You know what was more shocking than Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963) not having a film score? That Hitch' always had Bernard Hermann at the ready and still went without one.
The internet often does a spectacularly bad job of noting important history (it's all future-future-future which an occassional "now") so you wouldn't know that today marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most important film composers who ever lived!
What would the cinema even sound like without Hermann's shrieking violins from Psycho (1960) for instance? Different surely, and lesser though perhaps it would be a relief if people stopped ripping it off and moved on. Supposedly Hitchcock didn't even want them at first.
Some other notable films include Citizen Kane (debut), The Ghost and Mrs Muir, Cape Fear, North by Northwest and Taxi Driver (1976), his last, which he just barely completed before his death on Christmas Eve of 1975.
True to the odd odd form of Oscar's music branch, Hermann was never nominated for his frequent collaborations with Hitchcock, though those scores remain the best remembered work of his career. He received five nominations in total. In a strange twin coincidence his first two nominations (a double dip for 1941) were for his first two films (Citizen Kane and The Devil and Daniel Webster) and his last two nominations (a double dip for 1976 posthumously) were for his two last scores (Taxi Driver and Obsession). He won his only Oscar for The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941) right at the start.
Listen to one of his film scores while you work today! Do you have a favorite?
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