Itâ€™s impossible to think about Sergio Leoneâ€™s classic spaghetti westerns for more than a split-second without Ennio Morriconeâ€™s unforgettable scores coming to mind.Â His amazing earworms are as much a part of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More as are Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach or Lee Van Cleef.Â The music accompanying Once Upon a Time in the Old West plays a pivotal role in creating the movieâ€™s underlying pathos.
However, some people arenâ€™t fans of westerns.Â I know.Â Itâ€™s hard to believe.Â Those poor folks (and you might be one of them) may not be interested in sitting through few hours of barren landscapes and gunfights. If thatâ€™s the case, theyâ€™re missing some of Morriconeâ€™s best work.Â However, one can still get an idea of why Morricone is one of the all-time greatest movie maestros by watching a few of the many non-western films to which he contributed.
Roland Jaffeâ€™s 1986 ode to Liberation Theology features solid performances by Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons along with some of the most impressive, lush cinematography youâ€™ll ever see.Â This tale of an Amazon mission, a slave hunter seeking redemption and the political machinations of the 18th century is also a Morricone showcase.Â You canâ€™t watch this movie without humming its tunes for a few days.
Kevin Costner and Sean Connery are G-Men hell-bent on bringing Robert De Niroâ€™s Al Capone to justice.Â This 1987 Brian De Palma movie was a huge box office success and showed the Morricone was more than capable of producing a somewhat more traditional, yet still memorable theme.
Once Upon a Time in America
Critics remain divided over the overall merits of Sergio Leoneâ€™s long 1984 American gangster movie, but no one seems dispute the power of Morriconeâ€™s score.Â The music isnâ€™t as groundbreaking as the spaghetti western themes, but it has a great presence that helps propel the movie forward.
If you want to experience the best Morricone has to offer, sit down and spend some time with â€œthe man with no nameâ€ as he smokes cigars and shoots his way out of trouble in the Leone spaghetti westerns.Â If you canâ€™t bring yourself to do that, you can still get a good idea of why so many revere Morricone.