Friday, April 18, 2014

Miklós Rózsa, 1907-1995

Today marks the birth anniversary of Hungarian-born American composer Miklós Rózsa, who was born on this day in 1907. Rózsa started off as a classically-trained composer, and in fact continued to do "serious" (that is, non-film) classical composing all his active life. It was in the late 1930s for his fellow Hungarian emigres the Korda brothers that he first composed scores, before working at Paramount with Billy Wilder on such scores as Double Indemnity and The Lost Weekend and then, from the late 1940s, for MGM, where he composed several well-known scores, including the 1959 version of Ben-Hur. Ben-Hur won Rózsa his third Oscar; the first two were for Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound and 1947's A Double Life, which rarely shows up on TCM. If you were ever wondering what he looked like and were too lazy to look up his photo, well there he is.

I said earlier that Rózsa spent most of the 1950s at MGM, so unsurprisingly, those MGM movies show up reasonably often on TCM. In fact, three of Rózsa's movies are going to be on TCM over the weekend:

Ben-Hur will be on overnight tonight at 2:00 AM;
Quo Vadis shows up tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 PM; and
the 1961 version of King of Kings forms part of TCM's Easter Sunday lineup at 1:30 PM Sunday.

For more information on Miklós Rózsa than you can shake a stick at, you could do worse than to surf over to the website of the Miklós Rózsa Society.

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