Genevieve 1953 – with Larry Adler’s Famous Theme

Genevieve is a 1953 British comedy film produced and directed by Henry Cornelius . It stars John Gregson, Dinah Sheridan, Kenneth More and Kay Kendall as two couples comedically involved in a veteran car rally. The main theme of the musical score was composed and performed by Larry Adler. Composer Graham Whettam was commissioned to write the orchestral score incorporating Larry Adler’s tune.

Genevieve 1953 film poster

I heard Larry Adler in a Radio interview some years ago talking about this. Apparently the film was considered by the makers to have little or no potential – in fact a dud.  Larry was offered £500 to compose the theme which as he said even in those days was a poor offer but they also offered a NIL fee and a percentage of the film’s profits. His agent advised him not to go for this option as he and everyone else thought he would get nothing but in fact that is what Larry chose to go with.

As we all know the film was a resounding success and Larry said that the percentage he got year after year, was enough to educate all his children and more was left over. What a good instinct he had there.

Larry Adler

This Film Score was nominated for an Oscar.  However the nomination went to the film’s music director, Muir Mathieson, not Larry Adler, whose name had been taken off American prints of the picture due to his inclusion on the Blacklist.

It wasn’t until June 1986 before the Academy’s Board of Governors had Academy records updated to give Adler his proper credit, which Mathieson had never claimed.

Muir Mathieson’s name was removed from the nomination and Larry Adler’s inserted. Over thirty years later, Larry  Adler finally received his nomination certificate.

His wrote other film scores included  The Hellions (1961)   King & Country (1964) and A High Wind in Jamaica (1965) and A Cry from the Streets (1958)

Larry Adler Tops the Bill

I hadn’t realised that before the War – actually in 1937 , Larry Adler was topping the Bill at the Holborn Empire  and he was supported by Tommy Trinder and Max Wall – so the audience would be guaranteed music and a good laugh – SEE ABOVE

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