The Magnificent Elmer

By Pearl Bernstein Gardner with Gerald Gardner

Born in New York City in 1922, Elmer Bernstein was one of America's most celebrated composers—best known for the award-winning musical scores he developed for film, theatre, and television over a fifty-year career. His best-known work includes the scores he wrote for The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, To Kill a Mockingbird, Ghostbusters, and The Ten Commandments, among many others. He was nominated for fourteen Oscars, winning one for the score to Thoroughly Modern Millie in 1967. He was also nominated for two Grammy Awards and won two Golden Globe awards.

This debut memoir by Pearl Bernstein Gardner, his wife of twenty years, Galatea to his Pygmalion, provides a sweeping account of the great composer's life—from their time together as newlyweds living in a fifth-floor New York City walk-up to the glamour of the red carpet and the intrigues of Hollywood during the turbulent McCarthy period. The Bernsteins were also close friends with many prominent musicians, actors, directors, and writers of the day, including Frank Sinatra, Clifford Odets, Danny Kaye, Otto Preminger, and Cecil B. DeMille-and the portraits of their intimate conversations are both poignant and memorable.