Kim Novak made one great movie: “Vertigo” (1958) by Alfred Hitchcock. One of my top ten films of all time. But I could have certainly lived without her most recent statement, at age 73. She pulled out an ad in Variety and made a stink. This is how it read:
FROM THE DESK OF
I WANT TO REPORT A RAPE.
I FEEL AS IF MY BODY—OR, AT LEAST MY BODY OF WORK—HAS BEEN VIOLATED BY THE MOVIE, “THE ARTIST.”
The film could and should have been able to stand on its own without depending upon Bernard Herrmann’s score from Alfred Hitchcock’s VERTIGO to provide it more drama. Much of VERTIGO‘s music was written during, not after, filming—that was the way Hitchcock worked. The Love Theme was woven musically in with the puzzle pieces of the storyline. In my opinion, the combined efforts of the composer, director, Jimmy Stewart, and myself were all violated.
I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN SPEAK NOW. They didn’t need to use what I consider to be one of the most important love scenes in motion picture history by playing the VERTIGO score and using emotions it engenders as if it were their own. Even though they gave a small credit to Bernard Herrmann at the end, I believe this to be cheating, at the very least. Shame on them!
IT IS MORALLY WRONG FOR THE ARTISTRY OF OUR INDUSTRY TO USE AND ABUSE FAMOUS PIECES OF WORK TO GAIN ATTENTION AND APPLAUSE FOR OTHER THAN WHAT THEY WERE INTENDED. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO SAFEGUARD OUR SPECIAL BODIES OF WORK FOR POSTERITY, WITH THEIR ORIGINAL AND INDIVIDUAL IDENTITIES INTACT AND PROTECTED.
Postscript: “The Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius responded with press release statement of his own. “‘The Artist’ was made as a love letter to cinema, and grew out of my (and all of my cast and crew’s) admiration and respect for movies throughout history. It was inspired by the work of Hitchcock, Lang, Ford, Lubitsch, Murnau and Wilder. I love Bernard Hermann and his music has been used in many different films and I’m very pleased to have it in mine. I respect Kim Novak greatly and I’m sorry to hear she disagrees.”
I agree. If nothing else, when I heard the “Vertigo” music in “The Artist” it brought up a wonderful, sumptuous reverie for me. Bernard Herrmann’s music was used respectively, and romantically. Now Kimmy, err Kim, “The Artist” is the last movie you should be complaining about. Hollywood is a place selling its soul for a quick buck with such pandering riffraff as “The Devil Inside” and “The Darkest Hour.”
BTW, cribbing music from a classic into a modern film isn’t the first time it’s been done. Three of the most memorable was when Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind” (1977) took music from Disney’s “Pinocchio” (1940) for his climax, the horror film “Re-Animator” (1985) about the walking dead took Herrmann’s music from “Psycho” (1960), and Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill Vol. 1” took Herrmann’s music from “Twisted Nerve” (1968). When I heard these, I spooged myself silly with movie love.