Lost Weekend/Rozsa/Theremin

April 20, 2006

This is the second film that I will discuss in my film discussion class at the SD Library the beginning of next month.  1945 was a year that Miklos garnered not one but two oscar nominations.  This film lost, but the other, Spellbound, did win for him.  This is yet another of those releases which has no OST release.  Oh there are many releases  http://www.soundtrackcollector.com/catalog/soundtrackdetail.php?movieid=36294  but 32 minutes is about what you will hear and in a symphonic suite of sorts.  Ray Faiola, quite a famous sound engineering expert has informed me that the tapes are no longer available anymore.  Even though it is a Paramount film Universal bought the rights to all of the pre 1950 sound films.  You will see the Koch release on the attached link and this is a good one to obtain because you also get Double Indemnity and The Killers.  These are three of the better noir films Rozsa did.  The Lost Weekend includes his very early use of the theremin an eerie sounding electronic device that became very popular in the 50's science fiction films such as The Day The Earth Stood Still (Herrmann used two of them).  I think the most popular number I can think of is its use in Good Vibrations from the Beach Boys.  Paul Tanner, a former trombone player for Glenn Miller and Capitol records learned how to play it well and had many gigs as a result of this self taught knowledge.  In fact, Rosza also used the theremin in Spellbound, his other 1945 entry and although it was filmed first Lost Weekend came to the theaters first and Hitchcock/Selznick were quite upset over its use in the film.  They thought they had exclusive rights to the use of it!  Needless to say words were exchanged and Rozsa and Hitchcock never worked together again.  This is at least how I heard the story.  Whether it is true or not is another matter.  The Killers is where the famous dragnet theme came from.

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