Mr. Cellophane

In a location adjacent to a place in a city of some significance, what comes out of my head is plastered on the walls of this blog.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My Favorite Themes - Part II

I've definitely decided to make this a monthly series; just once more excuse to not let this blog die.

Score: North by Northwest by Bernard Herrmann (The Trouble With Harry; sure I could've said Psycho, but I just wanted to be different)

About the film: A case of mistaken identity can be unfortunate for anyone, but for ad man Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant), it gets him tangled with spies, secrets and murder. From Saul Bass' title sequence to the cheeky final shot, this is a truly entertaining thrill ride from Alfred Hitchcock. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. If not, why the hell are you wasting time reading this?!

Title: "Roger O. Thornhill". In case you couldn't guess, this melody is associated with the main character. Though it is absent from the film until "The Station", the unused cue "The Streets" introduces the theme, a bustling tune mainly for fluttering woodwinds, though the string section gets a nice workout every now and then. In the 'sneaking around' moments, the melody is slowed down and played by the strings ("The Pad and Pencil", "The Auction"), but my favorite rendition has to be "The Airport", where the brass takes over, almost threatening the listener with its deliberate playing. For me, it works every time.

Other theme(s) of interest: Well, there's the exciting main theme, the Vertigo-inspired love theme and the George Kaplan theme, which sounds like a sort-of demented waltz. There's also a neat string motif which plays counter to the 'Roger sneaks around' music (the beginning of "The Question").

Availability: Rhino Records released it in 1995. Chances are that it's out of print, but it is well worth tracking down.


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