By Sergio, on December 5th, 2009
I have heard several times that Duke Ellington’s music score for Otto Preminger’s1960 counrtroom drama Anatomy of a Murder (which you need to see if you’ve never seen it) was the first movie score ever to be written by an African American. I’m not sure about that. No doubt there were many “race” movies of the 30’s and 40’s that had scores written by black composers and I’m not even sure if even Murder was even the first studio film either. I’ve been looking for a definitive answer but haven’t found it yet. Maybe a reader out there knows. But one thing is for certain, it’s a magnificent score. Ellington at his best. Just take a listen for yourself.
The design work on the titles was done by Saul Bass ans has been imitated by many, from The Academy Award winning Precious to Spike Lee's Clockers.