The stories of Leonard Nimoy’s feuds with Paramount are legendary, but on Sunday night America’s favorite Vulcan put Mr. Spock, beer bottles and Hollywood accounting behind and turned out to host "The Big Picture: The Films of Paramount Pictures" – a music tribute at the legendary Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA. Despite the sweltering weather, Nimoy was classy as always and surprisingly avuncular as he introduced a litany of classic scores (and accompanying film clips) to some of Paramount’s greatest films including A Place In The Sun, Forest Gump, Chinatown, The Godfather Trilogy, Titanic, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and many more.
Not surprisingly, a suite from Star Trek made an appearance in the form of Jerry Goldsmith’s First Contact theme set to a montage of clips from most of the Star Trek movies (mercifully, no Leonard Rosenmann Star Trek IV music was played, but there were numerous clips of Nimoy in his Vulcan bathrobe from Trek III…Sorry, Leonard) which followed Lalo Schrifin’s Mission Impossible theme which Nimoy wyly noted was another franchise he was involved with at Paramount, "not that anyone under 30 would know." Who could forget Paris, the man of many disguises? But Nimoy’s best anecodte of the evening and a rare Trek story I’d never heard was when he was approached by John Wayne at a Paramount function in the 70’s in which Wayne ambled up to him and said, "I know you, you got your ears fixed."
Nimoy did a great job making the evening of music and film clips a perfect night out and I must say it was a welcome surprise to see Nimoy at an event at which Zachary Quinto was not present for a change, however. Of course, there’s always next year.
Nimoy with composer/conductor David Newman (image: Variety)