Elisabeth Lutyens (composer)

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(Agnes) Elisabeth Lutyens (9 July 1906 – 14 April 1983) was an English composer of classical music but is best known for her contribution for scores to horror films throughout the 1960’s.

Born in London, one of five children of the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and his wife Emily, Elisabeth studied composition at the École Normale de Musique de Paris, before accompanying her mother to India in 1923. On her return she studied with John Foulds and subsequently continued her musical education from 1926 to 1930 at the Royal College of Music in London as a pupil of Harold Darke. 

Lutyens is credited with bringing the Schoenbergian serial technique to the world of film scores, not always employing or limiting herself to 12-note series; some works use a self-created 14-note progression. Schoenberg’s exploration of tonal and atonal music was a huge influence on Hammer’s early sound, the gloomy expressionism first evident in Benjamin Frankel’s 1960 score for The Curse of the Werewolf

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The House in Nightmare Park

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The House in Nightmare Park (known as Crazy House in the U.S.) is a 1973 British comedy horror film directed by Peter Sykes and starring Frankie HowerdRay Milland and Hugh Burden. It was one of a number of British comedy films which parodied the successful British horror genre, closely associated with the Hammer Horror films. Its plot follows that of a traditional “Old Dark House” story.

Struggling artiste, Foster Twelvetrees (celebrated British comedian, Frankie Howerd) performs his excruciatingly over-sincere readings of the classics in the flea pits of London, oblivious to the fact his meagre audiences are, at best, asleep. Never one to turn down a paying gig, he accepts an offer from Stewart Henderson (Ray Milland, Dial M For Murder, X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes) to perform for his family in his sprawling Gothic mansion. Despite the spooky surroundings and…

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