The Springsteen Song Rejected By the Harry Potter Films

Springsteen Song Harry Potter

The Harry Potter films had almost everything.  They had magic and adventure.  They had a story beloved by children and adults.  But they did not have a Bruce Springsteen song, although they could have.

Bruce Springsteen offered his song “I’ll Stand By You Always” to the franchise, but filmmakers turned him down.  Reportedly, Springsteen wrote the song between 1998 and 2000 after reading the first Harry Potter book to his eldest son, Sam.  He then made the song available to director Christopher Columbus for either Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) or Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002).

Springsteen explained to BBC Radio 2 that “I’ll Stand By You Always” “was a big ballad that was very uncharacteristic of something I’d sing myself.”  He added, though, that “it was something that I thought would have fit lovely.”

The song’s rejection had nothing to do with the quality of the song.  Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s contract stipulated that no commercial songs could be used in the movies.

“I’ll Stand By You Always” almost had a second life when Marc Anthony planned to include it on his album Mended (2002).  But ultimately Anthony left the song off the album.

In Springsteen’s demo version, “I’ll Stand By You Always” is a quiet ballad.  The lyrics contain no overt references to Harry Potter, but they do sound like they were written from a parent to a child.

I know here in the dark tomorrow can seem so very far away;
Here the ghosts and the goblins can rise from your dreams to steal your
heart away;

Together we’ll chase those thieves that won’t leave you alone out from
under the bed, out from over our home;

And when the light comes we’ll laugh my love about the things that the
night had us so frightened of;

And until then,

I’ll stand by you always, always, always.

Around the time that Springsteen was shopping the song to the Harry Potter folks, a CD-R with the song was given to some executives at Columbia Records.  But the song is not generally available.  Springsteen’s demo of “I’ll Stand By You Always” hit the Internet for a brief period recently, but for now it is gone.

Springsteen does tend to release old songs eventually, so we may still see an official release of “I’ll Stand By You Always.”  But until we do, you may imagine how the song might sound along with Conan O’Brien (“Let’s raise our wands to all the wizards and steel workers. . . “).

Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    New Honest Trailer for “The Princess Bride”

    Honest Trailer

    The Honest Trailer series pokes fun at movies, and their latest target is The Princess Bride. The 1987 “romantic fantasy adventure comedy film” seems perfectly ripe for the sarcastic treatment.

    Everybody loves The Princess Bride, although as the Honest Trailer notes, most probably never saw it in the movie theater. The film, which was directed by Rob Reiner, has become a classic of repeated viewings on VHS, DVD, cable, and through the Internet. I cannot even count how many times I have seen it.

    So, sit back and enjoy a little fun being poked at The Princess Bride.

    What is your favorite Honest Trailer? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    The Scene in “The Right Stuff” That Makes You Love John Glenn

    John Glenn phone

    John Glenn passed away today on December 8, 2016 at the age of 95.  The former NASA astronaut and Senator is one of the few people who could accurately be described as an American hero.

    An American Hero

    Glenn served his country well in a number of ways.  He left college to join the service after Pearl Harbor, eventually serving in the Navy and then the Marines. He served in the Korean War and later as a test pilot and as an astronaut.

    As a Marine Corps pilot, he broke the transcontinental flight speed record.  In 1962, he became the first American to orbit the Earth.  In 1998, at age 77, he became the oldest man in space as part of the crew of the shuttle Discovery.

    In politics, Glenn represented Ohio in the U.S. Senate for 25 years.  During that period, he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination and was often considered for a place on the ticket as vice president.

    The Right Stuff

    But of all his accomplishments, one scene about his life stands out for me.  In the movie The Right Stuff (1983) about the original Mercury 7 astronauts, Ed Harris plays Glenn as a somewhat moralizing goody two shoes, who still comes across as admirable.

    One scene in the film centers on events from January 27, 1962 after Glenn’s flight is postponed due to weather conditions.  Vice-President Lyndon Johnson and the press are outside Glenn’s house wanting to talk to Glenn’s wife, Annie.  Annie, upset and not wanting to meet with the press or the vice president, talks to Glenn on the phone.

    In the scene, Glenn is aware of the political and media pressure on the space program.  And he is pressured to tell his wife to talk to the vice president.  But instead, he backs his wife “100%.”  The other astronauts also come off well in the scene, putting aside any diffenences to back up Glenn.

    The incident and Glenn’s response is a true story, even if a bit stylized with a humorous take on LBJ for the big screen. Johnson and the media were pressuring Annie, and Glenn backed up his wife all the way.

    Glenn later explained, “She said she was tired, she had a headache, and she just wasn’t going to allow all those people in her house … I told her whatever she wanted to do, I would back her up 100 percent.”

    There would be a few more delays due to a fuel leak and weather problems.  But of course, Glenn did get off the ground on February 20, 1962 in Friendship 7, becoming the first American to orbit the earth. But he was already a hero to those who knew him.

    Godspeed John Glenn.

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    All of the Harry Potter Films Condensed Into One Movie

    Harry Potter One Film

    A Harry Potter fan has taken the eight Harry Potter films and edited them to create one film that tells the story of Mr. Potter’s adventure in less than 80 minutes. Tim Stiefler has entitled his creation Wizardhood, in a reference to the movie Boyhood (2014), where we similarly watched the actors age in real life.

    So, if you do not have time for all of the films, you may track Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) across the years in one film (at least for now while it is still available). Check it out. [December 1, 2016 Update:  Unfortunately, it appears that the video is no longer available online.]

    The Harry Potter films were released from 2001 to 2011. And they are Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001); Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002); Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004); Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005); Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007); Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010); and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011).

    What scene from the eight movies would you add to Wizardhood? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Analyzing Actors’ Accents in Films

    movie dialect

    One of the more challenging aspects of acting is when an actor must speak in a dialect or with an accent that is not native to the actor. Sometimes the actor does a great job, and sometimes they don’t.

    In this video from Wired, dialect coach Erik Singer analyzes 32 different accents from actors such as Brad Pitt, Kate Winslet, Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Heath Ledger, and many more.

    Singer is generally generous in his criticisms, noting how difficult it is to get the correct accents on everything. He points out several times where actors get some things right and some things wrong. And he has strong praise for others.

    Check out Erik Singer giving us a nice lesson in accents in Movie Accent Expert Breaks Down 32 Actors’ Accents.

    What is your favorite movie accent? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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