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Lowell Sun (12/Jan/1938) - Hitchcock has a Songhit, Says Press-Agent




ALFRED HITCHCOCK HAS wrung terror from a phonograph record, from a children's tea party, from a Sunday prayer meeting from an innocent can of films, from almost every innocuous-appearing object under the sun. And now, in his newest picture, "The Girl Was Young," starring 18-year-old Nova Pilbeam, he makes your heart leap in your throat through ingenious tampering with a "swing" dance number.

A SONG HIT TUNE in a Hitchcock film is in itself unusual. In "The Girl Was Young," it plays a vital part in the exciting climax of the film, and had to be specially written and orchestrated for the purpose.

"NOBODY CAN LIKE THE DRUMMER MAN" is the number, destined to be one of the songhits of the season, and the composers are the Hollywood writing team of Lerner, Goodhart and Hoffman. Theirs was an oddly difficult assignment. They had to write a number, suitable for the dance floor, which at the same time would lend itself to the novel and terrifying mood of the sequence.

IT IS SO DEVISED THAT in long general shots, it sounds like normal dance music, but when played in close-ups. the orchestration takes on a note of terror, falters for suspense, and winds up with a crash.

GEORGE CURZON PLAYS THE DRUMMER (and more surprisingly the drum) in the screen band. This conscientious actor, who was last seen here in the stage presentation of "Parnell," actually learned to play the drum through weeks of hard honest practising under the. tutelage of a professional.