Seven years after the album was originally produced, MovieScore Media announces the release of Peter Melnick’s Cinema’s Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood, a masterful tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood featuring both Melnick’s original score as well as previously unreleased tracks of the era. Narrated by Sigourney Weaver, the film discusses the exodus of German and Austrian filmmakers – great directors (Fritz Lang, Robert Siodmak) and composers (Franz Waxman, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold) alike. While writer/director Karen Thomas pays tribute to the 800+ German filmmakers who had to leave their homeland due to Hitler’s rise to power, the film has a special bonus for fans of film music, as the pre-Hollywood lives of Golden Age masters Franz Waxman and Erich W. Korngold have never been documented with such detail.

“While scoring the film, I got to rub shoulders with the best composers of Hollywood” explains composer Peter Melnick (L.A. Story, Farce of the Penguins, Convicts). “Musically speaking, these were great years, harmonically sophisticated and melodically rich. I wanted to approach the score, not as a tourist in that musical era, but as though I were of that period, myself. The story commences in 1920s Germany and ends up in post-war America, and the music make the same journey, from the dark but lively Berlin cabaret sound to the popular music of the ‘30s and ’40s.” The trip also includes the sinister jazz-inflected scores associated with film noir, not to mention the Wild West sounds that owe as much (if not more) to Dmitri Tiomkin than to Aaron Copland.

In addition to Peter Melnick’s original score and adapted tributes, the album also includes vintage recordings of the era, in particular a previously unreleased work by Franz Waxman. The bonus section offers several Golden Age recordings used in the production of the film, including a six-minute suite from Fritz Lang’s Liliom, the 1934 film that launched the composer’s career in Hollywood. The album also features “Ach, wie ist das Leben schön” and “Für’n Groschen Liebe”, two Waxman songs performed by Dolly Haas from the soundtrack of the 1932 picture Scampolo. Since these tracks are taken from vintage sources, their quality is archival.

The release of the album was originally scheduled for early 2009, but the title was cancelled at the time for contractual reasons. “We are very happy to finally be able to release this mystery title in the MovieScore Media catalogue,” said MovieScore Media’s Mikael Carlsson.



1 Now They Had to Leave 0.50
2 Main Title 0.46
3 Billy Wilder’s America 1.09
4 Erich Pommer 1.35
5 Nazis Ascend, Filmmakers Leave 1.30
6 Old Berlin 2.04
7 Torn from the Earth 4.31
8 Making a Splash 1.37
9 Franz and Fritz 1.28
10 Fritz Goes Western 0.43
11 Fritz and Fury 1.56
12 Europe Grows Desperate 1.56
13 Descent Into Nazism 1.12
14 Hasty Departures 3.04
15 Henry Koster 1.32
16 Koster Home Movies 0.44
17 Koster Succeeds 2.19
18 Box Office Success 0.48
19 Korngold 1.34
20 Successes and Failures 1.48
21 End of Joe May’s Career 1.17
22 Robert Siodmak 0.46
23 Wailing of the Wind 1.03
24 After the War 2.16
25 Epilogue 2.44
26 Wenn Ich Mir Was Wünschen Dürfte 2.19

Original recordings of music by Franz Waxman:

27 Suite from “Liliom” (archival) 6.19
28 Gross und kuss Veronika (The Weintraub Syncopators feat. Eva Busch) 2.52
29 Ach, wie ist das Leben schön from “Scampolo”) (Dolly Haas) 2.51
30 Für’n Groschen Liebe (from “Scampolo”) (Dolly Haas) 3.21