Composer and conductor Adolph Deutsch was born in London England on October 20th 1897, but was to emigrate to the United States of America in the December of 1911. By the time 1914 had arrived the composer was working in picture houses in Buffalo where he had settled accompanying silent movies. Some six years later the composer began to work on Broadway and between 1920 and 1930 would be involved on several shows as either arranger, composer or musical director. He orchestrated musical shows for both Irvin Berlin and Ira Gershwin most notably AS THOUSANDS CHEER and PARDON MY ENGLISH, respectively.
In the latter part of the 1930.s the composer began to work on Hollywood movies and in 1937 wrote the music for the drama THEY WONT FORGET, which starred Claude Raines. In the same year Director James Whale called upon Deutsch to score his historical comedy THE GREAT GARRICK a film that is often overlooked and forgotten in favour of Whale’s horror movies, but nonetheless made it onto the 100 top American films list. Between 1937 and 1961 the composer was responsible for scoring some 60 movies. During the 1950’s he won Oscars for his scores for films such as OKLAHOMA and acted as conductor on SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS and ANNIE GET YOUR GUN for which he was not credited for on screen.
Deutsch was also nominated for his contributions to SHOWBOAT and THE BAND WAGON. In 1950 he scored the comedy FATHER OF THE BRIDE which starred Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor. It was a busy year for Deutsch as he worked on five movies including PAGAN LOVE SONG a musical for MGM which starred Esther Williams and Howard Keel. He became known for the music that he either composed, conducted, or adapted for Hollywood musicals. The composer also became associated with the genre of the Hollywood western during his career and also composed the scores for movies which are now looked upon as classics, including, THE MALTESE FALCON, THE MASK OF DIMITRIOS, NOBODY LIVES FOREVER and the 1949 version of LITTLE WOMEN (with Max Steiner).
The composer also collaborated with filmmaker Billy Wilder on two of the director’s well-known movies THE APARTMENT AND SOME LIKE IT HOT. Deutsch also wrote the scores for the movies, GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE, HIGH SIERRA and NORTHERN PURSUIT.
One of the Maestro’s last scoring assignments was GO NAKED IN THE WORLD, in 1961 and starred Gina Lollobrigida and Ernest Borgnine, directed by Ranald MacDougall it was shortly after this that the composer retired. One of the composers most outstanding and accomplished dramatic scores for film, must be for the 1944 production THE MASK OF DIMITRIOS. Directed by Jean Negulesco, the movie features the acting talents of Sydney Greenstreet, Faye Emerson, Peter Lorre and Zachary Scott.
The music is typical of Hollywood film noir productions and has to it a presence and style that can be likened to that of Miklos Rosza. Adolph Deutsch passed away on January 1st, 1980.