10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™

Ennio Morricone 
Written by: on August 22nd, 2004

Ennio Morricone was born November 10th, 1928 in Rome Italy where he has lived ever since. Morricone began studying at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia at age 12 and he also specialized in playing trumpet and sometimes supporting himself by playing in a jazz band. After he gradated he quickly became a top studio arranger at RCA working with such artists as Mario Lanza, Chet Baker, and the Beatles. Morricone started composing film scores in the early 1960’s, but it wasn’t until his first collaboration with Sergio Leone a former classmate that Morricone’s career as composer really took off.

Morricone would use infuse his sparse arrangements with unorthodox instrumentation using bells, electric guitars, harmonicas and the distinctive twang of the jew’s harp he would ultimately revolutionize the way music would be heard in westerns. Morricone would collaborate with Leone from a Fistful of Dollars tell Leone’s untimely death in 1989. Morricone’s musical landscapes perfectly captured Leone’s violent vision with touches of black comedy. Once Upon a time in The West is arguably the crowning achievement of Morricone/Leone’s Collaboration as Leone had Morricone compose the whole score before any filming began.

As the Spaghetti Westerns genre came to an end Morricone would achieve success in the Giallo genre with his unique scores and arrangements. By the 1980’s Morricone would branch out composing scores for films in Hollywood working with such directors as Brian De Palma and John Carpenter. Morricone has been nominated 5 times for an academy award for the films Days of Heaven, The Mission, The Untouchables, Bugsy and Malena. Many feel that his score for Once Upon a Time in America should have won an Oscar but because of slight over site the score was not submitted for a nomination. It is hard to believe that a composer who has changed the landscape of music and film as much as Morricone has yet to win an Academy Award.

Morricone is approaching 80 years old and he shows no sign of calling stopping anytime soon. In the late 1980’s Morricone forged a new collaboration with director Giuseppe Tornatore that began with Cinema Paradiso and Morricone has composed every one of Giuseppe Tornatore’s films since. Through the years Morricone has worked in just about every genre and with many of cinema’s greatest director’s. His score’s and style has often been imitated still there is one thing these imposters have never been able to capture is the mood that is undeniably Morricone.

Selected filmography:

The Best Offer (2013)
Baaria – La porta del vento (2008)
The Other Woman (2006)
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Malèna (2000)
Mission to Mars (2000)
The Phantom of the Opera (1998)
The Legend of 1900 (1998)
Lolita (1997)
U Turn (1997)
The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)
The Star Maker (1995)
La Scorta (1993)
State of Grace (1990)
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990)
Cinema Paradiso (1989)
Casualties of War (1989)
Frantic (1988)
The Untouchables (1987)
The Mission (1986)
Commando Leopard (1985)
Red Sonja (1985)
Code Name: Wild Geese (1984)
Thieves After Dark (1984)
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
The Thing (1982)
The Professional (1981)
The Humanoid (1979)
Stay as You Are (1978)
The Cat (1978)
Hitch Hike (1977)
1900 (1976)
Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom (1976)
The Desert of the Tartars (1976)
The Devil Is a Woman (1975)
Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe, A (1975)
Fear Over the City (1975)
Night Train Murders (1975)
Autopsy (1975)
The Human Factor (1975)
The Antichrist (1974)
Almost Human (1974)
The Infernal Trio (1974)
Sex Advice (1974)
Spasmo (1974)
My Name Is Nobody (1974)
Massacre in Rome (1973)
Revolver (1973)
Who Saw Her Die? (1972)
Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1972)

What Have They Done to Solange? (1972)
My Dear Killer (1972)
Cold Eyes of Fear (1971)
The Automobile (1971)
Duck You Sucker (1971)
Short Night of the Glass Dolls (1971)
Sacco and Vanzetti (1971)
Tis Pity She’s a Whore (1971)
The Fifth Cord (1971)
Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971)
The Decameron (1971)
A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971)
The Cat o’ Nine Tails (1971)
Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion (1970)
Violent City (1970)
Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)
Compañeros (1970)
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)
The Five Man Army (1970)
A Quiet Place in the Country (1969)
Machine Gun McCain (1969)
The Awful Story of the Nun of Monza (1969)
Partner (1968)
Run, Man, Run! (1968)
The Great Silence (1968)
The Mercenary (1968)
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Death Rides a Horse (1968)
Danger: Diabolik (1968)
Face to Face (1967)
The Hawks and the Sparrows (1967)
Wake up and Kill (1966)
The Hills Run Red (1966)
Navajo Joe (1966)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
The Big Gundown (1966)
For a Few Dollars More (1965)
Nightmare Castle (1965)
The Maniacs (1964)
Before the Revolution (1964)
A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

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