Film Music Review
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Film Music Review (Volumes 1-7)





DVD Review:



2 DVDs (270 minutes)

Executive Producer: Joanne Carson. DVD Producer: Robert S. Bader. Rlease Supervisor: Lorrie Shapiro. Artwork/Package Supervisor: Emily Johnson.


Bonus Features:
Who Do You Trust? ABC daytime quiz show (9 September 1958)
Johnny Carson as guest host on The Jack Paar Show in October 1958

Shout Factory DVD

Rating: ***1/2

For those who are curious to see Johnny Carson in his early career as host of his first national TV show in 1955-56, this 2 DVD set should be enjoyable. This was years before Carson served as host of the long-running The Tonight Show.

Of particular interest to film music fans are two of these shows.

The first one is from 3 November 1955 and the guest is film composer, Dimitri Tiomkin, who appears in a sketch known as "Johnny's Record Collection." Tiomkin demonstrates how adding music to a scene can enhance its effectiveness. First Carson does the scene without any music and then with Tiomkin's written music. It is a most effective demonstration of Tiomkin's talents as film composer.

The other show is from 16 February 1956 and the guest is Dr. Samuel Hoffmann, a podiatrist (or foot doctor) who demonstrates to Johnny Carson his playing of the Theremin. This is the instrument that Dr. Hoffman played so effectively on the soundtrack of SPELLBOUND (1945).

The other shows have comic sketches by Johnny Carson and his guests. Some of them are very funny and some are not so funny.

The picture and sound quality on these DVDs is very good for their age, with clear black & white images.

This Johnny Carson DVD set is well worth having just for the shows with Dimitri Tiomkin and Dr. Samuel Hoffmann, the Theremin player. Both of them demonstrate why there was much interest in film music in the early days of television.

Unlike today's loud and empty-headed TV comedy shows, the 1950s audiences were interested in people behind the scenes in moviemaking, including the musicians and composers.

--Roger L. Hall, 28 June 2008



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