Music: Reels of Sound

David O. Selznick was worried. A scene in Duel in the Sun called for some off-camera sex between Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones. Selznick needed "screwing music," but Composer Dimitri Tiomkin's score had a windy, rasping sound. "Dimitri, the music doesn't have enough shtup," Selznick said. "It doesn't sound like the way I make love." Tiomkin defended his score. "You love your way and I'll love mine," he said. "To me, that's lovemaking music."

Tiomkin, 76, is perhaps the best-known practitioner of an exacting, lucrative profession: writing music for movies and television. There...

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