Jerry Goldsmith - Film and Television Scoring - 1960s

1960s

Jerry Goldsmith began the decade composing for such television shows as Dr. Kildare and Thriller as well as the drama film The Spiral Road (1960). However, he only began receiving widespread name recognition after his intimate score to the classic western Lonely Are the Brave (1962). His involvement in the picture was the result of a recommendation by veteran composer Alfred Newman who had been impressed with Goldsmith's score on the television show Thriller and took it upon himself to recommend Goldsmith to the head of Universal Pictures’ music department, despite having never met him. That same year, Goldsmith composed the mostly atonal and dissonant score to the pseudo-biopic Freud (1962) that focused on a five-year period of the life of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. Goldsmith's score went on to garner him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score, though he lost to fellow first-time nominee Maurice Jarre for his music to Lawrence of Arabia (1962). In 1963, Goldsmith composed a score to The Stripper, his first collaboration with director Franklin J. Schaffner for whom Goldsmith would later score the motion pictures Planet of the Apes (1968), Patton (1970), Papillon (1973), and The Boys from Brazil (1978).

Following his success with Lonely Are the Brave and Freud, Goldsmith went on to achieve even more critical recognition with the theme music to The Man from U.N.C.L.E (1964), and scores to such films as the western Rio Conchos (1964), the political thriller Seven Days in May (1964), the romantic drama A Patch of Blue (1965), the epic war film In Harm's Way (1965) (in which Goldsmith also made a brief cameo appearance), the World War I aviation film The Blue Max (1966), the period naval war epic The Sand Pebbles (1966), the thriller Warning Shot (1967), the western Hour of the Gun (1967), and the controversial mystery The Detective (1968). Goldsmith's scores to A Patch of Blue and The Sand Pebbles garnered him his second and third Oscar nominations, respectively, and were both one of the 250 nominees for the American Film Institute's top twenty-five American film scores. His scores for Seven Days in May and The Sand Pebbles also garnered Goldsmith his first two respective Golden Globe nominations for Best Original Score in 1965 and 1967. During this time, he also composed for many lighter, comedic films such as the family comedy The Trouble with Angels (1966), the James Bond parodies Our Man Flint (1966) and its sequel In Like Flint (1967), and the comedy The Flim-Flam Man (1967).

In 1968, Jerry Goldsmith caught massive critical attention with his landmark, controversial soundtrack to the post-apocalyptic science fiction epic Planet of the Apes (1968), which was one of the first film scores to be written entirely in an Avant garde style. When scoring Planet of the Apes, Goldsmith used such innovative techniques as looping drums into an echoplex, using the orchestra to imitate the grunting sounds of apes, having horns blown without mouthpieces, and instructing the woodwind players to finger their keys without using any air. He also used steel mixing bowls, among other objects, to create unique percussive sounds. The score went on to garner Goldsmith another Oscar nomination for Best Original Score and now ranks in #18 on the American Film Institute's top twenty-five American film scores. Though he did not return to compose for its sequel Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), Goldsmith scored the third installment in the Planet of the Apes franchise, Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971).

Goldsmith concluded the decade with scores to such films as the western Bandolero! (1968), the spy thriller The Chairman (1969), the science fiction film The Illustrated Man (1969), and the western 100 Rifles (1969). In 1969, he also composed the theme to the comedy-drama television series Room 222.

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