Elmer Bernstein

Composer, Conductor, Pianist
An extremely prolific composer of more than 100 film scores, Elmer Bernstein was a child prodigy, performing professionally as a dancer and actor and winning several prizes for his painting before gravitating by his own ... Read more »
Born: 04/04/1922 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Music (237)

The Artist 2011 (Movie)

("Love Scene") (Music Conductor)

Inglourious Basterds 2009 (Movie)

("Zulus") (Song)

American Pie Presents Beta House 2006 (Movie)

("Faber College Theme") (Song)

Madagascar 2005 (Movie)

("National Geographic Fanfare") (Music)

The Ringer 2005 (Movie)

("Main Title and Calvera" ("The Magnificent 7" Theme)) (Song Performer)

The Ringer 2005 (Movie)

("Main Title and Calvera" ("The Magnificent 7" Theme)) (Song)

Fahrenheit 9/11 2004 (Movie)

("The Magnificent Seven" (Theme)) (Song)

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle 2003 (Movie)

("Cape Fear") (Music)

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind 2002 (Movie)

("The Silencers") (Song)

Far From Heaven 2002 (Movie)

(Music)

Gangs of New York 2002 (Movie)

(Composer)

Bandits 2001 (Movie)

("The Chase (theme from 'The Great Escape')") (Song)

Vanilla Sky 2001 (Movie)

("Summer's End") (Song)

A Storm in Summer 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Music Producer

Chinese Coffee 2000 (Movie)

(Music)

Chinese Coffee 2000 (Movie)

(Original Score)

Keeping the Faith 2000 (Movie)

(Music)

The Tao of Steve 2000 (Movie)

("The Great Escape") (Song Performer)

Bringing Out the Dead 1999 (Movie)

(Music)

Bringing Out the Dead 1999 (Movie)

("Mr Highway" "Threat") (Song)

Bringing Out the Dead 1999 (Movie)

orchestra conductor (Music Conductor)

The Deep End of the Ocean 1999 (Movie)

(Music)

The Magnificent Seven 1992 - 1995, 1997 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Theme Music

Wild Wild West 1999 (Movie)

(Music)

Blues Brothers 2000 1998 (Movie)

("God Music") (Song)

Carla's Song 1998 (Movie)

("Magnificent Seven (Theme)") (Composer)

Digging to China 1998 (Movie)

(Music Producer)

Digging to China 1998 (Movie)

(Music Conductor)

Divorcing Jack 1998 (Movie)

("The Magnificent Seven") (Song)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 1998 (Movie)

(Song)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 1998 (Movie)

("Thinking of Baby") (Song Performer)

The Parent Trap 1998 (Movie)

("The Great Escape March") (Song)

Twilight 1998 (Movie)

(Original Music)

Twilight 1998 (Movie)

(Music)

Buddy 1997 (Movie)

(Music)

Hoodlum 1997 (Movie)

(Music)

John Grisham's The Rainmaker 1997 (Movie)

(Original Music)

John Grisham's The Rainmaker 1997 (Movie)

(Music)

Vegas Vacation 1997 (Movie)

("Man with the Golden Arm") (Music)

Bulletproof 1996 (Movie)

(Music)

Larger Than Life 1996 (Movie)

("The Magnificent Seven") (Music)

Canadian Bacon 1995 (Movie)

(Music)

Devil in A Blue Dress 1995 (Movie)

music composer (Composer)

Fallen Angels 1992 - 1995 (Tv Show)

Theme Music

Frankie Starlight 1995 (Movie)

music composer (Composer)

Nova 1994 - 1995 (Tv Show)

Music

Roommates 1995 (Movie)

(Music)

Search and Destroy 1995 (Movie)

(Music)

Jimmy Hollywood 1994 (Movie)

main title/ musical excerpts("Hollywood and the Stars") (Music)

Natural Born Killers 1994 (Movie)

music composer & conductor("Black Strait Jacket" from the United Artists motion picture "The Caretakers") (Music)

Lost in Yonkers 1993 (Movie)

(Music)

Mad Dog and Glory 1993 (Movie)

(Music)

The Age of Innocence 1993 (Movie)

(Music)

The Cemetery Club 1993 (Movie)

(Music)

The Good Son 1993 (Movie)

(Music)

The Babe 1992 (Movie)

(Music)

A Rage in Harlem 1991 (Movie)

(Music)

A Rage in Harlem 1991 (Movie)

(Composer)

Oscar 1991 (Movie)

conductor("Largo al Factotum") (Music Conductor)

Oscar 1991 (Movie)

(Music)

Rambling Rose 1991 (Movie)

(Music)

Life Is Cheap... But Toilet Paper Is Expensive 1990 (Movie)

("Magnificent Seven") (Music)

The Field 1990 (Movie)

(Music)

The Grifters 1990 (Movie)

(Music)

My Left Foot 1989 (Movie)

(Music Conductor)

My Left Foot 1989 (Movie)

(Music)

Slipstream 1989 (Movie)

(Music)

Da 1988 (Movie)

(Music)

Funny Farm 1988 (Movie)

(Music)

The Good Mother 1988 (Movie)

(Music)

Amazing Grace and Chuck 1987 (Movie)

(Music)

Leonard Part 6 1987 (Movie)

(Music)

The Color of Money 1986 (Movie)

("Walk on the Wild Side") (Song)

Three Amigos! 1986 (Movie)

(Music)

The Black Cauldron 1985 (Movie)

(Music)

Bolero 1984 (Movie)

(Music Supervisor)

Bolero 1984 (Movie)

(love scene) (Music)

Ghostbusters 1984 (Movie)

(Music)

Marie Ward 1984 (Movie)

(Music)

Prince Jack 1984 (Movie)

(Music)

Class 1983 (Movie)

(Music)

Spacehunter 1983 (Movie)

(Music)

Trading Places 1983 (Movie)

("Overture from The Marriage of Figaro") (Music Conductor)

Trading Places 1983 (Movie)

(Music)

Airplane II: the Sequel 1982 (Movie)

(Music)

Making Michael Jackson's Thriller 1982 (Movie)

scary music(part-one) (Music)

An American Werewolf in London 1981 (Movie)

(Music)

Five Days One Summer 1981 (Movie)

(Music)

Going Ape! 1981 (Movie)

(Music)

Heavy Metal 1981 (Movie)

music director (Music)

Honky Tonk Freeway 1981 (Movie)

("Diamond Trinkets") (Song)

Honky Tonk Freeway 1981 (Movie)

(Music)

Stripes 1981 (Movie)

(Music)

Airplane! 1980 (Movie)

(Music)

Genocide 1980 (Movie)

(Music)

Saturn 3 1980 (Movie)

(Music)

The Blues Brothers 1980 (Movie)

(God) (Music)

The Chosen 1980 (Movie)

(Music)

Charleston 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Music

Delta House 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Music

Little Women 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Music

Meatballs 1979 (Movie)

songs("Are You Ready For the Summer?" "Best Friend" "Moondust" "Meatballs") (Song)

Meatballs 1979 (Movie)

(Music)

Moonraker 1979 (Movie)

("The Magnificent Seven Theme") (Song)

The Great Santini 1979 (Movie)

(Music)

Zulu Dawn 1979 (Movie)

(Music)

Bloodbrothers 1978 (Movie)

(Music)

Casey's Shadow 1978 (Movie)

(Music)

National Lampoon's Animal House 1978 (Movie)

("Faber College Theme") (Music)

Serpico 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Music

Seventh Avenue 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Music

Slap Shot 1977 (Movie)

(Music Supervisor)

The Rhinemann Exchange 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Music

From Noon Till Three 1976 (Movie)

(Music)

The Shootist 1976 (Movie)

(Music)

Billy Jack Goes to Washington 1975 (Movie)

(Music)

Ellery Queen 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Music

Mr. Quilp 1975 (Movie)

(Music Supervisor)

Report to the Commissioner 1975 (Movie)

(Music)

The Incredible Sarah 1975 (Movie)

(Music)

Gold 1973 (Movie)

(Music)

McQ 1973 (Movie)

(Music)

The Trial of Billy Jack 1973 (Movie)

(Music)

Cahill, United States Marshal 1972 (Movie)

(Music)

Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Music

The Magnificent Seven Ride 1972 (Movie)

(Music)

The Rookies 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Music

Big Jake 1971 (Movie)

(Music)

Doctors' Wives 1971 (Movie)

(Music)

Julia 1968 - 1971 (TV Show)

Music

Nightmare Honeymoon 1971 (Movie)

(Music)

A Walk in the Spring Rain 1970 (Movie)

title song (Song)

A Walk in the Spring Rain 1970 (Movie)

(Music)

Cannon For Cordoba 1970 (Movie)

(Music)

See No Evil 1970 (Movie)

(Music)

See No Evil 1970 (Movie)

(Music Conductor)

The Liberation of L.B. Jones 1970 (Movie)

(Music)

A Run on Gold 1969 (Movie)

("The Midas Run") (Song)

A Run on Gold 1969 (Movie)

(Music)

The Big Valley 1965 - 1969 (TV Show)

Music

The Bridge at Remagen 1969 (Movie)

(Music)

The Gypsy Moths 1969 (Movie)

(Music)

True Grit 1969 (Movie)

(Music)

True Grit 1969 (Movie)

title song("Amazing Grace") (Song)

I Love You, Alice B. Toklas 1968 (Movie)

(Music)

I Love You, Alice B. Toklas 1968 (Movie)

title song (Song)

The Scalphunters 1968 (Movie)

(Music)

Thoroughly Modern Millie 1967 (Movie)

(Music)

Cast a Giant Shadow 1966 (Movie)

(Music)

Hawaii 1966 (Movie)

songs (Song)

Hawaii 1966 (Movie)

(Music)

Return of the Seven 1966 (Movie)

(Music)

Baby, the Rain Must Fall 1965 (Movie)

songs("Gospel Time" "Henry's Heap" "Pecan Grove Rock" "Travelin' Lady" "Wagon Wheel Watusi" "Baby the Rain Must Fall" "Shine For Me" "Treat Me Right") (Song)

Baby, the Rain Must Fall 1965 (Movie)

(Music)

The Silencers 1965 (Movie)

(Music)

The Silencers 1965 (Movie)

songs (Song)

The Sons of Katie Elder 1965 (Movie)

(Music)

Seven Women 1964 (Movie)

(Music)

The Hallelujah Trail 1964 (Movie)

(Music)

The Reward 1964 (Movie)

(Music)

A Girl Named Tamiko 1963 (Movie)

(Music)

Four Days in November 1963 (Movie)

(Music)

Love With the Proper Stranger 1963 (Movie)

title song (Song)

Love With the Proper Stranger 1963 (Movie)

(Music)

The Carpetbaggers 1963 (Movie)

(Music)

The World of Henry Orient 1963 (Movie)

(Music)

Birdman of Alcatraz 1962 (Movie)

(Music)

Hud 1962 (Movie)

(Music)

Kings of the Sun 1962 (Movie)

(Music)

Rampage 1962 (Movie)

(Music)

The Caretakers 1962 (Movie)

(Music)

The General Electric Theater 1952 - 1962 (TV Show)

Music

The Great Escape 1962 (Movie)

(Music)

To Kill a Mockingbird 1962 (Movie)

(Music)

Walk on the Wild Side 1962 (Movie)

title song (Song)

Walk on the Wild Side 1962 (Movie)

(Music)

By Love Possessed 1961 (Movie)

title song (Song)

By Love Possessed 1961 (Movie)

(Music)

Summer and Smoke 1961 (Movie)

(Music)

The Comancheros 1961 (Movie)

(Music)

The Young Doctors 1961 (Movie)

(Music)

From the Terrace 1960 (Movie)

(Music)

The Magnificent Seven 1960 (Movie)

(Music)

The Rat Race 1960 (Movie)

(Music)

The Story on Page One 1959 (Movie)

(Music)

Desire Under the Elms 1958 (Movie)

(Music)

God's Little Acre 1958 (Movie)

(Music Conductor)

God's Little Acre 1958 (Movie)

(Music)

Kings Go Forth 1958 (Movie)

(Music)

Some Came Running 1958 (Movie)

(Music)

The Buccaneer 1958 (Movie)

(Music)

The Miracle 1958 (Movie)

(Music)

Anna Lucasta 1957 (Movie)

("That's Anna") (Song)

Anna Lucasta 1957 (Movie)

(Music)

Fear Strikes Out 1957 (Movie)

(Music)

Men in War 1957 (Movie)

(Music)

Sweet Smell of Success 1957 (Movie)

(Music)

The Naked Eye 1957 (Movie)

(Music)

The Tin Star 1957 (Movie)

(Music)

Drango 1956 (Movie)

(Music)

The Ten Commandments 1956 (Movie)

(Music)

Storm Fear 1955 (Movie)

(Music)

The Eternal Sea 1955 (Movie)

(Music)

The Man With the Golden Arm 1955 (Movie)

(Music)

The View From Pompey's Head 1955 (Movie)

(Music)

Cat Women of the Moon 1953 (Movie)

(Music)

Sudden Fear 1952 (Movie)

(Music)

Battles of Chief Pontiac (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

Captains and the Kings (TV Show)

Music

Crazy in Love (TV Show)

Music Conductor

Ellery Queen (TV Show)

Music

Foreign Affairs (TV Show)

Music Conductor

Gulag (TV Show)

Music

Happy Face Murders (TV Show)

Music

Incident on a Dark Street (TV Show)

Music

It's a Dog's Life (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

Little Women (TV Show)

Music

Men of the Dragon (TV Show)

Music

Moviola: This Year's Blonde (TV Show)

Music

Never Wave at a WAC (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

Never Wave at a WAC (Movie)

(Musical Direction/Supervision)

Once an Eagle (TV Show)

Music

Rough Riders (TV Show)

Music Conductor

Serpico: The Deadly Game (TV Show)

Music

Silent Raiders (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

The 3,000 Mile Chase (TV Show)

Music

The Chisholms (TV Show)

Music

The Rookies (TV Show)

Music

Today's FBI (TV Show)

Theme Music

Voices From Within (TV Show)

Music Conductor
Actor (6)

Neil Diamond: The Making of "The Movie Album" 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Music For the Movies: Bernard Herrmann 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The Hollywood Soundtrack Story 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Music For the Movies: Bernard Herrmann 1991 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

From Noon Till Three 1976 (Movie)

Songwriter (Actor)

Biography

An extremely prolific composer of more than 100 film scores, Elmer Bernstein was a child prodigy, performing professionally as a dancer and actor and winning several prizes for his painting before gravitating by his own choice to music. Henriette Michelsen, a Juilliard teacher who gave him a scholarship and would guide him in his career as a pianist, had the 12 year-old prodigy play some of his improvisations for Aaron Copland, who in turn selected Israel Citkowski to help further the boy's music education. Bernstein began his concert career in 1939, touring as both a pianist and conductor, only to have it interrupted by World War II. By the time he left the armed services, he had composed the scores for more than 80 radio shows for the Armed Forces Radio Network but returned to the concert stage as a civilian until given the opportunity to write the scores for two programs for United Nations Radio in 1949. These broadcasts caught the attention of Columbia Pictures' vice president Sid Buchman who brought Bernstein to Hollywood to score "Saturday's Hero" (1950).

During the early 50s, Bernstein willingly took any job, which explains his name on the credits of "Robot Monster" (1953), but he attracted his first real attention for his stylish score for the Joan Crawford-Jack Palance thriller "Sudden Fear" (1952). Critics praised his ability to translate dramatic action into musical idiom and he exhibited tendencies that would recur throughout his career: the use of exotic instruments and a reliance on solo instruments like the piano and flute. He firmly established himself with his progressive jazz score for "The Man With the Golden Arm" (1955) and his vastly different Wagnerian orchestrations for DeMille's "The Ten Commandments" (1956) pushed him into the front rank of Hollywood composers. His reputation soared as he proved himself a man for all genres with a rousing Western score for "The Magnificent Seven" (1960), yet when film tastes changed in the late 60s, he recognized his over-arranged scores as anachronistic and shifted gears, redefining soundtrack comedy in movies like "National Lampoon's Animal House" (1978) and "Ghostbusters" (1984). Whether it's the good-humored but genuinely creepy horror of "An American Werewolf in London" (1981) or the robust action of "True Grit" (1969), Bernstein has provided stirring, imaginative music snugly rooted in the folksy traditions of Americana and the contemporary trappings of pop culture.

Though his collaborations were many, Bernstein returned to work again and again with three directors. He provided music with an epic sweep for John Sturges ("Magnificent Seven"; "The Great Escape" 1964; "The Hallelujah Trail" 1965 and "McQ" 1974) but toned it down to an insinuatingly idiosyncratic patter for the quietly intense, claustrophobic dramas of Robert Mulligan ("To Kill a Mockingbird" 1963; "Love With the Proper Stranger" 1964; "Baby, the Rain Must Fall" 1965 and "Bloodbrothers" 1979). John Landis gave him the chance to stretch his comic wings ("Animal House", "American Werewolf" and "The Blues Brothers" (1984) and helped revitalize his career. Since then, he has not slowed down, creating scores of understated lyricism for the Irish films, "My Left Foot" (1989) and "The Field" (1990), underlining the innate romanticism of "Rambling Rose (1992) and "A River Runs Through It" (1992) and accenting the repressed passion of Martin Scorsese's "The Age of Innocence" (1993).

Bernstein did not confine himself to writing exclusively for films. He won an Emmy for his music for ABC's "The Making of the President: 1960" (1963) and scored the themes for "The Big Valley" and "Gunsmoke" as well as such miniseries as "The Chisholms" (CBS, 1979), "Moviola" (NBC, 1980) and "Gulag" (HBO, 1985). He earned Tony nominations for his involvement in two Broadway productions, "How Now, Dow Jones" (1967) and "Merlin" (1973) but managed only one Academy Award, in spite of his dozen nominations, for his original score for "Thoroughly Modern Millie" (1967).

Relationships

Edward Bernstein

Father

Selma Bernstein

Mother

Eve Adamson

Wife
married on October 25, 1965

Emily Adamson

Daughter
mother, Eve Adamson

Gregory Bernstein

Son
mother, Pearl Glusman

Peter Bernstein

Son
mother, Pearl Glusman

Elizabeth Campbell

Daughter
mother, Eve Adamson

Pearl Glusman

Wife
married on December 21, 1946 divorced

EDUCATION

The Juilliard School

New York , New York
attended on scholarship

studied piano with Henriette Michelson and Israel Citkowitz

studied under Roger Sessions and Stefan Wolpe

Walden School

New York , New York

New York University

New York , New York

Milestones

2002

Scored "Far From Heaven"; received an Oscar nomination

2002

Scored "Gangs of New York", directed by Scorsese

2000

Wrote music for "Bringing Out the Dead"

1996

Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame (March 28)

1995

Scored "Devil in a Blue Dress", starring Denzel Washington

1993

Accented the repressed passion of Martin Scorsese's "The Age of Innocence"

1989

His understated lyrical score graced "My Left Foot"

1980

Provided 20 seconds of perfect music for John Belushi's vision of God in "The Blues Brothers" (credited as God Music: Elmer Bernstein)

1967

Won Academy Award for Best Original Music Score for "Thoroughly Modern Millie"

1963

Received Emmy Award for scoring "The Making of the President: 1960" (ABC)

1958

First TV series scoring, "Take 5"

1955

"The Man with the Golden Arm" established him as one of the foremost composers in Hollywood; reputedly first to use modern jazz integrally in film score

1952

Attracted attention with his score for "Sudden Fear", with Joan Crawford and Jack Palance

1951

First film as composer, "Saturday's Hero"

1946

Performed as concert pianist in NY, Chicago and Philadelphia

1934

Auditioned for Aaron Copland at age 12 (date approximate)

Worked with Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band, preparing popular arrangements of American folk songs

Invited to Hollywood by Columbia Pictures' vice president Sid Buchman

Composed more than twenty film scores and received eight Academy Award nominations

Composed first dramatic scores for the Armed Forces Radio Network during World War II; after war scored two programs for United Nations Radio (1949)

Composed opening and closing themes for TV's, "The General Electric Theater"

Bonus Trivia

.

Bernstein has scored more than 100 films and is a United Artists recording artist.

.

In addition to his awards, Bernstein has been nominated for 12 Oscars: "The Man With the Golden Arm" (original score, 1955), "The Magnificent Seven" (original score, 1960), "Summer and Smoke" (original score, 1961), "Walk on the Wild Side" (song "Walk on the Wild Side", 1962), "To Kill a Mockingbird" (original score, 1962), "Hawaii" (song "My Wishing Doll" and for original score, 1966), "Return of the Seven" (score adaptation, 1966), "True Grit" (song "True Grit", 1969), "Gold" (song "Wherever Love Takes Me", 1974), "Trading Places" (score adaptation, 1983); and "The Age of Innocence" (original score, 1993).

.

He was nominated for three Tony Awards: Best Musical and Best Composer and Lyricist (with Carolyn Leigh) for "How Now, Dow Jones" in 1968 and Best Score (with Don Black) for "Merlin" in 1983.

.

As conductor, built the San Fernando Valley Symphony into a fine community performing organization

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