Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Movie Music for a Winter's Day

The record-breaking frigid temperatures are behind us, but the freezing and drizzling precipitation is here.  Music helps to bring the sunshine to the grey days and I find lots of sunshine in movie music.  Here are three indelible movie themes that never fail to make me feel the warm sun on my face and see blue skies everywhere.

First up is Larry Adler's theme to the charming 1953 comedy Genevieve.  A young married couple, their friend and his date complicate the straight-forward London to Brighton run in antique cars into a comic misadventure.  American born harmonica virtuoso Adler was Oscar nominated for the score for this British production, residing in England at the time due to the blacklist, which also kept his name off the Oscar roll.  Listening to the lilting waltz with my eyes closed I can believe that when I open them the world will be in Technicolor.

Miss Marple's theme first heard in 1961s Murder She Said by Ron Goodwin always makes me smile and remember sunny days in my childhood.  True, Margaret Rutherford's Jane is not like our Jane in Christie's books, but there is no one else like Miss Rutherford.  Her droll humour and blunt faith in her detecting abilities as she drags poor Mr. Stringer into another adventure is infectious.  Look, there she is riding down the street on her bicycle.

And look who else is riding down the street on his bicycle!

Ah, the original score by Frank Barcellini for Jacque Tati's Mon Oncle from 1958.  It is a sturdy support and a playful partner to Tati in a film that freely gives away its smiles, laughter and even a sentimental tear.  Its wistful whimsy dances in my heart.


These are three of my sunshine songs.  What are yours?


  1. Three entertaining selections, no doubt! My favorite of the trio is "Genevieve." AS soon as I hear the first notes, I know what it is. As for my favorite sunshine song from a movie, that's tough. Bernstein's lively Magnificent Seven gets to me on almost any day.

    1. So many delightful scenes from the movie are conjured up at the sound of that harmonica.

      Bernstein, E.! That score for "The Magnificent Seven" really gets the blood pumping.



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