The silver screen has lost some of its voice today with the death of Ennio Morricone, one of the leading composers for 70 years. Morricone passed away at the age of 91, after spending a week in hospital after a fall.
If you don’t know Morricone’s name, that’s forgivable, but if you don’t know the films he scored, you should immediately access your library or streaming service and expand your horizons.
Morricone scored hundreds of films and TV shows since the 1950s and sold millions of albums worldwide. Of those, over 75 are award-winning masterpieces, all listed in the top movies to see before you die.
Among his most famous scores were many spaghetti westerns, particularly with Sergio Leone. If you’ve ever watched Once Upon a Time in the West or “The Dollars Trilogy” (especially The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly), you can thank Morricone for those iconic themes.
Morricone’s work moved beyond Italian cinema and spaghetti westerns. He scored numerous iconic films, including Once Upon a Time in America, The Untouchables, Bugsy, In the Line of Fire, and Bulworth.
I will always remember him, however, as the music behind some of my favorite horror films. Morricone brought a chilling atmosphere to John Carpenter’s The Thing, replaced John Nitzsche for Exorcist II, and provided the music of the night for 1994’s Wolf.
He could compose music for a Shakespearean tragedy or a sword and sorcery fantasy; a controversial drama or a thrilling science-fiction. Morricone’s creativity knew no bounds, and his music will echo in cinema history.
The silver screen is a little quieter tonight with his passing, but we’re grateful his work is recorded for future generations.
Ennio Morricone, buonanima.