Hitchcock and Herrmann had a symbiotic and complementary artistic relationship. However, as this chapter contends, rather than necessarily synergic in their understanding of the unified requirements of drama, sometimes their complementary relationship took on a different character. In Marnie, Herrmann’s music attempted to ameliorate Hitchcock’s dark interests, in an attempt to romanticize Hitchcock’s bleak and grotesque story about a psychologist’s fantasy about possessing a disturbed kleptomaniac killer, which includes a deeply disquieting rape scene. The music moves to make these elements bearable, with a ‘sleight of hand’ that misdirects us from the utter darkness and irredeemable characters and obscene aspects of the film narrative.
This chapter focuses on the presentation of pop music on television, specifically the pop promo, rather than the dedicated music television programme. It provides experimentation with a 'televisual unit', whose migratory malleability has led to the development of specialist channels (MTV). The chapter also focuses on appearance on VHS and DVD compilations, as well as increasingly important 'content' on the internet and mobile technologies. The chapter describes a range of music television programmes on British television: from the populist Top of the Pops to the more 'serious' The Old Grey Whistle Test; from the mixed appeal of The Chart Show to the more specialist, lo-fi aesthetic of Snub TV. It traces the development of the pop promo and focuses on some of its more experimental moments. In particular, it focuses on its links with the avant-garde and the implications of translating avant-gardist strategies into such a format.
For a decade from 1955, Alfred Hitchcock worked almost exclusively with one composer: Bernard Herrmann. From The Trouble with Harry to the bitter spat surrounding Torn Curtain, the partnership gave us some of cinema’s most memorable musical moments, taught us to stay out of the shower, away from heights and never to spend time in corn fields. Consequently, fascination with their work and relationship endures fifty years later. This volume of new, spellbinding essays explores their tense working relationship as well as their legacy, from crashing cymbals to the sound of The Birds. The volume brings together new work and new perspectives on the relationship between Hitchcock and Herrmann. Featuring new essays by leading scholars of Hitchcock’s work, including Richard Allen, Charles Barr, Murray Pomerance, Sidney Gottlieb, and Jack Sullivan, the volume examines the working relationship between the pair and the contribution that Herrmann’s work brings to Hitchcock’s idiom. Examining key works, including The Man Who Knew Too Much, Psycho, Marnie and Vertigo, the collection explores approaches to sound, music, collaborative authorship and the distinctive contribution that Herrmann’s work with Hitchcock brought to this body of films. Partners in Suspense examines the significance, meanings, histories and enduring legacies of one of film history’s most important partnerships. By engaging with the collaborative work of Hitchcock and Herrmann, the essays in the collection examine the ways in which film directors and composers collaborate, how this collaboration is experienced in the film text, and the ways such a partnership inspires later work.
The introduction examines the significance and history of Alfred Hitchcock’s partnership with Bernard Herrmann. It also demonstrates the enduring appeal and legacy of the partnership in cinema from the 1970s onwards, especially as Herrmann worked with other directors steeped in the Hitchcock tradition.