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The Journal of Musicology (2011) - Music for Spellbound (1945): A Contested Collaboration




Production files detailing the construction of the musical score for the film Spellbound reveal an intense and complicated collaboration involving music editor Audray Granville, director Alfred Hitchcock, composer Miklós Rózsa, and producer David O. Selznick. Tracing the formation of the score from initial outlines through composition and editing shows how these four individuals contributed to the score's development. Conflicting instructions from Hitchcock and Selznick as well as Granville's preview score influenced Rózsa's compositional decisions, and Granville's revisions of Rózsa's recorded music affected the content of the score. The music of Spellbound does not represent a single or even shared vision, but rather an intricate conglomeration of ideas, revisions, and interpolations. Illuminating these layers of discourse enriches musico-cinematic analysis by challenging conventional notions of authorship and artistic control in the Hollywood film score.