105 Years of Film Music: Part Six - The 1970s

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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, the series covers the styles and innovations in the soundtrack field, decade by decade. This sixth and final program in the series features music from the 1970s. 

In the 1970s filmmakers tried many different approaches, from low-key, personal movies to crowd-pleasing special effects epics. In the first part of the decade film music continued the eclecticism and experimentation of the 1960s, but the grand Hollywood tradition of symphonic scores came roaring back with "Star Wars." John Williams' music for that hugely successful film and other '70s movies such as "Jaws" and "Superman" created quite an impact in the movies, and inspired a whole new generation of film music fans.

The '70s also continued the noir genre with "Chinatown," plus, with movies like "The Parallax View" and "Three Days Of The Condor," saw the development of a new genre: the paranoid thriller. Bernard Herrmann composed his final score in 1976 for Martin Scorcese's "Taxi Driver," and Nino Rota wrote a score for Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather." In 1979 Jerry Goldsmith created two classic science fiction scores, each with its own sound: "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" and "Alien." Garland presents music from these and other movies of the era, such as "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "All The President's Men," "A Fistful of Dynamite," and more.