The Book & the Movie: Hangover Square | Patrick Hamilton (1942) / John Brahm (1945)


Hangover Square, Patrick Hamilton, 1942
New York: Random House, First American edition


"Yes - he ought to have known, he ought to have acted in accordance with the premonition which he sometimes definitely had that this sudden delight 
in his life was too good to be true, that she was as hard as nails, that she had a virulent, competent life of her own, about which he knew nothing, 
and in which he could play not even a remotely effective part."


"This girl wore her attractiveness not as a girl should, simply, consciously, as a happy crown of pleasure, but rather as a murderous utensil 
with which she might wound indiscriminately right and left, and which she would only employ to please when it suited her purpose. 
They were like bad-tempered street-walkers, without walking the street.”

Patrick Hamilton, Hangover Square, 1942



This is the story of George Harvey Bone who resided at number 12, Hangover Square, London, S.W. in 
the early part of the Twentieth Century. The British Catalogue of Music lists him as a Distinguished Composer.

George Harvey Bone: But, Dr. Middleton, music is the most important thing in the world to me.
Dr. Allan Middleton: No, Mr. Bone, the most important thing is your life.




Hangover Square (1945)
Director: John Brahm 
Writers: Barré Lyndon (screenplay), Patrick Hamilton (novel)
Cinematography: Joseph LaShelle
Music: Bernard Herrmann
Stars: Laird Cregar, Linda Darnell, George Sanders




In the book "A Heart at Fire's Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann", John Brahm said like this about the concerto scene:
"For a long time, I had been dissatisfied with the photography of music in films. Musicians themselves are uninteresting; it is what they play
that should be photographed. I myself could not read a note of music, but when Herrmann came and saw the finished film
 he could not believe it. I had photographed his music."


*
American composer Stephen Sondheim has cited Herrmann's score for Hangover Square as a major influence on his musical Sweeney Todd.



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