.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Monday, January 08, 2007


Samuel Bronston

You really should know who SAMUEL BRONSTON (1908-1994) is! Samuel Bronston was the producer responsible for relocating many films to Spain away from Hollywood and other high-priced locales. As a producer he was responsible for some of the most impressive epics of the 1960s and his sets and studios in Spain served as home to many more films.

El Cid (1961) Poster
A fine place to start is by viewing: El Cid (1961). This has been considered one of the most intelligent epics made and still retains its grandeur today. Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren and Herbert Lom star. The film was directed by Anthony Mann, noted for his films with James Stewart. The outstanding score is by Miklos Rozsa. It is Bronston's masterpiece.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

The King Of Kings (1961) Bronston produced this film for MGM. Bronston chose Jeffrey Hunter for the lead role in this well-made, intelligent and moving retelling of the story of Christ. Nicholas Ray directed and Miklos Rozsa again composed the score.
The Fall Of The Roman Empire (1964) This epic production stars Stephen Boyd, Sophia Loren, Alec Guinness and Christopher Plummer. It covers much of the same story later used later in Ridley Scott's Gladiator (2000), but is, in my opinion, the better film. The outstanding score was by Dimitri Tiomkin. Anthony Mann directed. The sets were later used in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.
Circus World (1964) John Wayne portrays a circus owner touring his show through Europe in the years before World War I. Set pieces include a capsizing ship, a big top fire and lots of circus action. Dimitri Tiomkin scored the film and Henry Hathaway directed.
55 Days At Peking (1963) Nicholas Ray directed Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner and David Niven in this epic film about the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. Nicholas Ray directed and Dimitri Tiomkin scored. These films came at the end of the cycle of Epic films and, unfortunately, most lost money. Still they are among the best of the genres and show the care lavished on them by producer Samuel Bronston.

*Contributed by: "Eric Jamborsky" Date: Mon, Dec 18 2006 / 12:43:13 PST

Samuel Bronston received no Academy Awards or nominations for Best Picture. However his film received several oscars.

Academy Awards®
© A.M.P.A.S.®
55 DAYS AT PEKING (1963):
1963 Nominated for Music - Best Music Score (Substantially Original): Dimitri Tiomkin
1963 Nominated for Best Song: Dimitri Tiomkin - Music, Paul Francis Webster - Lyrics
EL CID (1961):
1961 Nominated for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration - Color: Veniero Colasanti - Art Direction, John Moore - Set Decoration
1961 Nominated for Music - Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture: Miklos Rozsa
1961 Nominated for Best Song: Miklos Rozsa - Music, Paul Francis Webster - Lyrics
1964 Nominated for Music - Best Music Score (Substantially Original): Dimitri Tiomkin