Legendary Film Composer Ennio Morricone Has Died

Sad to see we lost one of the all-time greats. His six-film collaboration with Sergio Leone is unassailable. I can’t think of a more iconic Western motif than the “whistle” in the dollars trilogy. Many of the strongest scenes in Leone’s films were essentially dialogue free, driven by Morricone’s bombastic scores, like this wonderful character reveal in the Once Upon a Time in the West:

He was an integral part of what made those brilliant films so engaging. Recently, he received a belated Oscar for his work on Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. He’ll be missed.

:( sad

A loss. Great career. I just screened The Thing for my wife last night on some speakers that did his score justice. (She liked the movie a lot, but made fun of Kurt Russell’s hair.)

did Morricone score The Thing? Wasn’t it a John Carpenter score?
just checked IMDB. Huh, strange, watched it so many times, always thought it was a Carpenter music credit.

A legend gone. Morricone’s contribution to Westerns will always be the definite sound of that genre to me.

Was watching The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly last night.

What a transcendentally talented man. Arguably my favorite film composer of all time and the magnitude of his influence can’t be overstated. My two favorites of his are the Mission (already linked above) and the Untouchables:

No, not Morricone! :(((

Ennio Morricone was brilliant. This ending scene in Cinema Paradiso (spoilers, obviously) would never have worked without his unforgettable “love theme”:

One of the greats of our time for me, without a doubt. Rest in peace.

An absolute legend. In my mind and ears he will always be the sounds of the old west.

:(

What an incredible talent. His work with Leone set the tone for westerns and drove every movie he wrote for. His ability to control the tone of an entire scene bereft of dialog helped make Clint Eastwood’s career. Huge loss. RIP Ennio.

It was the only Carpenter movie that Carpenter didn’t score himself. It was also Carpenter’s best movie. Take from that what you will.

I’ve only recently discovered his brilliance. Within the last year, I’ve seen The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for the first time, as well as Once Upon a Time in the West. While the movies themselves make some strange choices for their endings, the music is such a huge part of why they’re so great and so memorable.

RIP. Today Morricone’s style defines what many people think a western should sound like, so it’s hard to remember just how radical his Leone soundtracks were in their time.

Not only were those scores orchestrated and recorded completely unlike Hollywood films, with stress on solo instruments and unusual instruments (an electric guitar with a bunch of reverb may sound like the old west to us now, but at the time it was associated with surf music,) but his scores had vastly more dynamics than the average Hollywood score. Leone’s scores would remain in low gear for extended periods, amping the tension by refusing to peak quickly and easily - the perfect counterpart to Leone’s direction. It was in many ways the complete opposite of the normal way of scoring a movie.

This iconoclasm made him immediately popular and influential in the turbulent 60s. It also prevented his being officially recognized by the Academy Awards until shamefully late: he didn’t win an Oscar for a score until 2016 (for The Hateful Eight; he received an honorary one in 2007.)

Sad, true, but few people have had such an impact in their chosen field as Morricone. If only I could go out with that kind of track record.

The guy was a genius at meshing music and movies. I try to get my game design students to watch the films he scored, for lessons in how to use audio. In some movies, especially the Leone films, the set pieces are very much like game levels.

An amazing body of work. Genius. RIP

RIP. So goes a legend.

Isn’t it just amazing how much of an influence an Italian composer could have on American culture?

I love his film work, of course, but it was a CD box set I picked up of his early work that really made me a fan. This tune has been a road trip, dance-in-your-seat, family favorite for over a decade…