Soundtrack Review: HITCHCOCK (Danny Elfman)

HitchcockCDMusic composed by Danny Elfman
Label: Sony Masterworks
Catalog: 541707
Release Date: November 27, 2012
Rating: ***½

It has been a long time since Danny Elfman big projects showed any signs of greatness and not only mere balls to the wall brass. Elfman is recognised for his flamboyant style but on Hitchcock he had to work more on the sidelines or inner lines, if you will. Hithcock is a drama, and not only a drama; it is a drama about the master of thriller’s life. With that in mind, Elfman had to pull his socks up and try to suss out what palette would make sense in a drama set in the 1960’s, which is not his usual “typeset”.

The obvious choices for creating a credible atmosphere are piano and heavy use of strings to show the classical aspect; nonetheless, therein lies the rub. Oddly enough this is where things get more interesting, since this is a score by Danny Elfman. He approached the score as a mix of a myst film and drama and in the end his work turned out to be an ode to Bernard Herrmann’s brightest moments, paying homage to the whole category of classical composers in the history of cinema.

Elfman’s take on minimalism on “Celery” with overlapping pianos reminiscing Michael Nyman’s work on The Piano and a well-set atmosphere show quite clearly that he needs to dare out a bit more, rather than bringing his usual colours. Furthermore, to get better as a composer, he needs to try out more dramas instead of comedies so he can work on different levels and procure diverse ways for scoring films, instead of using opening staccatos to portray high spirits.

In the soundtrack it is also possible to find some sort of humour/sarcasm to this dead-serious atmosphere with Gounod’s “Funeral March For a Marionette” and the Elfman’s jazzy/sexy “Selling Psycho”The overall lesson for Elfman is that grey, black and beige are also nice and they match with everything else. So let’s try them!

Track Listing:

1. Logos
2. Theme From “Hitchcock”
3. The Premiere
4. Paramount And Out The Gate
5. Mommy Dearest
6. In Bed
7. Impulses
8. The Censor
9. The Swim
10. Peeping
11. Sacrifices
12. Walk With Hitch
13. Celery
14. Telephone
15. Suspicion
16. Explosion
17. Selling Psycho
18. Fantasy Smashed
19. The Sand
20. It’s A Wrap
21. Busted
22. Saving The House
23. Finally
24. Home At Last
25. End Credits (Version I)
26. End Credits (Version II)
27. Funeral March For A Marionette

Total Time: 38:38

Atila Paton

2 thoughts on “Soundtrack Review: HITCHCOCK (Danny Elfman)

  1. There is lots of Bernard Herrmann original score music in the film, is there any in the soundtrack cd? Also, just checking, you are aware that “Funeral March For a Marionette” used in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents television program was composed by Charles-François Gounod in the 1800s?

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