A Friendship Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick and Gerald Fried

Gerald Fried, a Julliard trained composer for television and film and a still active nonagenarian, began performing music in his Bronx neighborhood during the 1940s. There he met Stanley Kubrick, who would go on to become a celebrated film director, screenwriter, and producer.

Kubrick and Fried attended the same high school and became friends when Kubrick asked to join the same baseball club as Fried’s.[1]

Barracudas 1941 box 1

Baseball Club, “The Barracudas, Gerald Fried at lower right, 1941. Gerald Fried papers, Accession #2883, Box 1, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

When they met, Fried’s passion was music and Kubrick’s was photography. A few years later, in 1951, Kubrick made a short film documentary about boxer Walter Cartier, whom he had photographed and written about for Look magazine a year earlier. Kubrick rented a camera and produced a 16-minute black-and-white documentary titled Day of the Fight.[2]  Fried recalled with a laugh that Kubrick asked him to do the music because “I was the only musician he knew”.[3]

Gerald Fried went on to score four other Kubrick movies: Fear and Desire (1953); Killer’s Kiss (1955); The Killing (1956) and Paths of Glory (1957).

 

 

Movie stills Fear and Desire page 1 Box 35

Movie stills from Fear and Desire, undated. Gerald Fried papers, Accession #2883, Box 35, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

 

Movie Stills Fear and Desire page 2 Box 35

Movie stills from Fear and Desire, undated. Gerald Fried papers, Accession #2883, Box 35, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Fear and Desire Score Box 35

Part of score from Fear and Desire, undated. Gerald Fried papers, Accession #2883, Box 35, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming. caption

Cinematic photo from The Killing 1956 Box 106

Cinematic photo from The Killing. Gerald Fried papers, Accession #2883, Box 106, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

While shooting these films, Kubrick still pursued his love of photography.

Gerald Fried photo Taken by Stanley Kubrick 1951 Box 1

Photo of Gerald Fried by Stanley Kubrick, ca. 1955. Gerald Fried papers, Accession #2883, Box 1, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Although they did not work together after Paths of Glory, Fried and Kubrick remained in contact, writing to each other from time to time.

Letter from Kubrick 1981 box 1

Letter from Stanley Kubrick, 1981. Gerald Fried papers, Accession #2883, Box 1, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Letter from Kubrick 1991 box 1

Letter from Stanley Kubrick, 1991. Gerald Fried papers, Accession #2883, Box 1, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Stanley Kubrick is most remembered for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he co-wrote, directed and produced. This year we celebrate the film’s 50th anniversary. Coincidentally, Kubrick took inspiration from a project Gerald Fried worked on. For New York’s World Fair in 1964, Fried composed music for a Cinerama 360º film by Graphic Films, entitled, To the Moon and Beyond. Kubrick saw the film at the Fair and was so impressed by the special effects and accurate depiction of scientifically-based material that he hired Graphic Films as a design consultant for 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was then in pre-production.[4]

To the Moon and Beyond part of score Box 24

Part of score from “To the Moon and Beyond”, Box 24, Gerald Fried papers, Collection #2883,         American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

To learn more about Gerald Fried and his collaboration with Stanley Kubrick, see the Gerald Fried papers at the American Heritage Center.

[1] Robert Nott, “Sunday Spotlight: A 88, Hollywood Composer Gerald Fried Keeps the Songs Coming,” Santa Fe New Mexican, September 3, 2016. Accessed June 7, 2018: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/life/features/sunday-spotlight-at-hollywood-composer-gerald-fried-keeps-the-songs/article_303fffc6-7177-5768-bb37-5aeab7ba3c7b.html

[2] Wikipedia, Short films (1951-1953), s.v. “Stanley Kubrick,” last modified June 7, 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Kubrick#Short_films_(1951%E2%80%931953)

[3] Nott, “Sunday Spotlight”.

[4] Wikipedia, Influences on 2001: A Space Odyssey, s.v. “To the Moon and Beyond,” last modified November 27, 2017,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_the_Moon_and_Beyond#Influences_on_2001:_A_Space_Odyssey

– Submitted by Alexandra Cardin, AHC Processing Unit

This entry was posted in Composers, found in the archive, motion picture history, music, popular culture, science fiction, Stanley Kubrick, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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