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filmmusic

Alfred Newman's "Certain Smile" & Williams' "E.T"

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I was just searching my archives of some online list that is now dead (FILMUS-L archives) and I saw that someone has mentioned that Williams himself claimed that he was inspired for his E.T. by Newman's "A Certain Smile" score.

The person continued that that's no surprise since Williams worked as orchestrator and performer in Certain Smile.

(I also found in the net in a review of the recent lalaland cd, that the reviewer said the central Dominique theme served as the basis for the E.t. theme).

Does anyone have more information or references for this 2 matters?

1) williams' claim

2) the fact that he was an orchestrator in the movie (I don't find it mentioned in the other works section in Jwfan main page)

Also, maybe someone has the liner notes of the LAlaland Cd? Does it mention anything there again about both these matters?

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Certain Smile dates from 1958. Williams arrived back in Hollywood just the previous year, and was by that time one of the top studio pianists. If he orchestrated something on that one, he probably was only one of the orchestrators, or so I would guess.

But I never really heard anything about Williams working on that film, and in all honesty, never heard the score either.

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well, maybe the liner notes of the lalaland 2cd enlighten us. But I don't want to buy the cd just for that.

Maybe I'll contact the person that wrote them in facebook.

Or if anyone has them, please let us know if they mention anything about Williams.

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so which theme is it? the movie is on youtube, but so far i haven't found the exact theme. the score is btw wonderfully orchestrated, really would like to know if JW worked on it.

I think this must be Dominique's theme (at 5:51). It doesn't sound like ET at all, however:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxtG4HLmQyk&feature=related

Btw the song in the beginning is very nice as well.

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No, this isn't it.

You will recognise it when you'll hear it.

E.t. begins with an upward 5th and goes down, this starts with an 8ve and goes down in a similar way to the E.T. theme..

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No, this isn't it.

You will recognise it when you'll hear it.

E.t. begins with an upward 5th and goes down, this starts with an 8ve and goes down in a similar way to the E.T. theme..

Could you post any clips, videos or something??

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Yes I can hear it, nice, it's a wonderful theme. So this is JW's orchestration! :)

It is also peculiar that JW won a lawsuit against a songwriter who claimed that JW took his ET theme from his song called 'Joy'. JW actually played the piano on that recording. So that wasn't even an inspiration?

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well, we don't know yet.. Just some guy said it, but we have to see official record or something..

and yes Miguel, I forgot to mention that that guy referred to him as additional orchestrator.

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Yes I can hear it, nice, it's a wonderful theme. So this is JW's orchestration! :)

It is also peculiar that JW won a lawsuit against a songwriter who claimed that JW took his ET theme from his song called 'Joy'. JW actually played the piano on that recording. So that wasn't even an inspiration?

Yes, it was Les Baxter who claimed that, if memory serves. I heard the clip awhile back, but can't remember much of it now. I remember not thinking it was very alike, though. Just a coincidence type thing.

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I do not think that Williams was performing on Certain Smile as a session musician as the score was recorded in Munich, Germany in July 1958 during AFM strike. Although there are two cues ("A Certain Smile" [vocal version] and "The Dance Orchestra") which were recorded in LA. Unfortunately the liner notes doesn't offer a musicians list.

Regarding the orchestrations the Lalaland release does not mention Williams as orchestrator. Neither is Edward B. Powell credited, Newman's main orchestrator during his tenure at Fox.

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Yes, I bought the CD back when it was released.

The score was also not conducted by Newman himself in Munich (he was probably busy with other films) but by Fox's session pianist and conductor Urban Thielmann.

But it's still possible that Williams co-orchestrated some cues for Newman and was present at the LA source music sessions. As I said above there are no orchestrator credits on the Lalaland release.

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It annoys me that we cannot get to know these things. Why didn't they just credit the people who earned it that time?

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I asked MV if he could look into this and he replied:

Nothing on a Certain Smile except he may have been the piano player on the song since that was recorded here in LA. The score was done in Germany and there is no record of him going there.

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I asked MV if he could look into this and he replied:

Nothing on a Certain Smile except he may have been the piano player on the song since that was recorded here in LA. The score was done in Germany and there is no record of him going there.

What about flight schedules and passenger lists?

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From the 50's? Im sure they were not kept in those days.

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