Warner Bros. invited me, along with film historians Rudy Behlmer and Frank Thompson, to record a commentary track for this 1945 war-movie classic starring Errol Flynn. My job was to discuss Franz Waxman’s Oscar-nominated score, which is one of his very best (and that includes a career filled with such classics as Sunset Boulevard, A Place in the Sun and The Nun’s Story!). The DVD was originally released as part of a five-film package called Errol Flynn Adventures. Critic Leonard Maltin praised our work, calling it a “superlative commentary track… Rudy Behlmer, Frank Thompson and Jon Burlingame offer a master class in film appreciation, backed by careful research and a lifetime of knowledge.” Can’t ask for a better recommendation than that!
For Rozsa’s centennial celebration, I worked with Academy execs to design a weekend of classic films (including The Thief of Bagdad and El Cid) and an evening of clips and talk culminating in a screening of Ivanhoe. Joining me on stage were composer Bruce Broughton, film historian Rudy Behlmer and the composer’s daughter Juliet Rozsa. All offered valuable insights and reminiscences. Here is Susan King’s preview of the weekend, featuring comments from all of us.
The Los Angeles Master Chorale’s evening of film music was the trigger for this Los Angeles Times piece about the use of choral sounds in Hollywood movie scores. I loved talking with veteran choral conductor Paul Salamunovich, composer-arranger J.A.C. Redford, film historian Rudy Behlmer, and — specifically about their own choral scores — Jerry Goldsmith and Basil Poledouris.
I was honored to be asked to contribute notes to Rhino’s 4-CD box set of songs and scores drawn from 75 years of Warner Bros. movies. My old friend Rudy Behlmer — who had memorably contributed to the studio’s landmark “50 Years of Film Music” box set of LPs — was quite rightly commissioned to cover the period from the 1920s through 1959. Cartoon-music expert Daniel Goldmark penned a short essay on animation, and it was my job to chronicle the period of the 1960s through 1997. Together we filled an 80-page book to accompany of the discs. The music is a real potpourri, of course, but it’s a fair cross-section of the vast WB output over nearly eight decades of American film.