The Music of ENNIO MORRICONE

Master composer Ennio Morricone, a proud 86 years old, is on tour yet again (the program has changed slightly compared to last year). He will be bringing his magical compositions of soundtracks, experimental and classical music to admirers around the world once more. We consider his art unparalleled and like many thousands of cineasts, we get goosebumps whenever we hear his melodies. They remind us of all the unforgettable moments we love in cinema. Here are some selected furious sounds from Il Maestro that reflect the pioneering creativity he brought to movie scores:

A Fistful of Dollars Titoli: The iconic music that would define the spaghetti western genre. The brilliantly conceptualized melodic mixture of whistling, jews harp and chanting would become highly influential in popular music for decades.

For A Few Dollars More Titoli: The theme to the second installment in The Dollars Trilogy took the first film’s musical components (whistling/twangs) further to a delightfully delirious degree. A memorable restructuring that takes the listener right into the surrealistic atmosphere of Leone’s West.

Il Triello (from the film The Good The Bad and The Ugly: The original score for a Mexican standoff. As Blondie, Tuco and Angel Eyes stare and wait to open fire, the suspense is taken to new heights.

The Return of Ringo Theme feat/ Maurizio Graf: A stirring title ballad about Ringo (Giuliano Gemma) a Civil War soldier who returns to his home to discover its been overrun by Mexican banditos.

Navajo Joe Main Titoli: A piercing scream sets off this thrilling theme for a story of a renegade Indian (Burt Reynolds) who seeks revenge on a band of ruthless commancheros for the massacre of his tribe.

Man With A Harmonica (from the film Once Upon A Time In The West: Another take on the revenge motif is created in this haunting theme that plays whenever the mysterious man only known as “Harmonica” (Charles Bronson) appears.

The Big Gundown: The sounds of electric guitar crank this rough and tumble action theme for the Lee Van Cleef/Tomas Milian western classic up to 11.

The Great Silence Titoli: The visuals of the main character “Silence” (Jean Louis Trignigant) slowly making his way through the snow covered countryside are brought forth in this beautiful sounding piece.

My Name is Nobody: Il Maestro takes a turn with a more lighthearted playful score for Terence Hill’s oddball, charming Western gunslinger only known as “Nobody”.

The Ballad of Hank McCain feat/Jackie Lynton (from the film Machine Gun McCain): Criminal Hank McCain (John Cassavetes) is one tough customer who speaks with his machine gun. This explosive theme conveys it with panache.

Il Pinguino (from the 1970 film Companeros): This reimagining of Il Maestro’s trademark twangy/whistling we first heard with Cheyenne’s Theme in Once Upon A Time in The West, is one of his very best. A perfect, comical tone for Franco Nero’s “Penguin” as he and his partner in crime Vasco (Tomas Milian) go on an adventure.


Deep Deep Down (from the film Danger: Diabolik): The enigmatic, dashing master criminal Diabolik (John Philip Law) had to have an equally swinging theme, so Morricone and singer Cristy gave audiences this groovy, fuzzed out track that even after several decades has never lost its charm.

Hornet’s Nest: An incredibly cool theme from this 1970 cult classic WWII genre film starring Rock Hudson as a paratrooper who fights the Nazis with help from a gang of Italian children.

What Have You Done To Solange?: A soft tender piano ballad with a beautiful arrangement hides the sheer nastiness within this giallo murder-mystery masterpiece.

March of the Beggars (from the film Duck, You Sucker: The sound of burping vocals kick off a military style rhythm for Rod Steiger’s crass Mexican peasant character Juan in all his dirty, dusty glory.

Poverty (from the film Once Upon A Time in America): A melancholic moody composition about the lives of Noodles and other poor members of the Jewish immigrant community in New York City at the turn of the century.

Strength of the Righteous (from the film The Untouchables): A fast paced, dangerous sounding theme accented by Harmonica representing the heroic government police squad led by Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner) as they try to take down infamous gangster Al Capone.

Love Theme (from the film Cinema Paradiso): A deeply romantic piece that reflects the joys and sorrows of Toto from his past in a small Italian village where he grew up to his older years.

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Peter

Editor-In-Chief of The Grindhouse Cinema Database/Furious Cinema contributor. Pete is a rabid movie geek who enjoys everything from wild n' crazy exploitation/cult flix to big budget mainstream classics. His other interests include: graphic design, cartooning and music.

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