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. Most notably they provided the music to classic science fiction and horror films including Kronos, The Fly, Curse of the Fly, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (in cooperation with producer Irwin Allen), and It! The Terror from Beyond Space in 1958. 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 was buried in Glendale, California's Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.
- ^ Larson, Randall D. (2012). Musique Fantastique: 100 Years of Fantasy, Science Fiction, & Horror Film Music (2nd Edition), Chapter 8. Creature Features.
- ^ Paul Sawtell at Find a Grave