Friday, March 28, 2008

HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL - Richard Kayne and Richard Loring - "Theme Music" (1959)

A classic if there ever was one, "House On Haunted Hill" scared the crap outta most people when it came out! This William Castle production starts off just like another one of his works, "13 Ghosts." There's moaning, groaning, screaming, and a guy laughing that I swear to you, sounds like a dead Ricky Ricardo, before the theme written by the songwriting team of Richard Kayne and Richard Loring takes over. Born in 1928, wine connoisseur Richard Kayne is still believed to be living and writing in London today. Richard Loring passed away in 2005 after a long songwriting career. This theme song is quite a moody piece. Horns start swirling with an organ, before the build-up to lounge piano probably played by Richard Kayne, and eerie haunting female vocalise.
Originally the theme song had lyrics written by Richard Kayne that went like this:
"There's a House on Haunted Hill, where everything's lonely and still, Lonely and still, and the ghost of a sigh, when we whispered good-bye,
Lingers on, and each night gives a heart broken cry, There's a House on Haunted Hill, where love walked there's a strange silent chill, strange silent chill, There are memories that yearn, for our hearts to return, and a promise we failed to fulfill, but we'll never go back, No, we'll never go back, to the House on Haunted Hill!"

And no matter how you look at it, Vincent Price is the master of the sinister.

The "House" exterior was actually the Ennis Brown House in Los Angeles, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright!

My favorite part is when Frederic is aiming the champagne bottle at Annabelle and he says something like, "I can see the headlines tomorrow, man kills wife with champagne cork" and she is just bored by his droll humour, but in reality, he is really planning to kill her, and she just gives him the look!! Oh, yeah! This movie is so readily available, what are you waiting for?? You could be watching it right now!!!


Greg Goodsell said...

Great minds think alike -- just this very day I learned that the crazy old woman in this film, who gives the heroine such a scare, Leona Anderson was a musical figure in her own right! It turns out that Ms. Anderson was a more flamboyant version of Mrs. Miller in her day, and recorded a hideous novelty album entitled "Music to Suffer By." An online review --
Leona Anderson: Music to Suffer By*

"Vocal coaches throughout the world are still recuperating from their fruitless attempts to make a singer out of Leona", who is billed as "The world's most horrible singer". She supposedly attempted to begin a career as a serious opera singer, but found that her "assault and battery" delivery more suited to burlesque. On this "Unique Records" release, she screeches through standards such as I Love Paris and lesser known material like Limburger Lover ("I want a limburger lover, to take my breath away") It's a great way to clear out guests after a party.

Anonymous said...

I love it when Price announces the "party favors" for the evening: A loaded handgun for each guest! Did Vinnie know how to party or what?

-- buzz

Bill Jacobs said...

Thanks so much for crediting my dear friend, Richard Loring, for his contribution to this truly classic film. I know it always held a very special place in his heart. Richard was always overflowing with the tales of life and work in Hollywood, having lived and made a career here for over seven decades. He was one of the most loving and giving people I've ever known, and it's a wonderful gift that his spirit lives on in films such as this ... and in the people he touched throughout his amazing life.

Eegah!! & Tabonga! said...

Thanx Bill, It's comments like that, that make it all worthwhile! A toast to all the unsung heroes!

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??