Paul Sawtell


Paul Sawtell (3 February 1906 – 1 August 1971) was a Polish-born film score composer in the United States.

Sawtell began his career with RKO, and eventually joined Universal Pictures. Sawtell worked on many western and horror films, and also scored the Sherlock Holmes films The Pearl of Death and The Scarlet Claw. In the late 1940s, Sawtell returned to RKO. He also worked for various independent producers, including Eagle-Lion Films' production of T-Men (1947). He also composed and arranged the uncredited music for the Venice, Italy sequences in This is Cinerama (1952).

In the late 1950s, Sawtell struck up an alliance with fellow film composer Bert Shefter and they produced many film scores together, including those of classic science fiction and horror films such as Kronos, It! The Terror from Beyond Space, Return of the Fly, The Lost World, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (in cooperation with producer Irwin Allen), and Jack the Giant Killer in 1962.[1] In 1965 they composed some scores for the director Russ Meyer, such as the cult classic Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Motorpsycho. The last score they provided was for the Mexican film Emiliano Zapata in 1970 shortly before Sawtell's death. Perhaps Sawtell's best-known composition is the main theme for the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea TV series, adapted from Allen's 1961 feature film, for which Sawtell had written a different theme.

Sawtell had a home near Demuth Park in Palm Springs, California.[2] He died in 1971 and is buried at Glendale, California's Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.[3]

Partial filmographyEdit


  1. ^ Larson, Randall D. (2012). Musique Fantastique: 100 Years of Fantasy, Science Fiction, & Horror Film Music (2nd Edition), Archived 2019-07-22 at the Wayback Machine Chapter 8. Creature Features.
  2. ^ Meeks, Eric G. (2014) [2012]. The Best Guide Ever to Palm Springs Celebrity Homes. Horatio Limburger Oglethorpe. pp. 241–42, 244. ISBN 978-1479328598.
  3. ^ Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons (Third ed.). Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. p. 662. ISBN 978-0786479924.

External linksEdit

  • Paul Sawtell at IMDb