“Mona Lisa” sung by the unforgettable Nat King Cole.
The song was written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston for the Paramount Pictures film Captain Carey, U.S.A. and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for 1950.
The arrangement was by Nelson Riddle and the orchestral backing was played by Les Baxter and his Orchestra. The soundtrack version by Nat King Cole spent eight weeks at number one on the Billboard singles chart in 1950. Cole’s version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1992.
“Mona Lisa” plays in the background of one scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954). In 1986, it was used as the theme for the British film Mona Lisa. In 2003, Julia Roberts starred in Mona Lisa Smile, a movie about 1950s “Wellesley Girls” and the pressure to conform to a “woman’s role” of marriage and motherhood.