HISTORY & SURVEY OF FILM MUSIC

David Raksin

(1912 - 2004)

1936    Modern times (arranger)

1944    Laura

1948    Force of Evil

1952    The Bad and the Beautiful

David Raksin was among the first American-born composers to build a music career solely in Hollywood. After a brief spell on Broadway, Raksin was hired to assist Charles Chaplin on the soundtrack to his 1936 film Modern Times. Raksin is most known for his score to “Laura”, which spawned the classic title song that became a huge hit in 1945. 

Force of Evil (1948)

The soundtrack to  A Force of Evil shows a break from the nineteenth-century romantic style of music that dominated most soundtracks from the 1930’s and 40’s. Raksin’s use of jazz-tinged, anglular, dissonant melodic style presages later scores by Leonard Rosenman in the 1950’s. In many regards, Raksin could be considered the first true modern film composer- one versed in an American approach to scoring that blended elements of nineteenth-century romanticism, twentieth-century modernism, and popular/jazz styles. 

Force of Evil (1948)

Modern Times (1936) - Factory Scene

Interview with David Raksin about “Modern Times”

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