Friday, March 28, 2008


Scarlet Street cover, featuring Ross Care's article on CHINATOWN, the Film and Jerry Goldsmith's score.

Partial bibliography of Record Rack and other film and music articles by Ross Care.

Scarlet Street was a popular genre magazine created and edited by Richard Valley. It achieved quite a cult following over a decades-long run.


Care, Ross. “Dark Passages: The World of Film Noir – Some Like It Hot,” Scarlet Street, (#40, 2000) – An esay on the Billy Wilder noir comedy.

Care, Ross. “Disney Unlocks the Music Vault” Scarlet Street, (#27, 1998) – Overview of the first classic Disney Original Soundtrack CDs. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Bambi, et al.

Care, Ross. “Disney’s Unburied Treasures, DVD Reviews by Ross Care, Barry Monush, and Richard Valley” Scarlet Street, (#47, 2003) – The classic Disney animated features on DVD.

Care, Ross. “Forever Raksin: An Interview with David Raksin” Scarlet Street, (#22, 1996) – An interview with the famous composer of "the face in the misty light."

Care, Ross. “The Music of Sound: Alfred Hitchcock Rear Window,” Scarlet Street, (#37, 2000). A detailed look at the use of sound and music in the 1954 Hitchcock film. Composer Franz Waxman provided the original musical theme but a variety of other music cues were woven into the film’s total soundtrack. This article also draws on the original cue sheet for the film.

Care, Ross. “Record Rack: Adventures on Marco Polo” Scarlet Street, (#35, 1999) – The Uninvited, Adventures of Marco Polo, King Kong, Moby Dick, etc CDs of music by Victor Young, Max Steiner, Philip Sainton, and others are reviewed.

Care, Ross. “Record Rack: Bernard Herrmann on CD,” Scarlet Street, (#17, Winter 1995)

Care, Ross. “Record Rack: Chinatown, the Film and the Score,” Scarlet Street, (#24, 1997)

Care, Ross. “Record Rack: Classic Hollywood Scores on Marco Polo” Scarlet Street, (#20, Fall 1995) – Music by Hugo Friedhofer and cother.

Care, Ross. “Record Rack: Classic Musicals on DVD” Scarlet Street, (#43, 2001)

Care, Ross. “Record Rack: “Fox Renascent: The Fox CDs ” Scarlet Street, (#28, 1998)
CDs discussed: Journey to the Center of the Earth, Mephisto Waltz, Overview of the 20th Century-Fox music department.

Care, Ross. “Record Rack: Fun with Peter, Alice, and Lolita” - Scores for the Films of Disney and Kubrick” Scarlet Street, (#32, Winter 1999)

Care, Ross. “Record Rack: More Music from 20th Century-Fox on CD” Scarlet Street, (#44, 2002) – How to Marry A Millionaire, Blue Denim, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Batman: the Movie (1966), Illustrated Man, Stagecoach

Care, Ross. “Record Rack: Music for Gods, Monsters, and Bugs” Scarlet Street, (#34, 1999) - The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Psycho, Mighty Joe Young, Gods and Monsters, et al

Care, Ross,.“Record Rack: North by Northwest on CD,” Scarlet Street, (#21, Winter 1996) – A review of the complete score on Rhino CD.

Care, Ross,.“Record Rack: Portraits in Black, Music for Film Noir ” Scarlet Street, (#29, 1998)
CDs discussed: Film Noir (Stromberg/Morgan/RCA Victor CD), Double Indemnity (Koch CD), Murder Is My Beat (Rhino CD), LA Confidential

Care, Ross.“Record Rack: Rebecca, Meet Me in St. Louis, Ziegfeld Follies” Scarlet Street, (#19, Summer 1995). - CD reviews.

Care, Ross. “Record Rack: RecordWracked: Recent Scores on CD,” Scarlet Street, (#18, Spring 1995) Ed Wood, Interview with the Vampire, et al

Care, Ross,.“Record Rack: Miklos Rozsa” Scarlet Street, (#38, 2000) -

Care, Ross. Record Rack: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs & Pinocchio: the First CD Releases” Scarlet Street, (#12, Fall 1993) - Care’s first column for Scarlet Street.

Care, Ross. “Record Rack: Tony Perkins Just Sings” Scarlet Street, (#49, 2003) – The singing career and records of actor Anthony Perkins.

Care, Ross. “Record Rack: 20th Century-Fox Music on CD” Scarlet Street, (#28, 1999) – A roundup of vintage CD soundtracks from the major Hollywood studio.

Care, Ross. “Record Rack: Warner. Bros. 75 Years of Film Music,” Scarlet Street, (#31, 1999) – A review of the WB CD anthology.

Care, Ross. “Record Rack: A Wistful Longing for Horror: The Fantasy World of MGM” Scarlet Street, (#44, 2002) – Bandwagon, Brigadoon, Meet Me In St. Louis, Wizard of Oz, Ziegfeld Follies, et al

Scarlet Street, (#25, 1997) – The fantasy/horror elements of MGM musicals are mused upon.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hollywood Singing & Dancing

Yesterday, Wed., March 26, the American Cinematheque at the Aero in Santa Monica launched a five-day series of musical screenings with Hollywood Singing and Dancing, a new anthology film directed by Mack McLaughlin. (The film actually had its LA premiere at the Egyptian in Hollywood on March 19).

Director McLaughlin appeared after the screening, along with Shirley Jones who appeared in and narrated the documentary. The 111-minute film covers a lot of territory, from the birth of sound (and thus the musical film) in the late 1920s through Chicago and Dreamgirls. There are new interviews with artists who have been involved with musicals both past and present, but for those familiar with the genre there is otherwise not a lot new material or footage and no real revelations.

There was also virtually no criticism of any of the films on view, and flopolas like Hello Dolly seemed to be put on equal ground with Singing In the Rain and On the Town. There will probably be a DVD with some or all of the 13 hours of material originally shot for the film. McLaughlin also mentioned a public television series, but, tellingly, said PBS was only interested in musicals from the 30s to the ‘50s.

However, it was an entertaining evening, though (like PBS) my interest somewhat flagged when the film moved out of the studio era and into the latter decades of the 20th century. (Clips from Ken Russell’s Tommy and The Rocky Horror Picture Show do add a few jolts of bizarre energy to the second half).

But on the whole all the film clips were wonderful to see on the big screen and if nothing else the concentrated overview that Hollywood Singing and Dancing provides also proves that, even with some less than pristine clips, the Technicolor and color styling of MGM and other major studios of the era absolutely peaked in the musicals of the 1940s and early 50s. (The brief clip from the American in Paris ballet was virtually breathtaking on the big screen!)

Ironically a “Quick Take” in the March 25 LA Times noted that a revival of West Side Story is in the offing for Broadway, two years after its 50th anniversary. The item also revealed that author Arthur Laurents does not care for the 1961 film version and that the revival will do a tougher take on the Sharks and Jets.
Commented Laurents: “They’re not adorable street kids. They’re killers, each and every one of them. They’re vicious and they have to be played that way.”
In that case perhaps Scorsese will be called upon direct a new film version with Leonardo DiCaprio. Maybe they could also restore some of Steven Sondheim’s original lyrics, which, though not that controversial, were nonetheless adapted (censored) for the film version (as were most Broadway lyrics of the era).

For the rest of the Aero Cinematheque series:
March 27, Cabaret and All The Jazz; March 28, Singing in the Rain and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (the latter in CinemaScope); March 29, a 70mm screening of the 147-minute Hello Dolly! (I’ve got my tickets!); March 30, Showboat (1951), and Carousel.

MGM star Kathryn Grayson was scheduled to appear at this Sunday screening but her appearance has been cancelled at the last minute. When Grayson was indisposed I had to settle for Streisand. However, Gene Kelly’s widow, Patricia Kelly, is scheduled to appear at the gala Dolly screening.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ross Care Published Articles: BOOKS

A page from the Performing Arts Annual, Iris Newsom, Editor, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 1986.
From the article Memoirs Of A Movie Childhood in Harrisburg’s Film Palaces
An excerpt from my recently compiled bibliography. This includes only BOOK articles:

See also:


Ross Care Published Writing


Cartoon Music Book, The, Daniel Goldmark, Yuval Taylor, editors. A Cappella Books, Chicago, 2006
Care, Ross. Make Walt’s Music: Music for Disney Animation, 1928-1967. – An overview of music and composers at the Walt Disney Studio.

Performing Arts Annual, Iris Newsom, Editor, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 1986.
Care, Ross. Memoirs Of A Movie Childhood in Harrisburg’s Film Palaces – “The architectural and entertainment styles of bygone movie palaces are traced from their Golden Age to their demise as parking lots and porno movies houses.”
Illustrated with movie stills from the Library’s Motion Picture Division and vintage photos from the Pennsylvania State Archives.
Theaters illustrated and discussed include LOEW’S Regent, the State, the Colonial, the Rio, the Senate, and the Penway.

Performing Arts Annual
, Iris Newsom, Editor, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 1989
Care, Ross. Hot Spell – Alex North’s Film Score for A Streetcar Named Desire – “The score for A Streetcar Named Desire contains some of the most potent and atmospheric evocations of the America South ever heard on a motion picture soundtrack. Alex North, a Russian-Jewish composer from Chester, Pennsylvania, created it.”

Performing Arts at the Library of Congress, Iris Newsom, Editor, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 1992
Care, Ross. Hot Spells – Alex North’s Southern Gothic Film Scores (The Sound and the Fury, The Long Hot Summer, Hot Spell, The Rose Tattoo, Sanctuary) – “Alex North’s film scores for The Sound and the Fury, and The Long Hot Summer evoke a passionate South as depicted during Hollywood’s late Golden Age, before the demise of the studio system.”

Performing Arts – Music, Library of Congress, Iris Newsom, Editor, Washington, DC, 1995.
Care, Ross. Out of This World – The Lesser-Known Cole Porter (Out of This World, The Pirate, Silk Stockings, Les Girls) – “Through his investigation of the Music Division’s collections, the author has achieved insights into Cole Porter’s creative processes by analyzing some of his lesser-known movie and Broadway productions.”

Performing Arts – Motion Pictures, Iris Newsom, editor Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 1998.
Two Articles:
Article 1.
Care, Ross. The Great (Almost) American Novel Becomes The Great American Film Score – Johnny Green’s Music for Raintree County – “Composer-author Ross Care presents an in-depth and entertaining analysis of Green’s score for the film version of Ross Lockridge, Jr.’s great American novel Raintree County."

Article 2.
Care, Ross. Twilight’s Last Gleaming The Americanization of Hollywood Film Music 1950-1965 – “Using many high quality film stills from the period as a backdrop for his essay, Ross Care describes the Hollywood studio system from 1950 to the mid-1960s – one of the most varied and brilliant periods for both filmmaking and original film scoring – and the events that led to its demise.”

Performing Arts – Broadcasting, Library of Congress, Iris Newsom, Editor, Washington, DC, 2002.
Care, Ross. Movies in the Air: Dramatized Shows in Radio’s Late Golden Age – "During the thirties and fifties movies and radio were the entertainment mediums that dominated the American imagination. Hollywood soon learned to exploit the airways and established film stars were encouraged to act in radio dramas, which led to a mutually supportive and profitable alliance and the production of programs ranging from Lux Radio Theatre to Fibber McGee and Molly.”

Wonderful Inventions: Motion Pictures, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound at the Library of Congress. Iris Newsom, editor, The Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 1985
Care, Ross. Threads of Melody: The Evolution of a Major Film Score – Walt Disney’s Bambi – From the study of two rare scores in the Music Division of the Library of Congress the author discusses the several-years development of composer Frank Churchill’s original material into the final symphonic score as arranged and refined by orchestrator Edward Plumb and a staff of Disney studio musicians. Article includes original film and production stills, composer portraits, and rare printed musical excerpts from the Library’s piano conductor’s score and the first draft manuscript score.

NOTE: A short version of this article originally appeared in The Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress, (Spring, 1983)
Note: A bibliography of magazine articles is also forthcoming.

California Spring

A rather scarce WHITE lupine in the Santa Monica mountains.

Spring, 2008. After winter storms California is blooming.

For the moment. It won't last long.

To see more:

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Here is a link to the complete Film Quarterly LISZTOMANIA review.

It discusses the relationship between Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner as seen through the fantastic eyes of British director Ken Russell.