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Encouraged by my good friend and inquisitor TruffautBergman, I thought it would be cool to create an adjunct to my Wives/Muses list, this time about directors who employ the same composer multiple times.
To be included, the director has to have used the composer more than once, and at least one of those collaborations has to be a Criterion title. So for instance, Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann made one of the most innovative director/composer teams in Hollywood history, but none of Criterion's Hitchcock films feature a Herrmann score (yet), so that particular pair is not represented below.
Composers are listed after the films they worked on for each director.
I have tried to make this list as complete as possible. Please let me know if I am missing anyone.
It was a bit confusing deciding how to arrange this list. I knew I wanted to start with Fellini/Rota because that's such a renowned pairing, and I made Cassavetes/Harwood second since Cassavetes is my hero. Because the number of Japanese directors and composers is so vast, I decided to separate all of them into the second half of the list, with the Italian Bertolucci and the Japanese Sakamoto serving as the fulcrum between two cultures. Beyond that it was a challenge to come up with any kind of meaningful order. Please make additional suggestions about making the list more user friendly.
Deepest gratitude to TruffautBergman, Kilianf286, and especially Peter_Wilson for filling in some of the blanks. Peter's Playback is the definitive list of existing classical pieces used in Criterion films and was a huge inspiration for the present list. Don't miss Jason K.'s Great Scores list too.
And be sure to check out TruffautBergman's two lists of Director/Cinematographer collaborations: I've Seen It All: A Union Of Visions and The Dull Flame of Desire: Our Vision, and Kilianf286's Directors/Editors, Sound Designers, and Director/Production Designers.
Because this list ended up being so long, I am not including my usual cross-references and personal statistics.
Criterion folks: I'd really love to add Peter Greenaway and Michael Nyman!
One of the most famous and creative director/composer partnerships in film history.
Rota also worked with Visconti.
Harwood's music can be heard in some clips, and he is interviewed in this documentary.
Another legendary collaboration that included musicals as well as dramas.
Legrand worked with Godard too.
In addition to his talents as an actor/writer/director, Chaplin was also an accomplished composer and did (or contributed to) the scores of several of his own films.
Credit Godfrey Reggio with convincing Glass to become a film composer, something Glass was reticent to do before KOYAANISQATSI. They've also worked together on the short film ANIMA MUNDI (included on the POWAQQATSI disc) and the recent feature VISITORS.
Morris has also worked with Glass three times—these two and THE FOG OF WAR.
Renzo was Roberto's younger brother.
The latest in a string of Lynch/Badalamenti collaborations.
Schoedsack co-directed KING KONG (1933), which was also scored by Steiner.
Curtiz and Steiner collaborated a few times, most famously on CASABLANCA.
Fried got his start working with Kubrick, composing the score to his early short DAY OF THE FIGHT, his first feature FEAR AND DESIRE, his second KILLER'S KISS (included as a bonus on THE KILLING disc), and then these two features. Fried is now 87 and still active as a composer, though mostly for television since the '60s.
In addition to lending his acting talents, Lurie worked on the scores for these three films and PERMANENT VACATION (included in the STRANGER THAN PARADISE set).
Waits did the score for this one, but two of his songs are featured in DOWN BY LAW, so he's included with the other Jarmusch films.
From low-budget, obscure, Canadian horror films—not to mention being the musical director of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE for its first six seasons—to winning an Oscar for THE LORD OF THE RINGS-THE RETURN OF THE KING. Gotta love Howard.
Spike's father composed scores to five of his son's films.
De Palma famously worshiped Hitchcock and borrowed his composer for this film and OBSESSION.
Alas, there are no Sergio Leone films in the Criterion Collection, but the prolific Morricone, who has scored over 500 films, is now 87 and is still going strong, collaborated with Pasolini too.
Petri and Morricone were frequent collaborators.
Prokofiev was of course known as a "serious" composer before working with Eisenstein.
Oscar Straus/Leo Robin
Straus did the music and Robin wrote the lyrics for this one.
Rózsa and Siodmak worked together on additional films.
Erland von Koch
Hans Werner Henze
Jan Klusák and Jiří Šust
Since Schorm and Chytilová are co-directors of this film, they are listed below.
Like Chaplin, Ray was also a composer and often scored his own films.
Pontecorvo worked on the scores for both of these films—yet another director/composer.
Alexandre Desplat (Mothersbaugh contributed to the MOONRISE KINGDOM score too)
Waxman would go on to work with Hitchcock on SUSPICION, THE PARADINE CASE, and REAR WINDOW.
David Dundas and Rick Wentworth
Holbek's first name is spelled "Joakim" in the credits for EUROPA on this site. I assume this is an error and that it is the same composer.
Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham
For explanation of the "singleton" directors/composers represented by numbers 96 – 114, please see Peter_Wilson's December 10, 2014 and Kilianf286's December 17, 2015; January 16, April 22 and 25, May 17 and 22, June 16 and 17, July 15, August 15, November 16, and December 15, 2016 comments below.
Stuart A. Staples
Miguel Asins Arbó
I have to admit, I was unfamiliar with Takemitsu before researching this list, but what an impressive roster of directors he's worked with.
Honda and Ifukube worked on 20 films together.