Film Music Review
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The Sammy Film Music Awards



These awards are named in honor of lyricist, Sammy Cahn (1913-1993),
and are the longest-running awards for film music recordings


These awards are chosen each year
by Roger Hall, a film music critic and historian,
author of the book, A GUIDE TO FILM MUSIC,
and Managing Editor of the long-running e-zine,
Film Music Review


The 27th Sammy Film Music Awards
will be announced here on 8 February 2015


Here are the categories for this year's awards:

Best New Film Score Release

Best Golden Age (1930s-50s) Release

Best Silver Age (1960s-70s) Release

Best Bronze Age (1980s-90s) Release

Best Re-recording Release

Best Compilation Release

Special Preservation Award (Album Producer)

Lifetime Achievement for Past Composer or Songwriter





Click on these links to read more on this page:

Words by Sammy Cahn

CD: It's Magic

CD: Oscar Meets Sammy

Sammy Cahn and His Four Oscars

Highest Number of Sammy Awards

Annual Sammy Film Music Awards

Best Album Producers

Previous Sammy Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award (2005): Elmer Bernstein





If you have a website and would like to list the Sammy Film Music Awards, write to:


"What really makes the Sammy Awards worth checking out is the irregular addition of irreverent and praiseworthy categories."

-- Timothy Sexton (read the full story on the Yahoo Network)





Words By Sammy Cahn

Many of Sammy's popular movie songs are included in
this excellent

The New Sammy Cahn Songbook

Read Sammy's his frank and witty autobiography --

I Should Care: The Sammy Cahn Story

I Should Care: The Sammy Cahn Story




A 100th Birthday Tribute to Sammy Cahn
recorded live in concert by an outstanding
ensemble of singers with jazz combo accompaniment

Click here

Centennial Tribute to Sammy Cahn







Help Support The Sammy Awards!

Now available is a special CD featuring Oscar (Academy Awards) and Sammy Award-winning film music.

This CD features film music critic, Roger Hall, as a guest on several radio programs in the Boston, Massachusetts area, and also on his own radio prgram, "In The Mood."

Among the music heard on this CD are Max Steiner (THE INFORMER), Bernard Herrmann (THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER), Franz Waxman (A PLACE IN THE SUN), John Barry (DANCES WITH WOLVES), and John Williams (THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST, BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, SCHINDLER'S LIST).

There is also a lively interview with Oscar-winning lyricist, Sammy Cahn, speaking as a radio guest about his movie songs.

To receive the CD, Oscar Meets Sammy: Film Music Awards On Radio,
make a donation of $15 in the USA or $25 in other countries to help support the Sammy Awards.

Your donation is payable to the owner of this website, PineTree Productions,
through safe and secure PayPal. Free Shipping is included.


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After you have made your donation,
send an e-mail with the CD title and
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Thank you!








Sammy Cahn and His Four Oscars



Sammy Cahn was Oscar nominated more than any other songwriter –
26 times in all between 1942 and 1973. 

The first Sammy Awards were chosen for best score and song of 1988 – the year of Sammy Cahn’s 75th birthday.  When he was notified, Sammy said he was “flattered and honored" to have them named after him. He certainly deserved the honor.

Sammy received 4 Academy Awards (Oscars) for his lyrics to these songs:


  • "Three Coins in the Fountain" (1954) from
    THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN -- music by Jule Styne
  • "All The Way" from THE JOKER IS WILD (1957) --
    music by James Van Heusen
  • "High Hopes" from A HOLE IN THE HEAD (1959) --
    music by James Van Heusen
  • "Call Me Irresponsible" from PAPA'S DELICATE CONDITION (1963) -- music by James Van Heusen
All four songs were recorded by Frank Sinatra,
a longtime friend and fan of Sammy's lyrics.

Highest Number of Sammy Awards


John Williams (11 Sammy Film Music Awards)

[1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2011]

See also: John Williams: A Birthday Tribute


4 Sammy Film Music Awards each for these composers,

Alexandre Desplat
[2008. 2010, 2012 (2)]

James Newton Howard
[1995, 2002, 2004, 2007]

Alan Menken
[1989, 1991 (2), 1992]

Randy Newman
[1999, 2000, 2003, 2006]





The Sammy Film Music Awards

The Sammys (SFMA) have no connection to any other awards (BAFTA, Golden Globes, Oscars, and more), and are based on the overall quality of the soundtrack or compilation release.  How the music is used in the film is also considered but is not the only factor in the final choice. 

They are announced each year for the best (and sometimes also the most overrated) film music. The focus is on vintage film scores but new film scores and movie songs are also often included.

The Sammys are the longest running awards devoted exclusively to film music on CDs or downloads.






The Special 25th Anniversary
Sammy Film Music Awards
for 2012

Click here




Best Album Producers



James Fitzpatrick
6 Sammy Awards = 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 (2 awards), 2012

Anna Bonn, John Morgan, William Stromberg
5 Sammy Awards = 2007, 2008, 2010 (2 awards), 2012


Lukas Kendall
4 Sammy Awards = 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012


Douglass Fake
3 Sammy Awards = 2008, 2009, 2011


Robert Townson

3 Sammy Awards = 2008, 2011, 2012


Nick Redman
2 Sammy Awards = 2012



Previous Sammy Film Music Awards

26th Anniversary Sammys for 2013

25th Anniversary Sammys for 2012

24th Annual Sammys For 2011

23rd Annual Sammys For 2010

22nd Annual Sammy Awards For 2009

21st Annual Sammy Awards For 2008

20th Annual Sammys For 2007

19th Annual Sammy Awards For 2006

18th Annual Sammys For 2005



The Sammy Film Music Awards

See the complete list

click here



Lifetime Achievement Award (2005)

Elmer Bernstein,
4 April 1922 - 18 August 2004

I think that the tide running against good music is so strong that none of us who care are surprised or outraged any more when we hear dumb music accompanying a film...Film has become, with some exceptions, a special effects medium. Films reflect the generally shoddy standards of present-day society. It's a junk culture, and people buy junk...generally speaking, film has not advanced in terms of taste and intelligence, and that makes it tough for music.

--Elmer Bernstein interviewed by Tony Thomas, quoted in Music for the Movies, 2nd edition, 1997

For me, he was one of the composers in the Great Film Composer Triad of the past five decades. The composers who make up this triad are: Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams. All three composers began their composing for TV or movies back in the 1950s.  Two of them passed on in 2004: Elmer Bernstein and Jerry Goldsmith. And another major film composer, David Raksin, also died that year.

In the case of Elmer Bernstein this was especially sad for me because his music was some of the first I recognized back in the 1950s.  

One of his early scores was for ROBOT MONSTER in 1953, now considered one of the worst films ever made. I saw it as a teenager and still remember it as a "guilty pleasure."  I wrote about first watching this film on late night TV and what a lasting impression the score made on me.  My story was written as an 80th birthday tribute to Elmer.

You can read it at the official website:

Between 1951 and 2002, Elmer composed over 200 scores for films and TV programs.  

Here are some of his great film scores from 1955 to 1965:






HAWAII (1965)


But the score that Elmer picked as his favorite was:  


I agree with his choice.   This has one of the simplest and most delicate film scores ever composed.  It's a masterpiece of subtle film scoring.I listed it in the Top Ten of 20th Century Film Scores in the book, A Guide to Film Music.

Elmer Bernstein had 14 Oscar nominations and strangely he received his only Oscar for his adapted score to a musical, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE   in 1967. He should have received at least several more Oscars for such landmark scores as THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

Later, he composed scores for  "Saturday Night Live" alumni comedies like TRADING PLACES (1983) and GHOSTBUSTERS (1984).

He also wrote more serious subject scores, such as for MY LEFT FOOT (1989)and THE GRIFTERS (1990).

Even though he was probably best known for his rugged outdoor western music, like the John Wayne westerns, Elmer's ability to compose a subtle score was always evident, as in THE AGE OF INNOCENCE.

His last major score was FAR FROM HEAVEN, which I chose for The Sammy Award as Best Score of 2002. It was fortunate that he had the opportunity to close out his career with such a brilliant film score.


-- Roger Hall, The Sammy Film Music Awards


Additional Note: Elmer Bernstein has been inducted to the
Tunemaker Hall of Fame
for 2005.



The Sammy Film Music Awards have been mentioned at these websites:

Cinema Retro

Classic Movies (March 17, 2006)

Elmer Bernstein - The Official Site

Film Score Monthly

Film Score Click track


John Williams Fan Network

Mark McKenzie

Tribute Film Classics

Wikipedia (Sammy Cahn)



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