The year 1962 was a big one for John Williams, earning his first Grammy and Emmy nominations for his work on TV shows. But his gaze never left the movie theater, and he contributed a fun and earnest score to the slapstick comedy "Bachelor Flat." It would mark his first film with 20th Century Fox, where he would later become a megastar with "Star Wars." But that was 15 years into the future. At the time, this was Williams working to show that he could write good music for any film, while his colleagues were drifting toward television and thumbing their noses at comedic films. Host Jeff Commings breaks down some of Williams' finest work on "Bachelor Flat," including a fantastic piece written for a dog!
John Williams' fourth film score, for the movie "The Secret Ways," does its very best to turn a very bad film into something watchable. Williams succeeds in many places, coloring in darkly-filmed scenes with violins and flutes and composing a haunting main theme for the piano and cello. Host Jeff Commings tries to explain the plot of the film while breaking down some of the score's finer moments. We'll also discuss the historic firsts John Williams experienced the same year during his work on the TV show "Checkmate."
We've got another teenage drama for you on this episode: "Because They're Young." It's a bit more dramatic than John Williams' first foray into the teenybopper genre, Daddy-O, with Dick Clark in his first film role and some obvious attempts to mimic the more popular film The Blackboard Jungle. There are also some connections to West Side Story, both intentional and unintentional. Sit back as host Jeff Commings analyzes this bongo-heavy score for a film that might have you reliving your high school days.
The second film in John Williams' filmography is about as different from his first as you could get. The film "I Passed For White" tried very hard to be taken seriously, but is sheer melodrama in the Douglas Sirk method. The film is notable for the first thematic material John Williams has written, a lush melody for the main character. Join host Jeff Commings as he discusses this heavy-handed drama about race and personal identity.
Let's start this journey through the career of film composer John Williams with his first-ever score for a feature-length film. The 1959 B-movie "Daddy-O" was not the blockbuster that Williams would have hoped to have to launch his career, but it contains some good music. Host Jeff Commings examines some of the music, including some moments that hint at the greatness to come almost a decade later.
Welcome! This is a podcast unlike any other. We're going on a journey through the 60 years of film music written by the legendary John Williams, considered by just about everyone to be the greatest film composer in history. In this episode, host Jeff Commings begins the journey with a look back at John Williams' life before his first film assignment. Learn about John Williams' time in the Air Force, his studies at Juilliard and learning from the best in his early days in Hollywood.