Movies – All music composed by Stephen Lawrence

The Robert De Niro movie Bang The Drum Slowly was finishing postproduction in 1973 when Producer Maurice Rosenfield called and asked to hear some of my music. He came to my apartment and I played some tapes and some music on the piano and he hired me to score his movie. He jokingly said that the music for the hospital and airport scenes must make him cry or he wouldn’t pay me. He was very happy with this music, which I called “Bruce’s Theme.” Since the script called for the use of the traditional cowboy song “Streets of Laredo” I incorporated that into my score.

Red Riding Hood starring Craig T. Nelson and Isabella Rossellini, with Amelia Shankley as Red Riding Hood. Main Title and Scene One (3:30) Isabella Rossellini sings “You Won’t Be Here In The Morning.” (With Amelia Shankley). Music by Stephen Lawrence. Lyrics by Michael Korie. From the movie Red Riding Hood. (2:54)
Jennifer On My Mind (1971) was my first film for a major studio, United Artists. It was Erich Segal’s first script after Love Story and I had high hopes for it. Unfortunately, it was not a very good movie. However, many people liked the music. The director, Noel Black, wanted the opening music to have a strong Americana feeling to enhance his shots of immigrants at Ellis Island. (3:45) Jennifer On My Mind. Jennifer, (Tippy Walker) high on drugs, falls off the roof of her parents’ house but is not hurt and Marcus (Michael Brandon) takes her to Venice. (3:09)
Simply Jesse. Sung by Rex Smith. Music by Stephen Lawrence, Lyrics by Bruce Hart. (3:47) Better Than It’s Ever Been Before. Sung by Rex Smith. Music by Stephen Lawrence, Lyrics by Bruce Hart. (3:55)
You Take My Breath Away. This song was certified a Gold Record, signifying sales of more than one million copies. It and other songs from the movie were released on an LP, which was also certified a Gold Record, signifying sales of over 500,000. Sung by Rex Smith. Music by Stephen Lawrence, Lyrics by Bruce Hart. (1:31) Sooner Or Later. Sung by Rex Smith. Music by Stephen Lawrence, Lyrics by Bruce Hart. (2:14)
Alice, Sweet Alice (1976). Karen (12-year-old Brooke Shields) is riding her bike, trying to find her sister Alice (Paula Sheppard). (1:02) Alice, Sweet Alice (1976). Mrs. Tredoni (Mildred Clinton) is in a contemplative mood as she packs up her butcher knife and and goes on her way. (3:04)

It Happened One Christmas 1977. Based on It’s A Wonderful Life. Starring Marlo Thomas and Wayne Rodgers. This cue presented unique challenges for a composer. Mary Bailey (Marlo Thomas) is at a dance at the high school gym. She is dancing with a young man to a waltz I composed for the on-camera band. She says to him “I think this is a waltz.” Marlo had asked me to compose a love theme for Mary and George Hatch (Wayne Rodgers) her boy friend from years past. I composed a theme she loved (as did her husband Phil Donahue, who sent it to Switzerland to be made into a music box). Marlo wanted to hear the high school band playing from the start of the scene and when her character spots George, the love theme was to cross fade with it. With the waltz being in three-quarter time and the love theme being in four-quarter time, and having to have them cross fade at specific points, some mathematical as well as creative skills were called for. After a few key calculations, it all worked out fine. (1:41)
It Happened One Christmas – 1977. Mary’s guardian angel, Clara has shown her the positive effect she’s had on everyone she’s met throughout her life and Mary, who was near suicide, calls out to her that she wants to live. (1:19)

It Happened One Christmas 1977. Mary (Marlo Thomas) and George (Wayne Rodgers) have had an argument. George starts to leave. The phone rings and it’s Sam Wainwright (who calls himself the man of her dreams). Mary says to George “don’t go…please stay.” The music sneaks in and swells on the cut to them leaving for their honeymoon. (1:59)