SEARCH: The Sounds of the City

The Sounds of the City
by Elliot Thorpe


Our iconic city has been the backdrop to a whole host of movies almost since the motion picture industry began. The talent of a cinematographer (the one who sets the filming up on the instruction of the director) can even make the backdrop a character in its own right, becoming more than just stunning scenery.

What of that other unsung member of the cast? Every film has it and most of us don’t even register its presence. Yet take it away and the film becomes somewhat lifeless and flat, no matter how beautifully shot the aforementioned backdrop is. It’s the specially-recorded film score.

Movies showcasing San Francisco have been scored by a whole host of uniquely talented composers. We’re going to take a look at a handful.

Let’s start with, naturally, San Francisco, a film
from 1936 starring Clark Gable. The main theme ‘San Francisco’ (sung in the film by Jeanette MacDonald) is a love-song to the city. Of course, drama and intrigue are equally at home. Dirty Harry takes us straight into the action and the grime of the criminal sect…continue reading the Spring issue of SEARCH Magazine.


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