Tchaikovsky at the Movies

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

The 19th-century Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote some great film scores. Well, technically movies didn't exist during his lifetime, but Tchaikovsky's sense of drama and melody are nevertheless often heard in movies, both as influence and sometimes in quotation. 

David Garland presents some Tchaikovsky-inspired scores, including George Bruns's charming adaptation of the Sleeping Beauty ballet for Disney's 1959 "Sleeping Beauty" animated feature; plus Russian-born Hollywood composer Dimitri Tiomkin's final project, which was to produce and score the 1970 bio-pic "Tchaikovsky." 

Watch an excerpt from "Sleeping Beauty" and tell us: what's your favorite use of Tchaikovsky in the movies? Please leave a comment below.



Comments [3]

Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

I forgot to mention there's a great line at the end of "Now, Voyager" - Betty Davis says to Paul Henried, "Let's not ask for the moon, we already have the stars!" I love those old movies; they don't make them like that any more!

Oct. 18 2014 04:17 PM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

The 1943 version of "The Phantom of the Opera" with Claude Rains uses music from the first movement of Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony as opera music in one scene, and in the Bette Davis film "Now, Voyager" (also starring Claude Rains and Paul Henried), there is a scene at a concert in which we hear a section of the first movement of Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony.

Oct. 17 2014 11:29 AM

From the Disney version: "One day you'll awaken to love's first kiss / 'Til then, Sleeping Beauty, sleep on." DD~~

Oct. 17 2014 03:59 AM

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