Composer Ennio Morricone who wrote the music for The Good, The Bad And The Ugly dies at the age of 91
The Hollywood composer who wrote music for the classic film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly passed away at the age of 91.
Ennio Morricone, whose scores for films like ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’, ‘The Mission’ and ‘Cinema Paradiso’ made him one of the world’s most famous and prolific screen composers, passed away ANSA news agency on Monday . He was 91.
ANSA said that Morricone, who won two Oscars and dozens of other awards, including Golden Globes, Grammys and BAFTAs, broke his thigh a few days ago and died at a clinic in Rome overnight.
Ennio Morricone, whose scores for films like ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ died at the age of 91
His last Oscar was in 2016 for the best original score for Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’.
He initially refused the job, but then admitted and demanded that Tarantino allow him a “total break with the style of Western films I wrote 50 years ago.”
Morricone wrote for hundreds of movies, television shows, popular songs and orchestras, but it was his friendship with Italian director Sergio Leone that made him famous, with scores for Spaghetti Westerns with Clint Eastwood in the 1960s.
They include the so-called ‘Dollars Trilogy’ – ‘A Fistful of Dollars’, ‘For a Few Dollars More’ and ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’.
Morricone used unconventional instruments such as the mouth harp, amplified harmonica, mariachi trumpets, English horn and the ocarina – an ancient Chinese egg-shaped instrument.
The music was accompanied by real sounds such as whistling, crackling of whips, gunshots and sounds inspired by wild animals, including coyotes.
He always tried to shake off the association with the Spaghetti Westerns and reminded people, especially outside of Italy, that he had a very creative and productive life before and after the films he made with Leone.
“It is a straitjacket. I just don’t get how people keep thinking of ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ after all the movies I’ve made. People are back in time 30 years ago, ‘de Maestro, as he was known in Italy, told Reuters in 2007.
“My production for westerns is maybe 7-1 / 2 or 8 percent of what I’ve done in general.”
One of Morricone’s most evocative soundtracks was for Roland Joffe’s 1986 film The Mission, for which he was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe.
To accompany the story of the Jesuit missions in 18th-century South America, Morricone used European-style liturgical corals and native drums to convey the mix of old and new worlds.
Another non-Western classic was Leone’s ‘Once Upon a Time in America,’ in 1984, which told the story of poor Jewish children in New York growing up to be Prohibition-era mobsters.
In Italy, Morricone developed a close friendship with director Giuseppe Tornatore, whose ‘Cinema Paradiso’ won the Oscar for best foreign film in 1989.
Morricone has also composed for Brian De Palma’s ‘The Untouchables’, Barry Levinson’s ‘Bugsy’ and Margarethe von Trotta’s ‘The Long Silence’.
Born in Rome in 1928, while Italy was led by the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, Morricone learned music from his father, a trumpet player in small orchestras.
He entered the conservatory of Rome at the age of 12, studied trumpet, choral music and composition, and was later chosen as a member of the orchestra of the prestigious Academy of Santa Cecilia.
He first wrote music for theater and radio programs and later as a studio arranger for record labels, collaborating with some of Italy’s best-known pop stars in the 1950s and 60s.
He composed several film scores before receiving his first honor for a feature film for Luciano Salce’s ‘Il Federale’ in 1961.
His success with director Leone, a former classmate, made him one of the most sought after composers for the screen, with directors all over the world making their way to his door: John Huston, John Boorman, Terrence Malick, Bernardo Bertolucci, Barry Levinson, Warren Beatty, Oliver Stone, Barry Levinson, Roman Polanski and Franco Zeffirelli.
Morricone said his only major regret had never been with Stanley Kubrick.
“He called me to make the score for ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and I said ‘yes’. He didn’t want to come to Rome, he didn’t like to fly. And then he called (Sergio) Leone, who told him I was working with him. He never called again, “he said.
As one of the few Italians to become a Hollywood legend without living there, Morricone said a studio had once offered him a luxury villa in California, but turned it down.
“All my friends are here, as are many directors who love me and appreciate my work,” he said. “Rome is my home.”