Composer Details
Franz Waxman
December 24, 1906 

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Astonishingly prolific composer of movie music whose American career spanned some 30 years and included nearly 200 movies. A proponent of the heavily orchestrated, romantic type of score, Waxman won Academy Awards for Sunset Blvd (1950) and A Place in the Sun (1951), and was nominated for The Young in Heart (1938), Rebecca (1940), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Suspicion (both 1941), The Silver Chalice (1954), The Nun's Story (1959), and Taras Bulba (1962).

Waxman, who studied at the Dresden Music Academy and the Berlin Music Conservatory, started composing film music for Germany's UFA studio in 1930; anti-Semitic pressures at the dawn of the Nazi era drove him out of the country and, eventually, to America. He set up shop at Universal, where his music for Bride of Frankenstein, Diamond Jim, Remember Last Night? Magnificent Obsession (all 1935), and Sutter's Gold (1936) was reused for years to come. (The music for the creation scene in Bride remains a towering achievement, even after some sixty years.)

Waxman moved to MGM in 1936 and stayed there for seven years, contributing scores to Captains Courageous (1937), A Christmas Carol (1938), On Borrowed Time (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Honky Tonk (1941), and Woman of the Year (1942), among many others. In 1943 he went to Warners, scoring Air Force (1943), Mr. Skeffington (1944), Pride of the Marines (1945), Humoresque (1946), and Dark Passage (1947), to name just a few.

He freelanced for a time before signing up at Fox, where he composed scores for Demetrius and the Gladiators, Prince Valiant (both 1954), and Peyton Place (1957). Waxman also contributed memorable music to Rear Window (1954), Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), Cimarron (1960), and Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man (1962).  

View the filmo/discography of Franz Waxman.