Thursday, May 29, 2008

Remembering Alexander Courage, 1919 - 2008

The Flaming Nose has once more learned of the death of another television notable a few weeks ago; it was only just made public. Alexander Courage, composer of the Star Trek theme, died on May 15, 2008. The original Star Trek is practically the nexus for all of us here, and I know we all thrill to that iconic theme song.

Courage had a long and distinguished career in both motion pictures and television, and there's no better way to tell it than to watch the amazing documentary (written and edited by Tim Grant Engle and produced by Bob Klein) made a couple of years ago to celebrate Alexander Courage's achievements and presented at the first Malibu Celebration of Film in 2005. Hosted by John Williams, a frequent Courage collaborator, it's a delightful and informative look back at an impressive body of work. The doc is available in four parts on YouTube, but we'll embed them here for instant viewing. Also highly recommended is a five-part interview with Alexander Courage from the Archive of American Television which is also available on YouTube, starting with Part One here.

And so we begin with the first part of the Alexander Courage tribute documentary:

And here is Part Two:

Here is Part Three:

And here is the Conclusion:

What an amazing career. Hollywood will certainly miss Alexander Courage.


Dean Treadway said...

How weird is it that Courage and Hagen not only died within days of each other, but also had the same exact birth years as well.

Haven't watched the doc yet, but I will. Of course everybody in the world, even in starving contries probably, knows the Star Trek theme. But checking his name on IMDB, I find, movie-wise, he was the orchestrator (not the composer, but the guy who works out all the parts for each orchestral instrument) on: Show Boat, Annie Get Your Gun, Singin' in the Rain, Oklahoma, Million Dollar Mermaid, The Band Wagon, Oklahoma, Guys and Dolls, Funny Face, Gigi, My Fair Lady, Hello Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof, The Poseidon Adventure, Legend, Basic Instinct, Matinee, Jurassic Park, Rudy, Executive Decision, The Ghost and the Darkness and L.A. Confidential. So, another tremendous loss, and again, another chance to mourn the general demise of TV themes and credits, as well as the suffocating art of movie scores.

Scott said...

Has an amazing filmography Dean. And Lisa, thank you for the post and the clips. Looking forward to watching them when I get home from work.