Making Music in Selznick's Hollywood

November 03, 2017
Making Music in Selznick's Hollywood book cover
Nathan Platte

University of Iowa Professor Nathan Platte has published a new book, Making Music in Selznick's Hollywood.

From the book description:

"Iconic images from fiery scenes of catharsis in Gone With the Wind and Rebecca to The Third Man's decadent cinematography have proven inseparable from their accompanying melodies. From the 1910s-50s, producer David O. Selznick depended upon music to distinguish his films from his competitors'. By demonstrating music's value in film and encouraging its distribution through sheet music, concerts, radio broadcasts, and soundtrack albums, Selznick changed audiences' relationship to movie music. But what role did Selznick play in the actual music composition that distinguished his productions, and how was that music made? As the first of its kind to consider film music from the perspective of a producer, this book tells the story of the evolution of Selznick's style through the many artists whose work defined Hollywood sound. Utilizing thousands of archival documents, chapters in this book unearth and analyze Selznick's efforts in the late silent-era, his work at three major Hollywood studios, and his accomplishments as an independent producer, including music-making for King Kong, A Star is Born, Prisoner of Zenda, Duel in the Sun, among many others."

Platte is an associate professor in the School of Music, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.