Alfred Newman - Writer





Composer. Nationality: American. Born: New Haven, Connecticut, 17 March 1901. Education: Studied piano with Rubin Goldmark and George Wedge; also studied with Schoenberg. Career: Pianist in vaudeville and on Broadway; studied conducting with William Daly: conductor for George White's Scandals of 1920 and other shows; 1930—first film as arranger and musical director, Whoopee! ; 1940–60—head of 20th Century-Fox music department; also guest conductor for various orchestras. Award: Academy Awards for Alexander's Ragtime Band , 1938; Tin Pan Alley , 1940; The Song of Bernadette , 1943; Mother Wore Tights , 1947; With a Song in My Heart , 1952; Call Me Madam , 1953; Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing , 1955; The King and I , 1956; Camelot , 1967. Died: In Hollywood, California, 17 February 1970.


Films as Composer:

1931

The Devil to Pay (Fitzmaurice); Reaching for the Moon (Goulding); Kiki (Taylor); Indiscreet (McCarey); Street Scene (K. Vidor); The Unholy Garden (Fitzmaurice); The Age for Love (Lloyd); Corsair (West); Around the World in Eighty Minutes with Douglas Fairbanks (Fleming)

1932

Arrowsmith (Ford); Cock of the Air (Buckingham); The Greeks Had a Word for Them (L. Sherman); Sky Devils (Sutherland); Rain (Milestone); Cynara (K. Vidor); Mr. Robinson Crusoe (Sutherland)

1933

Secrets (Borzage); I Cover the Waterfront (Cruze); The Bowery (Walsh); Blood Money (Brown); Advice to the Lovelorn (Werker); The Masquerader (Wallace); Gallant Lady (La Cava); The House of Rothschild (Werker)

1934

Looking for Trouble (Wellman); Nana ( Lady of the Boulevards ) (Arzner); Born to Be Bad (L. Sherman); The Affairs of Cellini (La Cava); The Last Gentleman (Lanfield); Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back (Del Ruth); The Cat's Paw (Taylor); Our Daily Bread (K. Vidor); Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round (Stoloff ); We Live Again (Mamoulian); The Count of Monte Cristo (Lee); The Mighty Barnum (W. Lang)

1935

Clive of India (Boleslawsky); The Wedding Night (K. Vidor); Les Miserables (Boleslawsky); Cardinal Richelieu (Lee); The Call of the Wild (Wellman); Barbary Coast (Hawks); She (Pichel and Holden); Splendor (Nugent); Metropolitan (Boleslawsky)

1936

These Three (Wyler); Dodsworth (Wyler); Come and Get It (Wyler and Hawks)

1937

Beloved Enemy (Potter); You Only Live Once (F. Lang); History Is Made at Night (Borzage); Woman Chases Man (Blystone); Slave Ship (Garnett); Wee Willie Winkie (Gord); Stella Dallas (K. Vidor); Dead End (Wyler); The Prisoner of Zenda (Cromwell)

1938

The Hurricane (Ford); The Cowboy and the Lady (Potter); Trade Winds (Garnett)

1939

Gunga Din (Stevens); Wuthering Heights (Wyler); Young Mr. Lincoln (Ford); Beau Geste (Wellman); The Rains Came (Brown); The Real Glory (Hathaway); Drums Along the Mohawk (Ford); The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Dieterle); Stanley and Livingstone (H. King); Vigil in the Night (Stevens)

1940

The Blue Bird (W. Lang); The Grapes of Wrath (Ford); Little Old New York (H. King); Earthbound (Pichel); Foreign Correspondent (Hitchcock); Brigham Young—Frontiersman (Hathaway); They Knew What They Wanted (Kanin); The Mark of Zorro (Mamoulian)

1941

Hudson's Bay (Pichel); Belle Starr (Cummings); Charley's Aunt ( Charley's American Aunt ) (Mayo); Man Hunt (F. Lang); Wild Geese Calling (Brahm); Ball of Fire (Hawks); Son of Fury (Cromwell); Remember the Day (H. King); How Green Was My Valley (Ford)

1942

The Battle of Midway (Ford); To the Shores of Tripoli (Humberstone); Ten Gentlemen from West Point (Hathaway); This above All (Litvak); The Pied Piper (Pichel); Girl Trouble (Schuster); The Black Swan (H. King); Life Begins at 8:30 (Pichel)

1943

December 7th (Toland and Ford); The Moon Is Down (Pichel); My Friend Flicka (Schuster); Heaven Can Wait (Lubitsch); Claudia (Goulding); The Song of Bernadette (H. King); Prelude to War (Capra) (in Why We Fight series)

1944

The Purple Heart (Milestone); Wilson (H. King); Sunday Dinner for a Soldier (Bacon); The Fighting Lady (doc); The Keys of the Kingdom (Stahl)

1945

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Kazan); A Royal Scandal ( Czarina ) (Preminger); A Bell for Adano (H. King)

1946

Leave Her to Heaven (Stahl); Drangonwyck (Mankiewicz); The Razor's Edge (Goulding); 13 Rue Madeleine (Hathaway)

1947

Captain from Castille (H. King); Gentleman's Agreement (Kazan)

1948

Call Northside 777 (Hathaway); Sitting Pretty (W. Lang); The Walls of Jericho (Stahl); Cry of the City (Siodmak); Yellow Sky (Wellman)

1949

Come to the Stable (Koster) (song); Chicken Every Sunday (Seaton); A Letter to Three Wives (Mankiewicz); Mother Is a Freshman (Bacon); Down to the Sea in Ships (Hathaway); Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (Nugent); Pinky (Kazan); Prince of Foxes (H. King); Twelve O'Clock High (H.King); Thieves' Highway (Dassin)

1950

When Willie Comes Marching Home (Ford); The Big Life (Seaton); The Gunfighter (H. King); Panic in the Streets (Kazan); No Way Out (Mankiewicz); All about Eve (Mankiewicz); For Heaven's Sake (Seaton)

1951

The Guest (Forest—short); Fourteen Hours (Hathaway); Take Care of My Little Girl (Negulesco); David and Bathsheba (H. King)

1952

Wait till the Sun Shines, Nellie (H. King); What Price Glory? (Ford); The Snows of Kilimanjaro (H. King) (song); Way of a Gaucho (Tourneur) (co, uncredited); The Prisoner of Zenda (Thorpe); Night without Sleep (Baker) (co); The President's Lady (Levin)

1953

The Robe (Koster)

1954

Desirée (Koster) (song); Hell and High Water (Fuller); The Egyptian (Curtiz) (co)

1955

A Man Called Peter (Koster); The Seven Year Itch (Wilder); Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (H. King)

1956

Bus Stop (Logan) (co); Anastasia (Litvak)

1958

A Certain Smile (Negulesco); The Bravados (H. King) (co)

1959

The Diary of Anne Frank (Stevens); The Best of Everything (Negulesco)

1961

The Pleasure of His Company (Seaton); The Counterfeit Traitor (Seaton)

1962

How the West Was Won (Hathaway, Ford, and Marshall); The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Ford) (theme from Young Mr. Lincoln )

1965

The Greatest Story Ever Told (Stevens)

1966

Nevada Smith (Hathaway)

1967

Firecreek (McEveety)

1970

Airport (Seaton)

Films as Musical Director:

1930

Whoopee! (Freeland)

1931

Campus Sweetheart (Fitzmaurice—short); City Lights (Chaplin) (orchestration); Palmy Days (Sutherland); Tonight or Never (LeRoy)

1932

The Kid from Spain (McCarey)

1933

Hallelujah, I'm a Bum (Milestone); Broadway Thru a Keyhole (L. Sherman); Roman Scandals (Tuttle)

1934

Moulin Rouge (Lanfield); One Night of Love (Schertzinger); Kid Millions (Del Ruth)

1935

Folies Bergere ( The Man from the Folies Bergere ) (Del Ruth); The Dark Angel (Franklin); Broadway Melody of 1936 (Del Ruth); The Melody Lingers On (Burton)

1936

Strike Me Pink (Taurog); One Rainy Afternoon (Lee); Dancing Pirate (Corrigan); Modern Times (Chaplin) (orchestration); Ramona (H. King); The Gay Desperado (Mamoulian); Born to Dance (Del Ruth)

1937

When You're in Love ( For You Alone ) (Riskin); 52nd Street (Young)

1938

The Goldwyn Follies (Marshall); The Adventures of Marco Polo (Mayo); Alexander's Ragtime Band (H. King)

1939

The Star Maker (Del Ruth); Barricade (Ratoff); They Shall Have Music ( Melody of Youth ) (Mayo)

1940

Lillian Russell (Cummings); Maryland (H. King); Young People (Dwan); Tin Pan Alley (W. Lang); Broadway Melody of 1940 (Taurog); Public Debt No. 1 (Ratoff); The Westerner (Wyler)

1941

That Night in Rio (Cummings); The Great American Broadcast (Mayo); Blood and Sand (Mamoulian); Tobacco Road (Ford); A Yank in the R.A.F. (H. King); Weekend in Havana (W. Lang); Moon over Miami (W. Lang)

1942

Song of the Islands (W. Lang); Orchestra Wives (Mayo); Rings on Her Fingers (Mamoulian); Prelude to War (Capra); My Gal Sal (Cummings); Springtime in the Rockies (Cummings); Moontide (Mayo); China Girl (Hathaway)

1943

Coney Island (W. Lang); Immortal Sergeant (Stahl); Wintertime (Brahm); The Gang's All Here ( The Girl He Left Behind ) (Berkeley)

1944

Irish Eyes Are Smiling (Ratoff) (co); The Sullivans ( The Fighting Sullivans ) (Bacon)

1945

Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe (Seaton) (co); State Fair (W. Lang) (co); The Dolly Sisters (Cummings)

1946

Centennial Summer (Preminger); Three Little Girls in Blue (Humberstone); Margie (H. King); My Darling Clementine (Ford)

1947

Boomerang! (Kazan); The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (Seaton) (co); The Foxes of Harrow (Stahl); Mother Wore Tights (W. Lang); I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now (Bacon); The Late George Apley (Mankiewicz); Moss Rose (Ratoff); Miracle on 34th Street (Seaton)

1948

Fury at Furnace Creek (Humberstone); That Lady in Ermine (Lubitsch) (co); That Wonderful Urge (Sinclair); Unfaithfully Yours (P. Sturges); The Iron Curtain (Wellman); When My Baby Smiles at Me (W. Lang); The Snake Pit (Litvak)

1949

Dancing in the Dark (Reis); You're My Everything (W. Lang); Oh, You Beautiful Doll (Stahl); Everybody Does It (Goulding)

1950

Broken Arrow (Daves); Whirlpool (Preminger); Two Flags West (Wise); My Blue Heaven (Koster)

1951

On the Riviera (W. Lang); Call Me Mister (Bacon); Half Angel (Sale) (+ song); House on Telegraph Hill (Wise); People Will Talk (Mankiewicz)

1952

With a Song in My Heart (W. Lang); Viva Zapata! (Kazan); O. Henry's Full House (Hathaway and others); Les Miserables (Milestone); Kangaroo (Milestone); Pony Soldier (Newman); Stars and Stripes Forever (Koster); Destination Gobi (Wise)

1953

The Desert Rats (Wise); Tonight We Sing (Leisen); Call Me Madam (W. Lang); The Treasure of the Golden Condor (Daves); How to Marry a Millionaire (Negulesco) (co)

1954

There's No Business Like Show Business (W. Lang) (co)

1955

Daddy Long Legs (Negulesco)

1956

Carousel (H. King); The King and I (W. Lang) (co)

1957

April Love (Levin) (co-adaptation)

1958

South Pacific (Logan) (co)

1962

Flower Drum Song (Koster); State Fair (J. Ferrer)

1967

Camelot (Logan)

Publications

By NEWMAN: articles—

In Film Score , edited by Tony Thomas, South Brunswick, New Jersey, 1979.

Soundtrack! (Hollywood), December 1990.

On NEWMAN: articles—

Jacobs, Jack, in Films in Review (New York), August-September 1959.

(letter) Films in Review (New York), October 1959.

Thomas, Tony, in Music for the Movies , South Brunswick New Jersey, 1973.

Film (London), April 1974.

Darby, Ken, in Film Music Notebook (Calabasas, California), vol. 2, no. 2, 1976.

Films in Review (New York), June 1976.

Films in Review (New York), August-September 1978.

Films in Review (New York), April 1980.

Bertolina, Gian Carlo, "Alfred Newman alla Fox," in Rivista del Cinematografo (Rome), August-September 1980.

Dirigido por . . . (Barcelona), September and October 1982.

Lacombe, Alain, in Hollywood , Paris, 1983.

Films in Review (New York), August-September 1989.

Films in Review (New York), October 1990.

Palmer, Christopher, in Composers in Hollywood , London, 1990.

Docherty, J., "Alfred Newman," in Film Dope , no. 47, December 1991.

Vallerand, F., "Nostalgie," in Sequences , no. 156, January 1992.

Cook, P., "The sound track," in Films in Review , no. 43, 1992.

Giltz, M., "Scoring," in Premiere , no. 6, March 1993.

Neumeyer, David, "Melodrama as a Compositional Resource in Early Hollywood Sound Cinema," in Current Musicology , January 1995.

Handzo, Stephen, "The Golden Age of Film Music," in Cineaste (New York), Winter-Spring 1995.

Smith, Jack, "The Soundtrack," in Films in Review , vol. 48, January-February 1997.

Raynes, D., " Wuthering Heights : A Tribute to Alfred Newman," in Soundtrack , September 1997.

Berthomieu, Pierre, in Positif (Paris), October 1998.


* * *


Even allowing for the hyperbole associated with Hollywood there is little risk in claiming Alfred Newman as a titan in the art, craft, and business of supplying films with music. In addition to being an imaginative and inventive composer and possibly the best conductor in film history, he was also the head of a major music department. From 1940 to 1960 Newman was in command of music for 20th Century-Fox and assembled a stable of top arrangers, composers, and musicians. Always keenly aware of sound, he said, "In the recording of music for motion pictures it is possible to achieve total perfection of performance. Don't settle for anything less."

Newman was a pianistic prodigy. He was also the eldest of ten children in a poor family and the opportunities for his musical education were few. Friends brought about the winning of a scholarship and he was placed with Sigismond Stojowski in New York. He studied composition as well as the piano but by the age of 14 it was necessary for him to find work to help support his family. He was hired by the Strand Theatre on Broadway as a boy-wonder pianist, which led to offers in vaudeville and opportunities in the musical theatre. Feeling limited as a pianist, Newman found bigger challenges as a conductor and by the age of 17 was thus engaged. With George White's Scandals of 1920 his career began in earnest and he was busy as a theatre conductor all through that decade.

In 1930 Irving Berlin contracted Newman as the music director for his film Reaching for the Moon and with that success Newman was thereafter a man of the movies. The Berlin film was made at the Goldwyn Studios and its owner asked Newman to be his music director. In 1933 Darryl F. Zanuck set up his 20th Century Films at the Goldwyn Studios and made a similar request, which Newman was able to accept, in addition to his Goldwyn duties. Once clear of his Goldwyn contract he joined Zanuck in 1940 as his music director. No film musician received more honors than Newman. Of 45 Oscar nominations, he won on nine occasions, although he readily pointed out that these wins were as a music director and involved the work of other men. The Oscar for which he was most proud was for The Song of Bernadette . Among the other original dramatic scores nominated: How Green Was My Valley , Captain from Castile , All about Eve , David and Bathsheba , Anastasia , The Diary of Anne Frank , and, his final film, Airport . In all he worked on more than 250 films, always claiming that he much preferred the gregarious job of the conductor to the loneliness of the composer. Newman wrote no music other than for film and claimed no interest in any other form of composition. Of his business he said, "The music must always be inspired by the picture of which it is a part, not by the desire of the composer to express himself. The effect of music in films is largely one of association, the important thing being to evoke the proper mood and spirit. If you can't accept these terms—stay away from films."

—Tony Thomas



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