Favorite Composers of Theme Music and Songs

For me, music is almost as important to a good movie as the acting and photography. There have been some outstanding composers (I also include lyricists in this group) for films, since movies have been made with sound. Of course, the great music providers for the best musicals were fabulous. Many composers wrote individual fantastic songs for movies. But, the composers who impress me the most are those who wrote memorable themes, music I always recognize, and did it for multiple films.

 The lists below show only the movies they have written for that are in my collection. Some of the best composers for films were:

 John Barry

    • The Tamarind Seed (1974)
    • Robin and Marion (1976)
    • Somewhere in Time (1980)
    • The High Road to China (1983)
    • Out of Africa (1985)
    • Dances with Wolves (1990)
    • The Specialist (1994)
    • and many James Bond films

 Alan Jay Lerner (song lyrics)

    • Royal Wedding (1951)
    • An American in Paris (1951)
    • The Band Wagon (1953)
    • Gigi (1958)
    • Camelot (1967)
    • Paint Your Wagon (1969)

 Henry Mancini

    • Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)
    • The Tarnished Angels (1957)
    • Operation Petticoat (1959)
    • The Great Imposter (1961)
    • Hatari! (1962)
    • Charade (1963)
    • Man’s Favorite Sport? (1963)
    • Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978)
    • Switch (1991)
    • Victor/Victoria (1982)
    • and the Pink Panther films

 Ennio Morricone

    • A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
    • For a Few Dollars More (1965)
    • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
    • Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)
    • Red Sonja (1985)
    • The Untouchables (1987)
    • In the Line of Fire (1993)
    • Wolf (1994)

 John Williams

    • How to Steal a Million (1966)
    • Penelope (1966)
    • Fitzwilly (1967)
    • Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
    • The Eiger Sanction (1975)
    • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
    • The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
    • Presumed Innocent (1990)
    • Stanley & Iris (1990)
    • Jurassic Park (1993)
    • Sabrina (1995)
    • the Star Wars films
    • the Indiana Jones films

 Hans Zimmer

    • Days of Thunder (1990)
    • Regarding Henry (1991)
    • A League of Their Own (1992)
    • As Good as It Gets (1997)
    • Something’s Gotta Give (2003)
    • Batman Begins (2005)
    • The Da Vinci Code (2006)
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

All of these, and many not listed, are outstanding composers. It is very difficult to select a favorite, but I would have to go with:

  • John Williams (Incidentally, he was a pianist in the orchestra for South Pacific in 1958.)

For song lyrics in movies, no one beats:

  • Alan Jay Lerner
Posted in Movies | Leave a comment

Favorite Bits of Dialogue, One-Liners, Put-Downs, Come-Backs

One of the things that makes a comedy really funny is the dialogue. A good comedy writer can create memorable lines or exchanges that make me laugh, even after seeing the scene repeatedly. Of course, movies in other genres also have great dialogue and exchanges. There have been some efforts to identify the best film lines of all time, by critics and fans. I do not necessarily agree with all the selections other people have made, and this document is not intended to repeat those efforts. These are bits of dialogue that I especially enjoy from the movies in my collection.

 The problem for me is that I tend to forget about the great lines, until just before they are said in a movie I am watching again. I also tend to misquote the lines I do recall. So, the quotes below are not necessarily accurate, since I am not making the effort at this time to scan the films and confirm the words. I think my phrases will convey the approximate meaning and identify the lines closely enough to be recognized.

 Here are a few of the lines I can recall that I really enjoy, from some of the films in my collection:

  •  Stanley and Livingstone (1939) – Spencer Tracy: “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”
  • Casablanca (1942) – “We’ll always have Paris.”
  • White Christmas (1954) – Bing Crosby: “Where’s the snow?” Mary Wickes: “We take it in at night.”
  • Operation Petticoat (1959) – Cary Grant: “We sunk a truck!”
  • No (1962) – Sean Connery to Ursula Andress (on the shore, in a bikini): “I’m just here for the view.”
  • Hatari! (1962) – Elsa Martinelli to John Wayne: “How do you like to kiss?”
  • Goldfinger (1964) – Honor Blackman: “My name is Pussy Galore.” Sean Connery: “I must be dreaming.”
  • The Graduate (1967) – “One word – plastics.”
  • The Graduate (1967) – Dustin Hoffman: “You’re trying to seduce me, Mrs. Robinson. … Aren’t you?”
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) – “Who are those guys?”
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) – Paul Newman: “The fall will probably kill you.”
  • Diamonds Are Forever (1971) – Sean Connery: “I’ve smelled that cologne twice before, and both times, I smelled a rat.”
  • Jeremiah Johnson (1972) – Will Geer, being chased on purpose by a grizzly bear, to Robert Redford: “You skin this one, and I’ll get another one.”
  • Live and Let Die (1973) – Roger Moore to Jane Seymour: “It’s in the cards.”
  • Blazing Saddles (1974) – “We don’t need no stinking badges.” [based on an earlier quote from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)]
  • Blazing Saddles (1974) – Alex Karras: “Mongo only pawn in game of life.”
  • Young Frankenstein (1974) – Teri Garr to Gene Wilder: “Care for a roll in the hay?”
  • The Eiger Sanction (1975) – Clint Eastwood to George Kennedy: “You’re limping.”
  • Murder by Death (1976) – Maggie Smith: “Where’s my Dicky?” [referring to her husband Dick]
  • Murder by Death (1976) – Maggie Smith: “Oh, that’s tacky.”
  • Fun with Dick and Jane (1977) – George Segal: “Fortunately, we know nothing about safes.” Jane Fonda: “Unfortunately, we are fast learners.”
  • Star Wars (1977) – Harrison Ford to Mark Hamill: “Don’t get cocky.”
  • Animal House (1978) – Sarah Holcomb, to her parents: “This is the boy who molested me.”
  • The Cheap Detective (1978) – Peter Falk to Marsha Mason: “We’re not good for each other.”
  • Foul Play (1978) – Goldie Hawn: “The dwarf!”
  • The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – “I’m your father.”
  • Hopscotch (1980) – Sam Waterston: “Son-of-a-bitch better stay
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – Harrison Ford: “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.”
  • Tootsie (1982) – Dustin Hoffman to Bill Murray: “If you don’t come in, I’m in the papers tomorrow.”
  • Victor/Victoria (1982) – Julie Andrews: “I’d sleep with you for a meatball.”
  • Victor/Victoria (1982) – Alex Karras to James Garner: “He’s the middleweight champ, but don’t worry, he’s gay.”
  • Octopussy (1983) – Roger Moore: “What’s that?” Kristina Wayborn: “It’s my little octopussy.”
  • All of Me (1984) – “I’m White?!”
  • All of Me (1984) – Richard Libertini: “Back inna bowl.”
  • Romancing the Stone (1984) – “Oh, you mean my little mule, Pepe.”
  • European Vacation (1985) – Beverly D’Angelo to Chevy Chase: “You’ll erase the tape, won’t you?”
  • The Jewel of the Nile (1985) – Danny DeVito: “You mean that boat?”
  • Crocodile Dundee (1986) – Paul Hogan: “That’s a knife.”
  • Dragnet (1987) – Tom Hanks: “Don’t you mean ‘the virgin Connie Swales’?”
  • Bull Durham (1988) – Susan Sarandon to Kevin Costner: “You’re pulling your hips out too soon.”
  • Bull Durham (1988) – Susan Sarandon to Tim Robbins: “Of course I’m trying to seduce you.”
  • Crocodile Dundee II (1988) – “Are we allowed to eat them?”
  • Batman (1989) – “Have you ever danced with the Devil in the pale moonlight?”
  • Christmas Vacation (1989) – Chevy Chase’s amazing diatribe describing his rotten boss, when he learns his Christmas bonus is one year of the jelly-of-the-month club.
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) – Harrison Ford: “Don’t call me Junior!”
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) – “He once got lost in his own museum.”
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) – “I was the next man.”
  • Major League (1989) – Tom Berenger: “Yeah, we’ve got uniforms and everything.”
  • Days of Thunder (1990) – Tom Cruise to Nicole Kidman: “Isn’t this what you’re looking for?” [placing her hand on his crotch, not realizing she is a real doctor who only wants to exam his eyes]
  • The Rookie (1990) – Clint Eastwood to Charlie Sheen: “Fasten your seatbelt.” [just before driving the car through a window several floors above ground level, as the building blows up]
  • Basic Instinct (1992) – Sharon Stone: “What are you going to do, charge me with smoking?”
  • Batman Returns (1992) – Michelle Pfeiffer (as Catwoman): “Meow!” [walking away from a building she just blew up}
  • A Few Good Men (1992) – Jack Nicholson: “You can’t handle the truth!”
  • The Fugitive (1993) – Harrison Ford: “I didn’t kill her.” Tommy Lee Jones: “I don’t care.”
  • The Mask (1994) – Jim Carrey: “Somebody, stop me!”
  • Maverick (1994) – Jodie Foster to the gunfighter: “Was that fast? I thought it was fast. Was it fast?”
  • GoldenEye (1995) – Izabella Scorupco to Pierce Brosnan: “What is it with you and vehicles?”
  • The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) – Michael Douglas (interpreting what the natives just said): “They’re not lions, they’re devils.”
  • Men in Black (1997) – Will Smith: “Uh, oh. Was that your auntie?”
  • The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) – Pierce Brosnan: “Think you’ll get me?” Rene Russo: “Oh, I hope so.”
  • The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) – Rene Russo, after burning a crated priceless painting: “Was it a copy?” Pierce Brosnan: “We’ll never know.”
  • The World is Not Enough (1999) – Pierce Brosnan: “Family motto.”
  • The Banger Sisters (2002) – Susan Sarandon: “It’s not a retirement community, it’s a cemetery.”
  • Die Another Day (2002) – Pierce Brosnan to Halle Barry (on the shore, in a bikini): “I’m here for the birds.”
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) – Geoffrey Rush: “You better start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner — you’re in one.”
  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005) – Angelina Jolie — “I don’t understand the question.”


Posted in Movies | Leave a comment

My All-Time Favorites In Movies

These are my favorite films in each genre:

  • Action – RED2 (2013)
  • Adventure – National Treasure (2004)
  • Biography – Night and Day (1946)
  • Caper – The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)
  • Comedy – It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)
  • Drama – The Hunt for Red October (1990)
  • Fantasy – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  • Holiday Film – Christmas Vacation (1989)
  • Musical – Mamma Mia! (2008)
  • Musical Comedy – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)
  • Romance – The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
  • Romantic Comedy – The Awful Truth (1937)
  • Science Fiction – Star Wars (1977)
  • Thriller – The Da Vinci Code (2006)
  • War – Where Eagles Dare (1968)
  • Western – Silverado (1985)
  • Western Comedy – Maverick (1994)

Favorite film:

  • It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)

Favorite performer:

  • Cary Grant

Most versatile performers:

  • Shirley MacLaine (female)
  • Tom Hanks (male)

Favorite comedy performers:

  • Chevy Chase
  • Doris Day
  • Peter Falk
  • Jane Fonda
  • Cary Grant
  • Goldie Hawn
  • Walter Matthau
  • Peter Sellers

Favorite action performers:

  • Pierce Brosnan
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Harrison Ford
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Michelle Yeoh

 Favorite romantic performers:

  • Doris Day
  • Robert Redford

Favorite dramatic performers:

  • Humphrey Bogart
  • Sean Connery
  • Eva Marie Saint
  • Meryl Streep

Favorite western performers:

  • Clint Eastwood
  • John Wayne

Favorite singers in films:

  • Doris Day
  • Frank Sinatra

Favorite dancers in films:

  • Fred Astaire
  • Gene Kelly
  • Donald O’Conner
  • Eleanor Powell
  • Vera-Ellen

Favorite couple in multiple films:

  • John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara

Favorite supporting performers in multiple films:

  • Gene Hackman
  • Victor McLaglen
  • John Rhys-Davies
  • Chill Wills

Most stylish and graceful performers:

  • Cary Grant
  • Grace Kelly

Most debonair and sophisticated male performer:

  • Cary Grant

Most sensual female performers:

  • Jamie Lee Curtis
  • Rene Russo
  • Sharon Stone
  • Kathleen Turner

Most exotic performers:

  • Sophia Loren
  • Omar Sharif

Favorite directors:

  • Stanley Donen
  • Howard Hawks
  • Sydney Pollack

Favorite writer:

  • Neil Simon

Favorite composers of movie themes or songs:

  • John Barry
  • Henry Mancini
  • Ennio Morricone
  • John Williams

Favorite lyricist for songs in movies:

  • Alan Jay Lerner

Most memorable movie musical themes:

  • James Bond
  • Pink Panther
  • Star Wars

 Movies That Surprised Me:

  • (1933) The Keyhole — A very early film in my collection, with surprisingly excellent dialogue and acting.
  • (1943) The More the Merrier — Charles Coburn is hilarious in this film, completely unexpected by me.
  • (1944) To Have and Have Not — More enjoyable each time I see it, with the Bogart/Bacall chemistry coming through strongly.
  • (1952) Macao — Apparently a very typical film noir, which is not necessarily one of my favorite film genres; combination of Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell definitely clicks and makes me want to watch it repeatedly.
  • (1966) A Big Hand for the Little Lady — Not a well-known movie, but written and performed very well, with a well-disguised back story.
  • (1980) The Competition — Little-known film; plot doesn’t sound exciting, but the faked piano-playing by the performers is amazing; I was surprised by my very favorable impression of this drama.
  • (1980) Popeye — Amazing production of a completely fanciful tale that accurately captures the flavor and detail of an old cartoon world; Popeye comic books and theater cartoons began in the 1930’s, and this movie faithfully reproduces the characters and the impossible fantasy action. I would not have imagined that this movie would be so good, until I saw it.
  • (1995) The Bridges of Madison County — I enjoyed this movie from the first time I saw it, but I did not expect it to continue to affect me emotionally each time I saw it; it is one of the best romance films I have ever seen, and I never tire of watching it.
  • (2003, 2004) Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 — I am very surprised that I actually like these films and watch them now and then. I first saw Vol. 2 (on the advice of my son Mason), which was good, because it is a little better than the first film in the series. I had never seen (and still have not) a movie quite like these. Considering the fact that I am not wild about excessive violence and not particularly interested in forms of sadism, I was immediately turned off by much of the action in these films. But, at the same time, I was fascinated by them. The excellent use of a wide range of music, to match the various scenes; the appropriate inclusion of anime; the switching between black-and-white and color segments; the use of titles for transitions; occasional subtitles for some foreign language dialogue; the outstanding choreography and performance of the fight scenes; the fascinating characters (all performed extremely well); the intriguing dialogue; the interesting use of flash-backs and flash-forwards; and the satisfying ending of the journey are some of the features that eventually turned around my thoughts about the films. I am still surprised that I like them, but I have a better idea of why I do enjoy seeing them occasionally.
  • (2008) Mamma Mia! — I went to see this film at the theater only because of the ABBA music, which I have enjoyed for decades; I had no idea it would be so much fun, and I continue to enjoy it several times a year. I was very surprised by Meryl Streep’s singing ability.

 Actors Who Surprised Me:

  • Johnny Depp — I had never been a fan of Depp before I saw the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, but I have thoroughly enjoyed his performances in the Pirates of the Caribbean films and in The Tourist (2010). He is a weird guy, but his acting skills are most impressive. I have seen Depp in at least two films not in my collection — Edward Scissorhands; and the remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). He was good in both of them.
  • Kay Francis — She was excellent in the three films I have starring her — Jewel Robbery (1932); Trouble in Paradise (1932); and The Keyhole (1933). She was a beauty with great acting abilities (certainly the best I’ve seen in films of the early 1930’s) and one of the best actresses for the whole decade. I had never heard of her, before I acquired these movies, and she was a very pleasant surprise.


Posted in Movies | Leave a comment

Favorite Movie Actor

As a film fan, I enjoy movies from the 1920’s through the current year. I have many favorite actors, male and female. The list of these performers includes Julie Andrews, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, Charles Bronson, Pierce Brosnan, Michael Caine, Chevy Chase, John Cleese, James Coburn, Sean Connery, Jamie Lee Curtis, Doris Day, Michael Douglas, Richard Dreyfuss, Clint Eastwood, Peter Falk, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Clark Gable, James Garner, Mel Gibson, Cary Grant, Tom Hanks, Goldie Hawn, Audrey Hepburn, Rock Hudson, Tommy Lee Jones, Raul Julia, Gene Kelly, Val Kilmer, Kevin Kline, Shirley MacLaine, Steve Martin, Lee Marvin, James Mason, Marsha Mason, Walter Matthau, Steve McQueen, Robert Mitchum, Roger Moore, Bill Murray, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, David Niven, Maureen O’Hara, Robert Redford, Michelle Pfieffer, Christopher Plummer, Sidney Poitier, Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, John Rhys-Davies, Jane Russell, Rene Russo, Eva Marie Saint, Susan Sarandon, George C. Scott, Peter Sellers, Jane Seymour, Omar Sharif, Frank Sinatra, James Stewart, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, John Wayne, Gene Wilder, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

 This is a daunting list of actors. All of them have entertained me greatly. My mood probably influences my choice of an actor I want to watch at any particular time. It is most difficult to select only one of them as my overall favorite, but my choice starred in films (in my collection) from 1933 through 1966, an amazing stretch. He was as entertaining in 1966 as he was in 1933, and his looks had not changed that much in thirty-three years.

 My favorite performer is:

  • Cary Grant

 His films in my collection:

  • She Done Him Wrong (1933) – Drama
  • The Awful Truth (1937) – Romantic Comedy
  • The Toast of New York (1937) – Drama
  • Topper (1937) – Comedy
  • Bringing Up Baby (1938) – Comedy
  • Holiday (1938) – Romantic Drama
  • Only Angels Have Wings (1939) – Drama
  • His Girl Friday (1940) – Comedy
  • My Favorite Wife (1940) – Comedy
  • The Philadelphia Story (1940) – Romantic Comedy
  • Suspicion (1941) – Drama
  • Destination Tokyo (1943) – War
  • Mr. Lucky (1943) – Drama
  • Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) – Comedy
  • Night and Day (1946) – Biography
  • Notorious (1946) – Drama
  • The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947) – Comedy
  • Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) – Comedy
  • I Was a Male War Bride (1949) – Romantic Comedy
  • Monkey Business (1952) – Comedy
  • To Catch a Thief (1955) – Drama
  • An Affair to Remember (1957) – Romance
  • Indiscreet (1958) – Comedy
  • North by Northwest (1959) – Drama
  • Operation Petticoat (1959) – Comedy
  • The Grass Is Greener (1960) – Comedy
  • That Touch of Mink (1962) – Romantic Comedy
  • Charade (1963) – Thriller
  • Walk, Don’t Run (1966) – Comedy
Posted in Movies | Leave a comment

Hello world!

Okay, I’ve moved from spaces.live.com to WordPress. I’m baaaaack.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Yes, I am on Facebook, but still post most things here.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

James Bond Movies Project

 (2009) I recently completed a lengthy project that was most satisfying. I have been a fan of 007 movies since I saw my first one in 1965 and have collected all of them, twice — once on VHS and later on DVD. Over the years, while watching the movies multiple times, I became aware of many events, objects, animals, and other things that appeared in many different films in the series. Although they were different in each movie, the fact that they were repeated interested me.
In 2008, I initiated a study of the 20 Bond films produced by Broccoli/Wilson and starring Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, and Brosnan. I captured over 2000 still shots from the DVDs to illustrate my findings, after creating a list of 50 items to study. I enjoyed every minute of this project, and the results are posted here, in the Public file folder, in the document titled Commonality in 007 Films.
This activity has spawned some ideas for future similar projects that would involve studies of the more than 400 movies in my collection, and I hope to pursue some of those ideas in the near future.
Note: This was written on spaces.live.com, before that site converted to WordPress. On spaces, I was able to post files, but apparently cannot do so here. So, the document referred to is not available here. I will be happy to share it with anyone interested, if you  request it.
Posted in Movies | Leave a comment