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Torn Music - Rejected Film Scores - A Selected History

Gergely Hubai

ISBN: 978 1 935247 05 0


Number of pages: xx+476 pages
Chapters: 305
© 2012 Gergely Hubai
Reviewer: Patric Standford
Review of Torn Music - Rejected Film Scores - A Selected History published on 4 April 2013

Foreword by Christopher Young
(300 films)

A film is nearly finished and ready to make its way into theaters, when one or more of its prime movers - producer, director, studio brass - decides that it just doesn't 'feel' right and hits the brakes. What can be done quickly to alter the movie's complexion? The most obvious option is to change the last element added to the film - its music! So, often regardless of whether the film actually needs a new score, a new composer is hired at the last minute to replace the previous composer's heartfelt work.

Film scores are rejected and replaced for every conceivable reason - style, quality, a test-audienceís reaction, a composer's name recognition, the picture's re-editing. Sometimes the change improves a film; often it doesn't. Either way, such replacements are more common than most moviegoers imagine, and no composer, from the novice to the most famous and respected, is immune.

In Torn Music (which takes its title from the film Torn Curtain, whose famous score replacement put an end to the long and fruitful collaboration between director Alfred Hitchcock and composer Bernard Herrmann), film historian Gergely Hubai recounts the often strange and surprising stories behind three hundred rejected and replaced scores dating from the 1930s through the 2000s. In these behind-the-scenes tales, dedication collides with miscommunication, musical geniuses clash with the tone-deaf, commercialism brawls with artistic purity, and a lot of hard work goes unrewarded. The movies discussed in Torn Music range from the most popular to the all-but-forgotten, and from high art to lowbrow fare; they even include a handful of TV shows and a videogame.


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