‘Gone With The Wind’ Composer Left Far-Reaching Legacy


What do “Gone With the Wind,” “Casablanca” and “King Kong” have in common?

The same composer.

Max Steiner was a prolific master of the modern Hollywood soundtrack, responsible for more than 300 film scores, and is regarded as one of the founders of film music.

On “City Lights,” host Lois Reitzes and contributor Scott Stewart examined the expansive career of the Austrian-born Steiner, who arrived in California at the dawn of the “talkie” era.

“He built the Hollywood soundtrack business from the ground up,” Stewart said of Steiner, who won three Academy Awards for “The Informer,” “Now, Voyager,” and “Since You Went Away.”

Steiner’s many other credits included “Little Women” “Jezebel,” “The Caine Mutiny,” “A Summer Place,” “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” and a number of Westerns, including “They Died With Their Boots On,” and John Ford’s classic “The Searchers.”

As for “Gone With the Wind,” Stewart said many of the 99 pieces of music Steiner put together could be “novels unto themselves,” and were drawn from Civil War-era and Southern folk songs.

“It is one of the most intricate and interwoven scores in film music history,” Stewart said.