Douglas Gamley

Active - 1956 - 1983  |   Born - Jan 1, 1924   |   Genres - Horror, Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Crime

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Biography by Bruce Eder

Australian-born conductor, arranger, and composer Douglas Gamley spent 30 years in the British film industry, in what was essentially a two-tiered career. He contributed to international productions as a conductor and orchestrator, in addition to working on more modestly budgeted movies (especially in the horror and thriller genres) for British and overseas distribution as a composer. As early as 1956, some of his arrangements of classical music were used in The Green Man, but Gamley didn't enter the movie business formally until a little over a year later, working as an assistant to conductor Muir Mathieson on the MGM film Tom Thumb (1958), starring Russ Tamblyn. From there, he stayed in international productions as a conductor or arranger, on comedies such as Stanley Donen's The Grass Is Greener (1961) and Charade (1963). Meanwhile, he composed the scores for such varied productions as Gideon's Day and Another Time, Another Place (both 1958), and the horror movie City of the Dead (1960). He orchestrated parts of the score for A Shot in the Dark (1964), the movie that inaugurated the Pink Panther series, and Donen's Arabesque (1966), and was the conductor of the music on Girl on a Motorcycle (1968). His later work included the scoring of the first Monty Python movie, And Now for Something Completely Different (1971), and the fantasy adventure movie The Land That Time Forgot (1975), and a string of British-made horror thrillers, among them Tales From the Crypt, Asylum (both 1972), Vault of Horror, and And Now the Screaming Starts! (both 1973). He also wrote a good deal of stock music for the BBC during the '50s and '60s, some of which found its way into the Doctor Who television series. Gamley received an Academy Award nomination for his arrangements of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's music for the movie The Little Prince (1974). He also later worked for Disney, conducting parts of the score for the underrated high-tech fantasy film Tron (1982). He retired the following year and passed away in 1998.

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