Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To Have and Have Not--additional comments

I have posted a music cue list for To Have and Have Not on the supporting materials page of the HtM website: Supporting Materials.

Two additional pedagogical comments about music:

1. Franz Waxman's music for the establishing sequence is built in a sharply defined two-part design, with a dramatic opening for main titles followed by a more melodically profiled and rhythmically robust "native music." The elements are similar to the main-title music for Casablanca, which in turn is a reworking by Max Steiner of his music that opens The Lost Patrol (1934). In its somewhat crude directness, the "native music" (that's what it's called in the studio cue sheet) is uncharacteristic of Waxman, and one has to wonder whether he was asked to write "something like Casablanca."

In Casablanca, a brief dramatic opening is followed immediately by "native" or "Arab" music, then by La Marseillaise. In The Lost Patrol, the opening is identical, but the end is a British military march. The three main title cues make for interesting comparison, and they provide an interesting instance of reuse as well as a case of style-topic duplication.

2. The second comment is about music as sound advance. The Hotel Martinique is the central and primary location of action in the film. Although even the basement is used at one point (to hide the injured resistance leader), the primary locations are the main floor restaurant-bar, a second-floor corridor and rooms, and the street outside the Hotel. Several times music from Cricket's band is heard before the scene changes to the restaurant-bar area, and the effect is very similar to sound advances that bridge more radical breaks in both time and place. The first example occurs after 00:11:00, with the entrance of "Martinique." (See earlier blog entries for more information about Hoagie Carmichael's music.)