The Greatest Movie Soundtracks Ever, Part 1: 1933-1959

Here at Flavorpill, we love movies and we love music, so it’s probably no surprise to learn that we really love movie soundtracks. The history of the interaction of film and music is a long and fascinating one, so for the next few weeks, we’re going to be choosing and examining some of our favorite soundtracks and scores from over the years. This week: the oldies! Specifically, everything pre-1960.

King Kong (1933)

Apparently, the studio that made King Kong hadn’t budgeted for the composition of a soundtrack and planned to re-use snippets of music from other films. This plan probably speaks volumes about how music was regarded in Hollywood in the early 1930s – the first soundtrack album was still four years away, and music was generally an afterthought, seen as unimportant to the film as a whole. Happily, director Merian Cooper had more vision than his employers, and paid composer Max Steiner out of his own pocket to create a soundtrack for his film. The result was a landmark in American film music, and the start of a long and massively influential career for Steiner.