John Barry - Rotten Tomatoes

John Barry

Highest Rated:   96% From Russia With Love (1964)
Lowest Rated:   50% King Kong (1976)
Birthday:   Not Available
Birthplace:   Not Available
John Barry was one of the best-known composers of soundtrack music of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, but his career carried him through a multitude of music genres and styles. He was best-known in film in connection with his work on the James Bond pictures, but Barry was also the holder of five Academy Awards, none of them for the Bond movies. Born Free (for which he won Oscars for Best Score and Best Song), The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa, and Dances With Wolves are hardly unknown films or scores. Additionally, from 1957 until the early '60s as leader of The John Barry Seven, Barry was one of the best-known figures in popular music and early rock & roll in England. Born in York, England, on November 3, 1933, John Barry was the son of a small movie theater chain owner and a former concert pianist. He showed an avid interest in music as a boy and initially studied piano, although he switched to the trumpet in his teens. After spending much of his boyhood steeped in classical music, he discovered jazz. His idol was Harry James and his favorite music was made by Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, and the Dorsey Brothers. Barry studied piano and composition with the music master of York Minster Cathedral, Dr. Francis Jackson, and had a deep interest in arranging. Growing up around his father's movie theater business, Barry was always cognizant of the power and influence of the cinema, but it was a specific film, A Song to Remember, dealing with the life of Fryderyc Chopin, that first demonstrated to him the power of music in movies and got him interested in the field. He also creditedMax Steiner's score for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Anton Karas' music for The Third Man as favorite film scores from his early life. Barry played with a local jazz band in his mid-teens, and was lucky enough to get himself assigned to a musical unit in the British army when he was called up for service at age 18. During his two years of army service, he tried his hand at arranging, and he later enhanced his skills by taking a correspondence course offered by Bill Russo, one of Stan Kenton's arrangers. Once he was back in civilian life, Barry offered his arrangements to some of the top bandleaders in England, among them Ted Heath, Jack Parnell, and Johnny Dankworth. Dankworth actually used two of them, and at Parnell's suggestion, Barry started his own band. The result was John Barry & the Seven, later known as the John Barry Seven. He moved the group to London in 1957 and approached Jack Good, the producer of British television's top music showcase Six-Five Special, but was turned down for the show. After a few weeks and some successful live engagements, including a gig as the backing band for Tommy Steele, the show's producers changed their minds and the John Barry Seven made it onto the Six-Five Special. It was out of their appearances on the program that they were signed to EMI's Parlophone Records label. The group's next big gig was as one of the resident house bands for Good's new program, Oh Boy!, which was a showcase for many of the most dynamic young rock & roll singers coming up in England, including Cliff Richard. It was from there that Barry moved on to become music director for Drumbeat, a dramatic program series starring a young singer/actor named Adam Faith. From 1959 until 1962, he and Faith were an unbeatable combination, both onscreen and in the recording studio, releasing a string of major British hits through the Parlophone label. The John Barry Seven also enjoyed hits of their own, including "Hit or Miss" and a version of the Ventures' "Walk Don't Run." They were known for their unusual sound, owing to their bold yet precise playing and their heavy use of electric piano and other relatively uncommon instruments (this in a time when the electric bass was barely tolerated). They were among the star instrumental acts of the day and, surprisingly, cut albums for EMI's Columbia Records, which was alread

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Lights, Action, Music
  • Actor
2007
85% Peggy Sue Got Married
  • Actor
1986
No Score Yet The Gathering
  • Actor
1977
50% King Kong
  • Actor
1976
No Score Yet Deadfall
  • Symphony Conductor
1968
96% From Russia With Love
  • Actor
1964
No Score Yet It's All Happening
  • Actor
1963

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