Just when you thought there were enough movie awards, here comes another one to add to your list. But these are different from the Oscars. They are designed to recognize just one overlooked category - film music. They are called the "Sammys," and named after the late great lyricist, Sammy Cahn (1913-1993). He won 4 Oscars for his song lyrics and was nominated 26 times - more than any other songwriter.
The Sammys are selected each year by Roger Hall, a respected film music historian who has lectured widely and taught courses on movie music. The second edition of his reference book, "A Guide to Film Music - Songs and Scores," will be out soon. In 1992, Sammy Cahn wrote to Hall and said he was "flattered and honored" to have these movie music awards named after him.
So now without any big bulky envelopes to rip open like at the Oscar telecast, here's the 14th Annual Sammys:
Best Film Score: A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (Music by John Williams) - A brilliant luminous score, especially the lovely "Monica's Theme." One of his best scores in years.
Best Film Song: "Until" (words & music by Sting) - a lovely romantic song.
Best Song Compilation: DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN - Great down home music.
Golden Earplug for Worst Score: HANNIBAL (Music by Hans Zimmer). Dreadful and dreary score.
Golden Earmuff for Worst Song: "Come What May" (words & music by David Baerwald) from MOULIN ROUGE. An overcooked song, gooey & chewy.
Lifetime Achievement Award for Past Film Composer: Hugo Friedhofer (1902-1981) - Oscar for his score to THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES in 1946. This award is chosen for Friedhofer, but also in memory of one of the film's actors, Harold Russell, who died on January 29, 2002 at the age of 88. Both actor & composer reflected "the best years of our lives."