Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Elmer Bernstein, 1922-2004

Today marks the birth anniversary of film composer Elmer Bernstein (no relation to fellow composer Leonard). I've remarked in the past on the importance of people behind the screen who contribute to what make the movies the movies, as well as the importance of the proper music in movies. Bernstein certainly stands out as an example of this. I think most people would know him best as the composer of the score for The Magnificent Seven, which brought him the second of his 13 Oscar nominations. The only time he won, however, was for Thoroughly Modern Millie, of all things.

Bernstein's career in Hollywood started about a decade earlier, writing the scores for some not very good movies, such as 1953's Cat Women of the Moon. It was scoring The Man With the Golden Arm in 1955, followed a year later by The Ten Commandments, that really made Bernstein a big name in film composing. Later well-known films for which he wrote the score include To Kill a Mockingbird, the John Wayne version of True Grit, and, surprisingly enough, Airplane!

In looking for a photo of Bernstein to accompany this post, I came across one of him with his Oscar. The page that included the photo is a biographical article that's well worth linking to, focusing especially on The Ten Commandments.

No comments: