27 July 2008

Williams cops a riff

Humans learn by copying. The process of creation is one largely of cutting and rearranging all the stuff we've copied.

In the 30 years since its release, A New Hope has been picked apart by fans and critics looking for antecedents in the story and the visuals. A long list of those are available at many fan sites. I've made a humble list here at Amazon.

If you make it all the way to the bottom of the list, you'll find the one item that doesn't fit the set, a CD in a list of DVDs. George Lucas wasn't the only one who borrowed ideas in cooking up Star Wars. Have a listen to Austrian composer Erich Korngold's, theme for the 1942 film, King's Row and you'll hear something entirely familiar.

What I'd like to know is, has Williams ever acknowledged riffing on Korngold? And, who was Korngold copying?

Erich Korngold wiki
Erich Korngold fan site
Erich Korngold CDs



Anonymous said...

The movie is called "The Sea Hawk" and stars Errol Flynn. Korngold did lots of soundtracks for that era of Warner Bros movies.

Jedi Bodhisattva said...

The file you downloaded is from a CD compilation of Korngold compositions, among them the theme to Sea Hawk, which is also confusingly the CD title. The composition in question, however, is from the film, King's Row.

halibut said...

Some nice elements of Superman in there as well :)

Jedi Bodhisattva said...

Can you give us some cues (minute:second) and what to listen for? Besides the theme, I'm not terribly familiar with the Superman score.

halibut said...

15-19 seconds. It sounds like part of the main Superman theme :)

CoherentAxe said...

Thanks for this; I was actually looking for King's Row a few days ago, after reading somewhere that Williams was inspired by it.

Listening now. Sounds very strange to hear the similarities.