Written by his wife of twenty years, The Magnificent Elmer is the first book about Elmer Bernstein, aseminal figure of movie music.
Born in New York City in 1922, Elmer Bernstein was one of America’s most celebrated composers, best known for the award-winning musical scores he developed for film, theater, and television for fifty years. He wrote music for more than two hundredfilms, including the scores for Hawaii, The Carpetbaggers, The Great Escape, The MagnificentSeven, The Man with the Golden Arm, TheSweet Smell of Success, The Ten Commandments, The World of HenryOrient, To Kill a Mockingbird, True Grit, and Walkon the Wild Side, just toname a few. He was nominated for fourteen Oscars and won for his score to ThoroughlyModern Millie. He also won two Golden Globe Awards and was nominated for two Grammy Awards.
In this book, Elmer’s former wife Pearl tells in vivid anecdotesof their move from a fifth-floor Manhattan walk-up to the red carpets ofHollywood—not an entirely timely move, as Joe McCarthy was at the peak of hispowers and the studios were in their death throes. Pearl participated in theups and downs of McCarthy, Will Hays, and Otto Preminger. And she presentsan array of Hollywood’s leading men, warts and all, from Sinatra to Odets, fromDeMille to Elmer’s eponymous rival, Leonard Bernstein.