The 1924 blockbuster that launched John Ford into Hollywood’s emerging A-list of directors, The Iron Horse is an epic mythification of the American railroad’s birth: a rambunctious blend of historical drama and Western actioner, revenge story and saloon comedy, noble biopic and all-bets-off tall tale.
As a composer for film and television, Caliendo’s accomplishments include the 20th Century Fox-commissioned soundtrack to John Ford’s 1924 silent film The Iron Horse. Called an “excellent orchestral score” by New York Times film critic Dave Kehr, the 136-minute original work was featured at 20th Century Fox’s 75th anniversary celebration in 2010, where selections were performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, along with music from Alfred Newman, David Raskin, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, and Rodgers and Hammerstein at the Hollywood Bowl. The soundtrack was also included in the Top 10 Film Scores of 2007 by Film Score Monthly magazine.
Also of note: Caliendo won the National Society of Film Critics 2007 Film Heritage Award for his work on The Iron Horse. He won the award again in 2008 for composing original scores for movies featured on 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s Murnau, Borzage and Fox DVD box set.