Film composer Elmer Bernstein, who created a brawny, Big Sky theme for The Magnificent Seven, nerve-jangling jazz for The Man With The Golden Arm and heart-rending grace notes for To Kill a Mockingbird, died at his Ojai, Calif., home on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2004, at age 82. His career spanned seven decades and earned him 14 Academy Award nominations and an Emmy Award. He won an Oscar only once -- for 1967's Thoroughly Modern Millie, one of his weaker works. He was revered for experimenting with various techniques in scores that included Some Came Running, Birdman of Alcatraz, The Great Escape, Hawaii, The Great Santini, Cast a Giant Shadow, My Left Foot, The Age of Innocence, The Ten Commandments and True Grit plus comedies like Animal House, Airplane! and Ghostbusters. ``Film music, properly done, should give the film a kind of emotional rail on which to ride,'' he once said.
AP/ Lucy Nicholson, file
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