Last February, Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips and WFMT producer Matt DeStefano introduced The Film Score, celebrating great music composed for the movies. Daily segments of The Film Score were tied to the Academy Awards, and the series generated enormous listener response, feedback, and appreciation.
Phillips returns with The Film Score: Music for Memorial Day, an hour-long special that explores music composed for stories of the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, and the post-9/11 world we inhabit today.
You can enjoy James Horner’s “Preparations for Battle” from the movie Glory, a World War I love story that delves into the first all-black volunteer company fighting on the Union side in the Civil War. You can also hear music from King Vidor’s 1925 World War I epic The Big Parade, which has two scores. Curiously, the original William Axt score and the second version, which Thames Television commissioned of composer Carl Davis, both incorporated the George M. Cohan standard “Over There” and Isham Jones’s “You’re in the Army Now.” The program also features Jerry Goldsmith’s haunting main title theme from Patton, as well as Hugo Friedhofer’s score written for the 1946 home front drama The Best Years of Our Lives.
These film music selections evoke so many emotions, some purely rousing (Elmer Bernstein’s The Great Escape), others ineffably sad (Ennio Morricone’s Casualties of War).
Other music you can hear in the program includes: music from The Big Parade by Carl Davis, “Hymn to the Fallen” from Saving Private Ryan by John Williams, “The Homecoming” from The Best Years of Our Lives by Hugo Friedhofer, and “Maya On Plane” from Zero Dark Thirty by Alexandre Desplat.
Music contained in the program includes:
Jerry Goldsmith: Theme from Patton
James Horner: “Preparations for Battle” from Glory
Carl Davis: Music from The Big Parade
Sir William Walton: “The Battle of Agincourt” from Henry V
Elmer Bernstein: Theme from The Great Escape
John Williams: “Hymn to the Fallen” from Saving Private Ryan
Hugo Friedhofer: “The Homecoming” from The Best Years of Our Lives
Ennio Morricone: “Elegy for Brown” from Casualties of War
Alexandre Desplat: “Maya On Plane” from Zero Dark Thirty
About Michael Phillips
Michael Phillips is the host of The Film Score, first heard on WFMT-FM (98.7) in February 2016. Since 2006 he has served as film critic of the Chicago Tribune, and is a regular guest on “Filmspotting,” at Filmspotting.net and heard weekly on Chicago Public Radio (91.5 FM). Michael co-hosted 100 episodes of the nationally syndicated TV show “At the Movies,” opposite Richard Roeper and then A.O. Scott. More recently he has introduced and hosted dozens of films for Turner Classic Movies. He has also appeared on “Charlie Rose,” “CBS Saturday Morning,” and “The View,” and prior to the Tribune, he was a staff critic and arts reporter for the Los Angeles Times; the San Diego Union-Tribune; the Dallas Times-Herald; the St. Paul Pioneer Press; and the Twin Cities weekly City Pages. He loves the Bill Evans solo piano rendition of David Raksin’s theme from “The Bad and the Beautiful” almost as much as he loves his wife, Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens, and their three children.