Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" theme in how many films?

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CoffeeDan

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Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" theme in how many films?

PostThu Sep 20, 2012 8:16 pm

While watching HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE last night, I couldn't miss what seemed like the umpteenth use of Alfred Newman's beautifully evocative theme from STREET SCENE (1931) in the opening minutes of the film.

Don't get me wrong -- I love the "Street Scene" theme and often find myself humming along whenever I hear it. But it does appear in an awful lot of Fox films from the '40s and '50s -- kind of a musical way of saying "This is the city." It seems almost tailor-made for films noir in particular.

As far as I know, the earliest use of "Street Scene" as main title/incidental music (apart from the film it was composed for) is in the 1941 film I WAKE UP SCREAMING. After that, it was also used in THE DARK CORNER (1946), KISS OF DEATH (1947), and CRY OF THE CITY (1948). HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE seems to be one of its last appearances. It was used as a temporary music cue in THE BEST OF EVERYTHING (1959), but is not heard in the final cut of the film.

Soooooo . . . how many more films use "Street Scene" on the soundtrack? And were they all released by Fox?
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Christopher Jacobs

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Re: Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" theme in how many films?

PostFri Sep 21, 2012 12:24 am

This sounds like an ideal project for some film student's Master's thesis or some film professor's monograph for FILM HISTORY (with appropriate socio-political analytical observations and interpretations)!
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Richard P. May

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Re: Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" theme in how many films?

PostFri Sep 21, 2012 8:29 am

Fox made a short film in the early days of CinemaScope, with Newman conducting this piece.
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CoffeeDan

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Re: Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" theme in how many films?

PostFri Sep 21, 2012 8:51 am

Just found this one: In WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS (1950), someone whistles "Street Scene" over the opening credits, written on a sidewalk in chalk. Most unusual, but very atmospheric and effective use of the theme.
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Hal Erickson

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Re: Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" theme in how many films?

PostFri Sep 21, 2012 7:27 pm

Richard P. May wrote:Fox made a short film in the early days of CinemaScope, with Newman conducting this piece.


Actually that was the original prologue for HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE, added to show off the stereophonic sound track. Many early TV showings sliced this scene out and cut to the opening credits.
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Hal Erickson

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Re: Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" theme in how many films?

PostFri Sep 21, 2012 7:29 pm

CoffeeDan wrote:While watching HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE last night, I couldn't miss what seemed like the umpteenth use of Alfred Newman's beautifully evocative theme from STREET SCENE (1931) in the opening minutes of the film.

Don't get me wrong -- I love the "Street Scene" theme and often find myself humming along whenever I hear it. But it does appear in an awful lot of Fox films from the '40s and '50s -- kind of a musical way of saying "This is the city." It seems almost tailor-made for films noir in particular.

As far as I know, the earliest use of "Street Scene" as main title/incidental music (apart from the film it was composed for) is in the 1941 film I WAKE UP SCREAMING. After that, it was also used in THE DARK CORNER (1946), KISS OF DEATH (1947), and CRY OF THE CITY (1948). HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE seems to be one of its last appearances. It was used as a temporary music cue in THE BEST OF EVERYTHING (1959), but is not heard in the final cut of the film.

Soooooo . . . how many more films use "Street Scene" on the soundtrack? And were they all released by Fox?


BTW, how did MGM's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" find its way into I WAKE UP SCREAMING? I just about fell out of my chair when I heard THAT one played over the closing credits.
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Re: Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" theme in how many films?

PostSat Sep 22, 2012 8:58 am

Wonder if 'Isn,t It Romantic melody from Paramount,s Love Me Tonight wasn,t used as
background music in even MORE of that studio,s films!
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Isn't it?

PostSun Sep 23, 2012 4:58 am

filmnotdigital wrote:Wonder if 'Isn't It Romantic' melody from Paramount's "Love Me Tonight" wasn't used as
background music in even MORE of that studio's films!


Yes, it was used often. Paramount even named a 1948 movie after the song.
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Re: Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" theme in how many films?

PostSun Sep 23, 2012 3:26 pm

For those who need a refresher, here's "Street Scene" as heard in HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE, complete with 20th Century-Fox fanfare and Cinemascope extension. This is the 1972 re-recording by the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Charles Gerhardt, available on Captain from Castile: The Classic Film Scores of Alfred Newman.

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Re: Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" theme in how many films?

PostSun Sep 23, 2012 6:34 pm

Hal Erickson wrote: BTW, how did MGM's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" find its way into I WAKE UP SCREAMING? I just about fell out of my chair when I heard THAT one played over the closing credits.


The passage of time can often alter the intent of a scene. In DANGEROUS TO KNOW, which just screened at Cinecon, Anna May Wong, who's about to leave Akim Tamiroff, wants to play a record for him--a slightly melancholy song that will sum up their lives together. She drops the needle and we hear..."Thanks for the Memory." What was originally a moving moment now conjures up giggles and the mental image of Hope making a "surprise" walk-on on the Carson show.

Mike S.
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Re: Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" theme in how many films?

PostSat Aug 05, 2017 9:59 am

Still another: GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT (1947) features "Street Scene" in its opening New York sequence. Also featured in its reissue trailer.
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Re: Alfred Newman's "Street Scene" theme in how many films?

PostSat Aug 05, 2017 3:33 pm

Here's the original "Street Scene" from the picture of the same name.

http://www.chelsearialtostudios.com/str ... e_1931.mp3
Classic Film Scores on CD
http://www.chelsearialtostudios.com

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