Category Archives: Film / Tv / Theater Review

Song of the Day #2100

Song of the Day: Secrets Beneath the Floorboards (“Kiss Me”) [link], composed by my friend Michael Gordon Shapiro, can be heard in this 2023 Lifetime movie thriller (its original title was “House of Lies“). The suspenseful film and score keep you on the edge. This cue provides tender relief.

Song of the Day #2098

Song of the Day: Cinderella (“So This is Love”), words and music by Al Hoffman, Mack David, and Jerry Livingston, is featured in the 1950 animated flick. Ilene Woods and Mike Douglas provide the vocals for this lovely duet in the original Disney film [YouTube link]. Check out another sweet rendition by James Ingram and an instrumental jazz version by the Dave Brubeck Quartet [YouTube links]. A Happy Valentine’s Day, with love to my family and friends! The Daffodils are already in full bloom in Brooklyn! (And yes, I decorated!)

Song of the Day #2097

Song of the Day: The Awful Truth (“My Dreams Are Gone with the Wind”), music by Ben Oakland, lyrics by Milton Drake, is from this 1937 screwball comedy. The film, based on a 1922 play by Arthur Richman, earned Leo McCarey a Best Director Oscar—though in his acceptance speech, McCarey said: “Thanks, but you gave it to me for the wrong picture”, a reference to his poignant 1937 film “Make Way for Tomorrow“. However, this film, starring Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, and a young Ralph Bellamy (nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar), is a hoot. The film also stars Skippy the Dog as Mr. Smith—also known for his appearances as the dog Asta in “The Thin Man” (1934) and as George, the dinosaur-bone-burying dog, in “Bringing Up Baby” (1938). The scenes in which this song is performed are hilarious. The song uses the phrase “Gone with the Wind“, a playful reference to the 1936 book two years before that novel was adapted for the screen. The combined scenes in which Joyce Compton and Irene Dunne deliver the windblown lyrics were heavily improvised [YouTube link].

Song of the Day #2096

Song of the Day: Saltburn (“Murder on the Dance Floor”) features the words and music of Gregg Alexander and Sophie Ellis-Bexter, on whose 2001 album, “Read My Lips” this song first appeared. The dance track was used to dark comedic effect in the final scene of this lurid 2023 thriller, starring Barry Keoghan and Jacob Elordi. Check out the original music video or the closing scene, if you dare (spoiler alert: the cleverly placed ‘heart’ does not appear in the film) [YouTube links].

Song of the Day #2095

Song of the Day: Iron Man (“Iron Man”) features the words and music of Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. Sometimes the use of source music can be wonderfully adapted to the screen. With its infectious guitar riff, I would have been surprised if this song had not been used during the end credits of the 2008 Marvel Studios film of the same name, starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Back in 2013, the trailer for the third film in this franchise debuted on Super Bowl Sunday [YouTube link]. Today, the Iron Men from the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs face off on the field in Super Bowl LVIII. Check out this song with scenes from the original 2008 movie [YouTube link].

Song of the Day #2094

Song of the Day: Chinatown (“Suite”) [YouTube link], composed by Jerry Goldsmith, is derived from my all-time favorite score by the maestro—and that’s saying something! This particular suite is performed live by the Young Metropole Orchestra. Here, the trumpeter is not Uan Ramsey, from the original 1974 neo noir (one of my favorite films of that decade), but Hans de Munnik, who does a superb job. On this date in 1929, the great Jerry Goldsmith was born. He left behind an innovative and influential cinematic musical legacy for the ages.

Song of the Day #2093

Song of the Day: The Sand Pebbles (“Soundtrack Suite”) was composed by Jerry Goldsmith, for this epic Robert Wise-directed 1966 war film, starring Steve McQueen. The Oscar-nominated score is an emotive backdrop to the film’s love, violence, and heartbreak. Goldsmith won only one Oscar (for “The Omen“), despite 18 lifetime nominations. This is one of his best. Today, Turner Classic Movies begins its “31 Days of Oscar“, and many films scored by Goldsmith will be featured over the next month.

Song of the Day #2092

Song of the Day: Jaws (“Soundtrack Suite”) [YouTube link], composed by John Williams, is one of only five scores for which the maestro won an Oscar. That’s 5 wins out of 54 Oscar nominations, the most held by any living artist, second only to Walt Disney in Oscar history (who had a record 59 nominations over the course of his career). This soundtrack boasts one of the simplest and most unsettling two-note combinations in cinematic history, sitting alongside the classic dissonant shrieking violins from Bernard Herrmann’s “Psycho” murder theme. Happy 92nd birthday to John Williams, who is the oldest Oscar nominee ever!

Song of the Day #2091

Song of the Day: Sabrina (“Soundtrack Suite”) [YouTube link], composed by John Williams, puts the romance in this 1995 rom-com, directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond (in the title role). This is a remake of the 1954 film of the same name, directed by Billy Wilder. The lush Oscar-nominated score is one of the composer’s underappreciated gems. (For this film, Williams also received an Oscar nomination for the song “Moonlight“, with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, performed by Sting.) The suite also includes a snippet of “La Vie en Rose“.