The Film Music of Malcolm Arnold

The Film Music of Malcolm Arnold
The Film Music of Malcolm Arnold

Compiled by Alan Poulton and David Dunstan. Foreword by Neil Brand.

Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006) wrote the music for around 70 feature films between 1948 and 1969, as well as about 50 documentaries and a number of TV programmes. He had loved the world of film from childhood and had a natural gift for melody and an ability to quickly communicate changes of mood.

Perhaps his most famous film score was for David Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai, which won him the Oscar for Best Music Score in 1957. His melodic soundtrack for The Inn of the Sixth Happiness gained him an Ivor Novello award in 1959. And who can forget his wonderfully distinctive music for The Sound Barrier (1952), Hobson’s Choice (1954), The Belles of St Trinian’s (1954) and Whistle Down the Wind (1961)?

This book lists all the films with full details including production information, literary sources, filming locations, release dates, soundtrack recordings, and concert arrangements. Documentaries and TV programmes are listed separately. In-depth articles focus on specific topics and films.

For these, we thank our expert contributors: Mervyn Cooke, James Cox, David Huckvale, John Huntley, James Brooks Kuykendall, Philip Lane, Craig Lysy, Alan Poulton, Christopher Ritchie and Jan G Swynnoe

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Malcolm Arnold was immensely prolific and wrote music for around 70 feature films and 50
documentaries. His music was tonal and he was a powerful communicator, a sort of British Shostakovich, and he wrote some amazing film scores; The Chalk Garden is a very good example of what he was doing.

From The Film Music of Malcolm Arnold, David Huckvale on the Chalk Garden

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