Kings Go Forth


1h 49m 1958
Kings Go Forth

Brief Synopsis

Two American soldiers vie for the same woman in World War II France.

Photos & Videos

Kings Go Forth - Movie Posters

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
War
Adaptation
Release Date
Jul 1958
Premiere Information
New York opening: 3 Jul 1958
Production Company
Frank Ross-Eton Productions
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Carmel, California, United States; Côte d'Azur,France; Nice,France
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Kings Go Forth by Joe David Brown (New York, 1956).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 49m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Black and White
Film Length
9,902ft

Synopsis

In 1944, while Allied troops attempt to remove German occupation forces from the mountains of southern France, a brash and wealthy young radio technician named Britt Harris joins the battle-weary platoon of Lt. Sam Loggins. The lieutenant is puzzled by his new corporal, who, having tried to bribe his way out of military service, soon demonstrates a heroic willingness to rescue soldiers injured in a mine-littered apple orchard. Upon learning that Loggins' men have been under fire for many months, the colonel in charge begins issuing them weekend passes to Nice, a coastal resort on the Riviera that has been supplied with every amenity for the admired American liberators. One afternoon, Sam drives his jeep out of town, where he meets the beautiful Monique Blair, who was born and reared in France, but whose family is American. In Mme. Brieux's cozy restaurant, Sam discusses his past, and Monique, in turn, describes the wisdom and goodness of her deceased father. Sam wants to see Monique again, but although she likes him, she states clearly that she has no interest in a romantic relationship. Disappointed, Sam returns to the business of flushing out Germans. After Britt risks his life to secure a strategically placed bunker for the platoon, Sam overcomes his envy of Britt's wealth and good looks and gives the young soldier a promotion. On Saturday night, Sam returns to the little restaurant, where he meets Monique's mother, who invites him to dine at their villa. Monique explains that her father, who had died two years earlier, had taken orphans and refugees into the house during the worst days of the occupation. She then lets Sam kiss her. Sam begins to spend all of his weekend passes with Monique and her mother, and one evening, he confesses his love to Monique. Again declaring that she wants only his friendship, Monique reveals something she earlier had been afraid to admit: Her father was black. "I guess 'nigger' is one of the first words you learn in America, isn't it?" she asks, and when Sam fails to respond, she bursts into tears. Monique's mother explains that although she and her husband Fred had lived together proudly in Philadelphia, they moved to France before their daughter's birth because of its "blindness to color." Sam, who had been on "the opposite side" when he lived near Harlem as a child, struggles with Monique's revelation throughout the following week and finally decides to renew their friendship. Thrilled, Monique accompanies him to a jazz club in Nice. Sam is surprised when Britt performs a stirring trumpet solo with the band, and is disheartened when he immediately captures Monique's admiration. While the soldiers occupy the captured bunker later that week, Britt admits that he likes Monique, but before he can react to the news of her father's race, a bomb lands nearby. Determined to find the source of the heavy German artillery that has halted their advance, Sam and Britt request permission to scan the area from a bell tower behind enemy lines. After one of his evenings with Monique, Britt announces that he has proposed, whereupon Sam, skeptical of Britt's intentions, practically forces the corporal to submit a marriage application. Several months later, on the day on which Sam learns that their mission has been approved, he also hears that Britt has quietly withdrawn his marriage application, calling the whole matter a gag. That night, Sam forces Britt to reveal this to Monique and her mother. Britt, admitting that the affair was just a "new kick" for him, callously insults Monique's racial background. Hysterical, Monique runs away, and later that night, Sam learns that she has tried to kill herself. As he and Britt begin their dangerous nighttime mission, Sam angrily vows to kill the young soldier. Nevertheless, the two steal into a German-held village and position themselves atop the church bell tower. With illumination provided by assisting Allies, the men radio the positions of German troops and ammunition supplies back to the base, whereupon the Allies immediately bomb those positions. As they work, Britt apologizes repeatedly for hurting Monique, explaining that unlike Sam, he has no character. The two finally instruct the Allies to bomb their own position, but as they run to escape the coming explosions, Britt is killed by a German soldier. Sam loses an arm, and after four months in a French hospital, he decides to quit brooding and return to his business in Los Angeles. On his way home, he visits Monique, whose mother has recently died. He finds the villa transformed into a school for war orphans, as Monique has resolved to carry her burden with dignity. As the children sing, Monique smiles bravely at her old friend.

Photo Collections

Kings Go Forth - Movie Posters
Here are a few original release American movie posters for Kings Go Forth (1958), starring Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, and Natalie Wood.

Film Details

Genre
Romance
Drama
War
Adaptation
Release Date
Jul 1958
Premiere Information
New York opening: 3 Jul 1958
Production Company
Frank Ross-Eton Productions
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Carmel, California, United States; Côte d'Azur,France; Nice,France
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Kings Go Forth by Joe David Brown (New York, 1956).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 49m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Black and White
Film Length
9,902ft

Articles

Kings Go Forth


Kings Go Forth (1958) is a war film, a buddy movie, and a love story, but more important, it's a sincere and sober entry in the problem-picture genre, looking at issues of sexism and racism through a tale of three Americans caught in a complicated emotional web. It's also an interesting showcase for the versatility of style and appearance that made Natalie Wood a unique presence in Hollywood films. Frank Sinatra gets a good deal more screen time than either Wood or Tony Curtis, who share top billing with him, but all three stars make solid impressions even when the movie sags.

The story takes place in France during the "champagne campaign" of World War II, which got its name from the supposedly high living available to American troops who could scoot off to the Riviera and quaff fine wines during breaks in the fighting, assuming they could foot their bar bills on military pay. Sinatra plays Sam Loggins, a first lieutenant who commands a reconnaissance unit near a provincial village where the Germans have stashed large amounts of munitions and supplies. Curtis plays Britt Harris, a corporal with a questionable past and a wise-guy attitude. Sam recruits Britt to replace a radioman killed in battle, and while the men have certain things in common - they both hail from the New York area, and they have the same jaundiced view of army efficiency - the gap between Sam's essential seriousness and Britt's nonstop irreverence keeps their friendship from going beyond a superficial level.

The plot's first major twist happens when Sam meets beautiful Monique Blair, played by Wood with considerable delicacy and restraint. Although she was born to American parents, Monique has lived in France all her life, and now shares a home in the village with her widowed mother. She and Sam have a lovely evening of quiet conversation, but when it's time to say goodnight and make another date, Monique tells Sam she can't see him again. Sam is disappointed and puzzled by her behavior, and he's even more perplexed when a much older woman approaches him in the café a week later, introducing herself as Monique's mother and then taking him to their home, where the young folks have another splendid evening.

It's impossible to discuss Kings Go Forth further without a couple of spoilers, but I'll touch on them as lightly as I can. Sam and Monique continue to see each other, and Sam reaches the point of proposing marriage. Instead of rushing into his arms, however, Monique reluctantly tells him a secret that prevents her from saying yes: Her father was a black man, and she believes that racism is implanted into every white American from an early age. Confused about Monique's declaration and his own feelings, Sam stays away from her for several days before realizing that his affection is too strong for skin-deep differences to obstruct. He returns to her house, she joyfully embraces him, and their troubles appear to be over.

We haven't seen much of Britt during all this, but that changes when Sam takes Monique to a nightclub where Britt wows the crowd by blowing a hot trumpet with the jazz combo onstage. Sam introduces him to Monique and the two of them hit it off instantly, turning Sam into a third wheel - a very worried third wheel, since he knows Monique is emotionally fragile and Britt has no morals where women are concerned. Told about Monique's mixed-race parentage, Britt reacts with bemusement and doesn't refer to it again. When it becomes clear that he and Monique are sexual partners, Britt fends off Sam's objections by announcing that they're engaged. Discovering this is a lie, Sam wrathfully confronts Britt, who breaks off with Monique in an appallingly cruel way. This happens at the very moment when headquarters finally approves a high-risk mission that Sam and Britt planned before they became enemies instead of friends. Soon the men are alone together behind enemy lines, seething with anger and anxiety about each other as well as their German foes.

Kings Go Forth opened in 1958, almost a decade after Elia Kazan's Pinky and Mark Robson's Home of the Brave (both 1949) put racial issues front and center. Stanley Kramer's The Defiant Ones, with Curtis and Sidney Poitier, also opened in 1958, and such racially progressive films as Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life (1959) and Hubert Cornfield's Pressure Point (1962) were just around the corner. Like many such pictures, Kings Go Forth now seems a tad backward in some respects, particularly in its casting of a white star - Wood had Russian ancestry and spoke Russian fluently - as a woman profoundly self-conscious about her mixed-race background. Hollywood censorship was still hanging on in 1958, however, and the notorious Production Code banned sex or even romance between the races unless at least one party was punished for it. Kings Go Forth follows that pernicious rule, but it deserves credit for taking on sensitive racial issues in a calm, responsible manner.

Sinatra doesn't sing in Kings Go Forth, although his song "Monique" is woven into Elmer Bernstein's surprisingly tepid score. Yet of the many virtues that made him one of the great American vocalists, none was more important than his ability to put across high degrees of emotion with a minimum of fuss, and the same quality graces his best work as an actor; good examples from the 1950s include his roles in Fred Zinnemann's From Here to Eternity (1953) and Vincente Minnelli's Some Came Running (1958). If his approach in Kings Go Forth is too understated to be fully effective, it's probably because the intensity of the movie's theme led Delmer Daves to direct him and the others more cautiously than necessary. Curtis was an expert at characters who know all the angles (see George Marshall's 1953 Houdini) or think they do (see Alexander Mackendrick's 1957 Sweet Smell of Success), and he conveys Britt's smart-alecky nature with a spunkiness that brings the movie to life whenever he's on screen. By taking a middle road, more extroverted than Sinatra's nice guy and more introspective than Curtis's rogue, Wood embodies the spirit of the film more memorably than either of her costars.

Variety called Kings Go Forth a "simple, rather straightforward action-romance" in which the racial issue is "played to the hilt" and Wood "looks pretty." New York Times critic Bosley Crowther was less generous, deeming the picture "juvenile twaddle" in which Curtis is "bumptious and boorish" and Wood is "affected up to here." I agree with Crowther that Leora Dana's monotonous acting makes Monique's mother seem "like something arisen from a grave," but he misunderstands the critique of American racism at the movie's core, and no review I've seen notices how intelligently the theme of race intersects with that of gender - it is not a man but a woman, after all, who feels the weight of prejudice so acutely that her love life suffers drastically as a result. Anticipating the contrast between American and European racial attitudes that would be explored so crisply in Martin Ritt's underrated Paris Blues (1961) just three years later, Kings Go Forth is a quietly insightful film, if not an exciting or engrossing one.

Director: Delmer Daves
Producer: Frank Ross
Screenplay: Merle Miller, from the novel by Joe David Brown
Cinematographer: Daniel L. Fapp
Editorial Supervision: William B. Murphy
Art Direction: Fernando Carrere
Music: Elmer Bernstein
With: Frank Sinatra (1st Lt. Sam Loggins), Tony Curtis (Cpl. Britt Harris), Natalie Wood (Monique Blair), Leora Dana (Mrs. Blair), Karl Swenson (Colonel), Ann Codee (Madame Brieux), Edward Ryder (Cpl. Lindsay), Jacques Berthe (Jean-François Dauvah)
BW-110m.

by David Sterritt
Kings Go Forth

Kings Go Forth

Kings Go Forth (1958) is a war film, a buddy movie, and a love story, but more important, it's a sincere and sober entry in the problem-picture genre, looking at issues of sexism and racism through a tale of three Americans caught in a complicated emotional web. It's also an interesting showcase for the versatility of style and appearance that made Natalie Wood a unique presence in Hollywood films. Frank Sinatra gets a good deal more screen time than either Wood or Tony Curtis, who share top billing with him, but all three stars make solid impressions even when the movie sags. The story takes place in France during the "champagne campaign" of World War II, which got its name from the supposedly high living available to American troops who could scoot off to the Riviera and quaff fine wines during breaks in the fighting, assuming they could foot their bar bills on military pay. Sinatra plays Sam Loggins, a first lieutenant who commands a reconnaissance unit near a provincial village where the Germans have stashed large amounts of munitions and supplies. Curtis plays Britt Harris, a corporal with a questionable past and a wise-guy attitude. Sam recruits Britt to replace a radioman killed in battle, and while the men have certain things in common - they both hail from the New York area, and they have the same jaundiced view of army efficiency - the gap between Sam's essential seriousness and Britt's nonstop irreverence keeps their friendship from going beyond a superficial level. The plot's first major twist happens when Sam meets beautiful Monique Blair, played by Wood with considerable delicacy and restraint. Although she was born to American parents, Monique has lived in France all her life, and now shares a home in the village with her widowed mother. She and Sam have a lovely evening of quiet conversation, but when it's time to say goodnight and make another date, Monique tells Sam she can't see him again. Sam is disappointed and puzzled by her behavior, and he's even more perplexed when a much older woman approaches him in the café a week later, introducing herself as Monique's mother and then taking him to their home, where the young folks have another splendid evening. It's impossible to discuss Kings Go Forth further without a couple of spoilers, but I'll touch on them as lightly as I can. Sam and Monique continue to see each other, and Sam reaches the point of proposing marriage. Instead of rushing into his arms, however, Monique reluctantly tells him a secret that prevents her from saying yes: Her father was a black man, and she believes that racism is implanted into every white American from an early age. Confused about Monique's declaration and his own feelings, Sam stays away from her for several days before realizing that his affection is too strong for skin-deep differences to obstruct. He returns to her house, she joyfully embraces him, and their troubles appear to be over. We haven't seen much of Britt during all this, but that changes when Sam takes Monique to a nightclub where Britt wows the crowd by blowing a hot trumpet with the jazz combo onstage. Sam introduces him to Monique and the two of them hit it off instantly, turning Sam into a third wheel - a very worried third wheel, since he knows Monique is emotionally fragile and Britt has no morals where women are concerned. Told about Monique's mixed-race parentage, Britt reacts with bemusement and doesn't refer to it again. When it becomes clear that he and Monique are sexual partners, Britt fends off Sam's objections by announcing that they're engaged. Discovering this is a lie, Sam wrathfully confronts Britt, who breaks off with Monique in an appallingly cruel way. This happens at the very moment when headquarters finally approves a high-risk mission that Sam and Britt planned before they became enemies instead of friends. Soon the men are alone together behind enemy lines, seething with anger and anxiety about each other as well as their German foes. Kings Go Forth opened in 1958, almost a decade after Elia Kazan's Pinky and Mark Robson's Home of the Brave (both 1949) put racial issues front and center. Stanley Kramer's The Defiant Ones, with Curtis and Sidney Poitier, also opened in 1958, and such racially progressive films as Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life (1959) and Hubert Cornfield's Pressure Point (1962) were just around the corner. Like many such pictures, Kings Go Forth now seems a tad backward in some respects, particularly in its casting of a white star - Wood had Russian ancestry and spoke Russian fluently - as a woman profoundly self-conscious about her mixed-race background. Hollywood censorship was still hanging on in 1958, however, and the notorious Production Code banned sex or even romance between the races unless at least one party was punished for it. Kings Go Forth follows that pernicious rule, but it deserves credit for taking on sensitive racial issues in a calm, responsible manner. Sinatra doesn't sing in Kings Go Forth, although his song "Monique" is woven into Elmer Bernstein's surprisingly tepid score. Yet of the many virtues that made him one of the great American vocalists, none was more important than his ability to put across high degrees of emotion with a minimum of fuss, and the same quality graces his best work as an actor; good examples from the 1950s include his roles in Fred Zinnemann's From Here to Eternity (1953) and Vincente Minnelli's Some Came Running (1958). If his approach in Kings Go Forth is too understated to be fully effective, it's probably because the intensity of the movie's theme led Delmer Daves to direct him and the others more cautiously than necessary. Curtis was an expert at characters who know all the angles (see George Marshall's 1953 Houdini) or think they do (see Alexander Mackendrick's 1957 Sweet Smell of Success), and he conveys Britt's smart-alecky nature with a spunkiness that brings the movie to life whenever he's on screen. By taking a middle road, more extroverted than Sinatra's nice guy and more introspective than Curtis's rogue, Wood embodies the spirit of the film more memorably than either of her costars. Variety called Kings Go Forth a "simple, rather straightforward action-romance" in which the racial issue is "played to the hilt" and Wood "looks pretty." New York Times critic Bosley Crowther was less generous, deeming the picture "juvenile twaddle" in which Curtis is "bumptious and boorish" and Wood is "affected up to here." I agree with Crowther that Leora Dana's monotonous acting makes Monique's mother seem "like something arisen from a grave," but he misunderstands the critique of American racism at the movie's core, and no review I've seen notices how intelligently the theme of race intersects with that of gender - it is not a man but a woman, after all, who feels the weight of prejudice so acutely that her love life suffers drastically as a result. Anticipating the contrast between American and European racial attitudes that would be explored so crisply in Martin Ritt's underrated Paris Blues (1961) just three years later, Kings Go Forth is a quietly insightful film, if not an exciting or engrossing one. Director: Delmer Daves Producer: Frank Ross Screenplay: Merle Miller, from the novel by Joe David Brown Cinematographer: Daniel L. Fapp Editorial Supervision: William B. Murphy Art Direction: Fernando Carrere Music: Elmer Bernstein With: Frank Sinatra (1st Lt. Sam Loggins), Tony Curtis (Cpl. Britt Harris), Natalie Wood (Monique Blair), Leora Dana (Mrs. Blair), Karl Swenson (Colonel), Ann Codee (Madame Brieux), Edward Ryder (Cpl. Lindsay), Jacques Berthe (Jean-François Dauvah) BW-110m. by David Sterritt

Kings Go Forth


The first of two films Sinatra made in 1958, Kings Go Forth might be seen as an attempt to capture some of the glory of From Here to Eternity (1953). Both are set during World War II and feature some morally dubious characters, but beyond that, there's not much to link the two.

Sinatra isn't playing a supporting character in Kings Go Forth. Instead he's front and center as Sam Loggins, a lieutenant fighting the Germans in southern France late in the war. With his radio operator buddy Britt Harris (played by Tony Curtis), Loggins makes time for a little high life along the Riviera where he meets and falls in love with French resident Monique (Natalie Wood). Loggins is surprised to learn that Monique is actually a mulatto, even more surprised when she falls in love with Britt. Of course Loggins isn't going to give up so easily, even for a buddy.

Sinatra enlisted several jazz musicians to make appearances in Kings Go Forth, including Red Norvo, Pete Candoli and Mel Lewis. Sinatra himself sang on the soundtrack album but not in the film. Kings Go Forth had something of a literary background since it was based on a novel by Joe David Brown, the author of Paper Moon. The actual screenplay was by Merle Miller, whose biography of Harry S. Truman would become a bestseller in the 1970's. In case you're curious, that's mostly Monterey County, California filling in for France.

Director: Delmer Daves
Producer: Frank Ross
Screenplay: Merle Miller, based on the book by Joe David Brown
Cinematography: Daniel L. Fapp
Editor: William Murphy
Art Direction: Fernando Carrere
Music: Elmer Bernstein
Cast: Frank Sinatra (Lt. Sam Loggins), Tony Curtis (Britt Harris), Natalie Wood (Monique Blair), Leora Dana (Mrs. Blair), Karl Swenson (Colonel).
BW-111m.

by Lang Thompson

Kings Go Forth

The first of two films Sinatra made in 1958, Kings Go Forth might be seen as an attempt to capture some of the glory of From Here to Eternity (1953). Both are set during World War II and feature some morally dubious characters, but beyond that, there's not much to link the two. Sinatra isn't playing a supporting character in Kings Go Forth. Instead he's front and center as Sam Loggins, a lieutenant fighting the Germans in southern France late in the war. With his radio operator buddy Britt Harris (played by Tony Curtis), Loggins makes time for a little high life along the Riviera where he meets and falls in love with French resident Monique (Natalie Wood). Loggins is surprised to learn that Monique is actually a mulatto, even more surprised when she falls in love with Britt. Of course Loggins isn't going to give up so easily, even for a buddy. Sinatra enlisted several jazz musicians to make appearances in Kings Go Forth, including Red Norvo, Pete Candoli and Mel Lewis. Sinatra himself sang on the soundtrack album but not in the film. Kings Go Forth had something of a literary background since it was based on a novel by Joe David Brown, the author of Paper Moon. The actual screenplay was by Merle Miller, whose biography of Harry S. Truman would become a bestseller in the 1970's. In case you're curious, that's mostly Monterey County, California filling in for France. Director: Delmer Daves Producer: Frank Ross Screenplay: Merle Miller, based on the book by Joe David Brown Cinematography: Daniel L. Fapp Editor: William Murphy Art Direction: Fernando Carrere Music: Elmer Bernstein Cast: Frank Sinatra (Lt. Sam Loggins), Tony Curtis (Britt Harris), Natalie Wood (Monique Blair), Leora Dana (Mrs. Blair), Karl Swenson (Colonel). BW-111m. by Lang Thompson

Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004)


Elmer Bernstein, the film composer who created unforgettable music for such classics as The Magnificent Seven, To Kill a Mockingbird, and won his only Academy Award for Thoroughly Modern Millie, died of natural causes at his Ojai, California home on August 17. He was 82.

Elmer Bernstein, who was not related to Leonard Bernstein, was born on August 4, 1922, in New York City. He displayed a talent in music at a very young age, and was given a scholarship to study piano at Juilliard when he was only 12. He entered New York University in 1939, where he majored in music education. After graduating in 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps, where he remained throughout World War II, mostly working on scores for propaganda films. It was around this time he became interested in film scoring when he went to see William Dieterle's The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), a film whose score was composed by Bernard Herrmann, a man Bernstein idolized as the ideal film composer.

Bernstein, who originally intended to be a concert pianist and gave several performances in New York after being discharged from military service, decided to relocate to Hollywood in 1950. He did his first score for the football film Saturday's Hero (1950), and then proved his worth with his trenchant, moody music for the Joan Crawford vehicle Sudden Fear (1952). Rumors of his "communist" leanings came to surface at this time, and, feeling the effects of the blacklist, he found himself scoring such cheesy fare as Robot Monster; Cat Women of the Moon (both 1953); and Miss Robin Caruso (1954).

Despite his politics, Otto Preminger hired him to do the music for The Man With the Golden Arm, (1955) in which Frank Sinatra played a heroin-addicted jazz musician. Fittingly, Bernstein used some memorable jazz motifs for the film and his fine scoring put him back on the map. It prompted the attention of Cecil B. De Mille, who had Bernstein replace the ailing Victor Young on The Ten Commandments (1956). His thundering, heavily orchestrated score perfectly suite the bombastic epic, and he promptly earned his first Oscar® nod for music.

After The Ten Commandments (1956), Bernstein continued to distinguish himself in a row of fine films: The Rainmaker (1956), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Some Came Running (1958), The Magnificent Seven (a most memorable galloping march, 1960); To Kill a Mockingbird (unique in its use of single piano notes and haunting use of a flute, 1962); Hud (1963); earned a deserved Academy Award for the delightful, "flapper" music for the Julie Andrews period comedy Thoroughly Modern Mille (1967), and True Grit (1969).

His career faltered by the '80s though, as he did some routine Bill Murray comedies: Meatballs (1980) and Stripes (1981). But then director John Landis had Bernstein write the sumptuous score for his comedy Trading Places (1983), and Bernstein soon found himself back in the game. He then graced the silver screen for a few more years composing some terrific pieces for such popular commercial hits as My Left Foot (1989), A River Runs Through It (1992) and The Age of Innocence (1993). Far From Heaven, his final feature film score, received an Oscar® nomination for Best Score in 2002. He is survived by his wife, Eve; sons Peter and Gregory; daughters Emilie and Elizabeth; and five grandchildren.

by Michael T. Toole

Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004)

Elmer Bernstein, the film composer who created unforgettable music for such classics as The Magnificent Seven, To Kill a Mockingbird, and won his only Academy Award for Thoroughly Modern Millie, died of natural causes at his Ojai, California home on August 17. He was 82. Elmer Bernstein, who was not related to Leonard Bernstein, was born on August 4, 1922, in New York City. He displayed a talent in music at a very young age, and was given a scholarship to study piano at Juilliard when he was only 12. He entered New York University in 1939, where he majored in music education. After graduating in 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps, where he remained throughout World War II, mostly working on scores for propaganda films. It was around this time he became interested in film scoring when he went to see William Dieterle's The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), a film whose score was composed by Bernard Herrmann, a man Bernstein idolized as the ideal film composer. Bernstein, who originally intended to be a concert pianist and gave several performances in New York after being discharged from military service, decided to relocate to Hollywood in 1950. He did his first score for the football film Saturday's Hero (1950), and then proved his worth with his trenchant, moody music for the Joan Crawford vehicle Sudden Fear (1952). Rumors of his "communist" leanings came to surface at this time, and, feeling the effects of the blacklist, he found himself scoring such cheesy fare as Robot Monster; Cat Women of the Moon (both 1953); and Miss Robin Caruso (1954). Despite his politics, Otto Preminger hired him to do the music for The Man With the Golden Arm, (1955) in which Frank Sinatra played a heroin-addicted jazz musician. Fittingly, Bernstein used some memorable jazz motifs for the film and his fine scoring put him back on the map. It prompted the attention of Cecil B. De Mille, who had Bernstein replace the ailing Victor Young on The Ten Commandments (1956). His thundering, heavily orchestrated score perfectly suite the bombastic epic, and he promptly earned his first Oscar® nod for music. After The Ten Commandments (1956), Bernstein continued to distinguish himself in a row of fine films: The Rainmaker (1956), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Some Came Running (1958), The Magnificent Seven (a most memorable galloping march, 1960); To Kill a Mockingbird (unique in its use of single piano notes and haunting use of a flute, 1962); Hud (1963); earned a deserved Academy Award for the delightful, "flapper" music for the Julie Andrews period comedy Thoroughly Modern Mille (1967), and True Grit (1969). His career faltered by the '80s though, as he did some routine Bill Murray comedies: Meatballs (1980) and Stripes (1981). But then director John Landis had Bernstein write the sumptuous score for his comedy Trading Places (1983), and Bernstein soon found himself back in the game. He then graced the silver screen for a few more years composing some terrific pieces for such popular commercial hits as My Left Foot (1989), A River Runs Through It (1992) and The Age of Innocence (1993). Far From Heaven, his final feature film score, received an Oscar® nomination for Best Score in 2002. He is survived by his wife, Eve; sons Peter and Gregory; daughters Emilie and Elizabeth; and five grandchildren. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Pre-release items include Zina Provendie, Romney Brent and Lili Valenty in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The pickup band in the film's bistro scenes featured several well-known jazz musicians. According to the film's pressbook, some exterior scenes were filmed on location in Nice and along the Côte d'Azur, France, and film comedian Harold Lloyd's Southern California estate, Greenacres, was used as the set of the "Blair" villa. Some combat scenes were filmed near Carmel, CA, according to a December 1957 New York Times article. In that article, producer Frank Ross revealed that "the film had drawn considerable interest from the Negro community." Ross, who admitted in the article that "he was not in favor of miscegenation," explained his decision to cast white actress Natalie Wood in the role of the half-black "Monique" by stating that "the picture would lose its dramatic kick if the girl were Negro."
       Although Ross asserted that he and distributor United Artists did not plan to exploit the interracial love theme in the film's advertising, some ads did exploit it. One ad included the line: "Last night she was good for you...last night her skin was white enough for you." A. S. Young, the film's publicist, was the first African American press agent to work on a Hollywood production, according to the December 1957 New York Times article. According to the film's pressbook, Frank Sinatra recorded a special spot announcement aimed at African American audiences. The film had its world premiere in Monte Carlo on June 14, 1958, according to modern sources. Kings Go Forth was awarded the 1958 Los Angeles Urban League Award as the "motion picture that does most for the promotion of better race relations and understanding."

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer June 1958

Released in United States Summer June 1958