[Harp-L] movie review

Wilbur Euler dubyail@xxxxx
Thu Feb 23 01:18:17 EST 2017

I found the Suite for the Little Fugitive  on iTunes it's under Eddy Manson.
Regards, Wil

Sent from my iPad

> On Feb 22, 2017, at 1:49 PM, Mick Zaklan <mzaklan at xxxxx> wrote:
>   Noticed my cable TV provider was offering "The Little Fugitive" as a
> free movie (Turner Classic Movies), so I punched it up on the remote last
> week.  Harmonica aficionados know the film for its musical soundtrack
> consisting entirely of solo chromatic harmonica.  In fact, there could be
> more harmonica in this motion picture than spoken dialogue!
>   Now normally I wouldn't want to sit through 90 minutes of a frightened 7
> year-old lost in Coney Island amusement park.  The budget for this 1953
> movie was so minimal that they couldn't afford microphones or a sound
> crew.  The film was shot with non-actors and every piece of dialogue, sound
> effects, and harmonica was dubbed in later.
>   But two things held my attention.  First off, the thing looked like
> someone had given the brilliant street photographer Vivian Maier a motion
> picture camera and turned her loose in 1950's New York City.  Secondly, the
> Eddie Manson chromatic playing was spot-on in supporting the action being
> shown and occasionally virtuosic in technique.  Most of these tiny
> compositions were written by Eddie; probably off the chromatic
> harmonica and played in a style you don't hear much of these days.  Lots of
> rhythmic chording, lever embellishments, hand cupping, and thick vibrato.
> The tones and colors Mr. Manson coaxed out of his instrument were, well,
> gorgeous.  And some of the compositions made me think Eddie could have
> penned a nice, extended piece if he had wanted.  Maybe he did and I don't
> know about it.
>   Historically, the film was nominated for an Oscar (Best Story) and is
> cited by the legendary director Francois Truffaut as an inspiration for the
> slew of low budget, self-financed art films know as the French New Wave.
> Which in turn influenced a new group of American film directors.
>   In short, a prestigious thing to have your name attached to.  Part of
> Eddie's harmonica legacy to the rest of us.  If you get an opportunity;
> give the movie a view and listen, even if only for a few minutes.
> Especially if the chromatic harmonica is your main squeeze.  Mr. Manson is
> largely forgotten today; overshadowed by names like Larry Adler, Blackie
> Schackner, Tommy Reilly, and Tommy Morgan.  But he was a very impressive
> player and I think his long-ago SPAH performance is still out there on
> YouTube somewhere.
> Mick Zaklan

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