that I’ll necessarily be getting to any of them…)  But I’m wide open to other suggestions.  Any ideas for 1963 movies, books, short stories, poems, songs, or other cultural artifacts that might inspire a good 21 Essays series?

Next blog series:  6 essays on Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail (1929)
as part of the  “For the Love of Film”
Film Preservation Blogathon
May 13-18, 2012

© 2012 Lee Price

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