105 Years of Film Music: Part Five - The 1960s

The fifth part in an ongoing special series on the history of film music

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft in 'The Graduate' Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft in 'The Graduate'

For over a century, music and movies have been making magic together. Music composed for films is varied and exciting, with qualities that connect it to the classical tradition, as well as special attributes of its own. David Garland presents a series of programs on the history of film music. Heard on Movies on the Radio on the last Saturday of each month for ten months, the series covers the styles and innovations in the soundtrack field, decade by decade. This fifth program in the series features music from the 1960s. 

The tumultuous '60s brought changes of attitude and style even to the scoring of films. The symphonic sound established in the '30s and '40s went out of fashion, replaced by pop-influenced eclecticism. Just as the movies themselves tried out new ideas and approaches, so did the music created for them.

Scores for films such as "The Graduate," "Easy Rider," "La Dolce Vita," and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" used or emulated pop and rock. "Barbarella" and "Candy" brought a touch of psychedelia to cinema. On TV, John Barry's music for the James Bond films was echoed in the adventures of many Cold War super spies. Ennio Morricone and Jerry Goldsmith were composing highly experimental scores for mainstream genre films like "A Fistfull of Dollars" and "Planet of the Apes." Garland presents music from these and other movies of the era, such as "To Kill A Mockingbird," "Psycho," "Bullitt," and others.

Comments [5]


Hi I love the show! It was awesome! I have one question, which song was sing by Michel Le Grand? I heard the artist but not the name of the score unfortunately. It was very beautiful. Thanks for the great music and spreading it to new generations.

Jun. 01 2014 12:17 AM

Interesting that "La Dolce Vita" is used as an example of going away from symphonic scores. That's the title of the NY Phil gala in September.

Everything old is new again?


Jun. 01 2014 12:03 AM

That French chanson must have been from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Absolutely delightful episode. I was supposed to bring the baby to her crib but couldn't pull myself away from the radio and she ended up nodding off on me. One small quibble: shouldn't Alexander Courage have been credited for the Star Trek music, since the excerpt quoted his theme? Wonderful variety of selections. Of the ones that were new to me, my favorites might have been Barbarella, Candy, and Mockingbird. Thanks Mr. Garland for this great series.

May. 31 2014 10:38 PM

The snipet I just heard in my car was a tease... Is there any way to purchase or download
"Movies on the Radio - 105 Years of Film Music: Part Five - The 1960s It was great music to drive to and I agree with David and as a musician today, growing up on these great themes opened up little ears but wide open nusical tastes to some great groundwork .

May. 31 2014 10:01 PM
Yo from West Harlem

What was that French song where the one of them was going "mon amour" and the other one was saying "je t'aime" I was thinking that was a good song to play over a romantic dinner I'm planning soon, so the quicker I get an answer to this question the BETTER! Thanks!

May. 31 2014 09:28 PM

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