Mending the Torn Curtain
A rejected score’s place in a discography
in Partners in suspense
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This chapter explores the rejection of Herrmann’s score for Torn Curtain and offers an historical overview of the last Hitchcock-Herrmann collaboration on the film that ended the legendary relationship. Due to the rejected score, the film is now considered by many to be an artistic and commercial failure, which may not be entirely true if we examine contemporary reviews and box-office returns. In particular, however, this chapter examines the musical legacy of Herrmann’s Torn Curtain score. Despite being rejected by Hitchcock, the unused music has become increasingly influential, having been re-recorded several times and its material has been re-used in scores such as Battle of Neretva (Herrmann), Martin Scorsese’s Cape Fear (Elmer Bernstein adapting material from Herrmann) or Torment (an early score of Christopher Young). Overall, this chapter aims to provide new perspectives in discussing rejected scores with more objectivity than previous research.

Partners in suspense

Critical essays on Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Hitchcock


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