Film Music

In 1940 and 1941, Zádor composed cues for seven films, all uncredited, with credit going to other composers who were responsible for the bulk of the various scores. For the most part, Zádor’s contributions to these films had little to do with their success (or lack thereof). The Mortal Storm (1940), on the other hand, was a collaborative effort with Zádor and Bronislaw Kaper (Butterfield 8, Mutiny on the Bounty [1962]) dividing the scoring chores almost equally and creating a seamless style so the listener will not recognize where one composer begins and the other ends. (Their working relationship on The Mortal Storm was similar to that of Bernard Hermann and Alfred Newman, whose joint efforts resulted in the score for The Egyptian [1954], one of the finest compositions for film during the Golden Age). There was an issue, however, as to who should get credit for the score; and that issue had to do entirely with the storyline of the film. Set in Germany, 1933, The Mortal Storm is about Third Reich’s assault on freedom, science and common decency. Inasmuch as both Zádor and Kaper (born in Warsaw) had family living in Europe under the threat of Nazi occupation and reprisal, fear for the safety of the families of the two composers compelled them to invent a fictitious name – Edward Kane – who receives screen credit as the composer of the entire score.

With the exception of Florian, all of the films for which Zádor composed music are available on DVD.

In 1941, Zádor gave up writing original music for motion pictures when he partnered with Miklós Rózsa as Dr. Rózsa’s orchestrator. That relationship continued for 22 years and afforded Zádor more time to attend to his family and to compose music for the concert hall and chamber ensemble.