Copland and the Cinematic West

Beth E. Levy

in Frontier Figures

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780520267763
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520952027 | DOI:
Copland and the Cinematic West

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This chapter focuses on Aaron Copland's film career, which began in 1939 at the World's Fair in New York City. Copland got his “big break” when Ralph Steiner and Willard Van Dyke approached him on behalf of the American City Planning Institute to score The City, a film portraying the evils of unregulated urban growth. With its evocations of small-town America, horrific industrial slums, and the improvements enabled by conscientious urban planning, his contribution to The City had the desired impact on Hollywood producers and directors, including Lewis Milestone, the man behind three of the most important film projects that Copland subsequently scored. The most immediate result of the Copland–Milestone connection was Of Mice and Men (1939).

Keywords: American music; composers; Aaron Copland; films; musical scoring; Lewis Milestone; Mice and Men

Chapter.  6760 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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