Music Break: Five Fave Scores from Gregory Peck Films

Hello all, I’m kind of taking a blogging break today… I was going to write a review of The Artist but I’ll save that for next week. So how about a bit of movie music to perk up your day.

Peck on the set of 'Duel in the Sun'

As you already know, my recent Gregory Peck marathon has been a blast. Out of the eighteen films of his I’ve watched so far, quite a few of them actually have a memorable soundtrack. Here are five of my favorites so far:

To Kill a Mockingbird

Elmer Bernstein crafted this beautiful, evocative score to match the poignant masterpiece. This particular one in the opening sequence captures the childlike wonderment of Atticus Finch’s kids, Scout and Jem. Such an amazing melody that makes me well up with tears of joy every time I hear it.

The Big Country

This one reminds me of the Marlboro theme song used in the TV commercials I saw growing up. I LOVE this score and it’s just perfect for this epic Western, it captures the lush and majestic feel of the American West. It makes me want to go out there and ride a horse into the sunset… preferably with Mr. Jim McKay by my side 😉

Spellbound

I heard on NPR a while ago that Hitchcock knew that music can convey emotion in ways images cannot, hence the music in his films almost like a character on its own. This particular one by Miklós Rózsa is quite memorable, it’s mysterious & suspenseful, though at times it feels a bit overwhelming. According to Wiki, Hitchcock actually wasn’t fond of this music, saying that “…it got in the way of his direction.”


Arabesque

This fun score is reminiscent of 1960s Bond-esque theme songs. A longtime Stanley Donen collaborator Henry Mancini added a bit of Middle Eastern flair and a sense of whimsy to fit the plot. It may not be as memorable as his other works such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Charade, but I think it’s as entertaining as the movie.

Guns of Navarone

I wasn’t familiar with Dimitri Tiomkin’s work before my Gregory Peck’s marathon, but he wrote the score for Duel in the Sun and this one. He apparently wrote the score for It’s a Wonderful Life as well. This rousing score captures the bravery and adventure of the six Allied troops portrayed in the film, no wonder this stands as one of the most celebrated war movie themes.


Hope you enjoy this music break. Any particular favorite from the list?

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8 thoughts on “Music Break: Five Fave Scores from Gregory Peck Films

  1. PrairieGirl

    Just got done watching The Big Country, and the epic western theme music immediately puts you in the mood for the old wild west. Now where did I park my horse? ;-D Loved it!

    BTW, while I’m talking about TBC, besides the ever eye-catching Peck, what a bonus we get in this film with Charlton Heston… I wish I was the one rousing him in the middle of the night instead of GP. Unexpectedly, out from under the covers appears the buff, bare-chested, rugged ranch hand Steve Leech. Yowza!

    1. Ahah, so true Becky, I want that theme song playing if I were to go horse riding 😀

      Yep, Heston’s pretty hunky in this movie, I knew you’d love that scene. He’s obviously quite proud of his physique as you know he’s shirtless almost 70% of the time in Ben Hur!

  2. I love the To Kill a Mockingbird soundtrack! One of my favorite movies as well. The rest I can’t really comment on… haha.

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on The Artist!

  3. Ted S.

    The only film I saw from the list is To Kill A Mockingbird, I might give Guns of Navarone a rent someday.

    Enjoy your break, we get a week off from work here at Dell. Apparently all of the corporate offices shuts down during Christmas, which is pretty cool.

    1. I have ‘Navarone’ on BD Ted, feel free to borrow that anytime.

      Woo hoo, a week off? Good for you! I wish TR closed down during Christmas too but fortunately I have 2 days off next week on top of Monday, so only 2-day work week, not bad at all!

  4. You know I’m a fan of ‘The Big Country’ of its magnificent score. This is a wonderful and broad collection, Ruth. Great showcase of theme songs from features that included one of the all-time great leading men. Cool.

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