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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 3 February 1906Gilve, Poland
Date of Death 1 August 1971Los Angeles County, California, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Polish-born composer and violinist, under contract at RKO from 1938, initially writing music for serialised B-movies, including the 'Mexican Spitfire' and 'Falcon' series. In the 1940's, he free-lanced for several of the lesser studios, such as Eagle-Lion and Republic, before joining Universal in 1944. There, Sawtell scored two noteworthy entries in the Basil Rathbone

films: The Pearl of Death (1944) and The Scarlet Claw (1944). He later returned to RKO and wrote several scores in collaboration with Roy Webb, including several 'Tarzan' outings for producer Sol Lesser.

In the 1950's, Sawtell formed a fruitful and (importantly, for the studios) cost-effective partnership with pianist/composer Bert Shefter. The duo worked on many low-budget horror and science fiction films, the best of which were for Irwin Allen, and included Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962) and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961). Sawtell also, on his own, scored the sci-fi cult classic The Fly (1958). His solo work was prolific - to say the least - including literally hundreds of credits as composer or musical director for film and television - his output apparently inspired by the need to provide alimony for several ex-wives!

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

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