BRILLIANT ENNIO MORRICONE, COMPOSER OF WESTERN MOVIES, PASSES AWAY AT 91
So you know Ennio Morricone. Really, you do. Have you ever seen a Spaghetti Western? Clint Eastwood, hello? Maybe Once Upon a Time in the West? Or Once Upon a Time in America? Yes, they were all directed by the amazing Sergio Leone. But the all-important music came from Ennio Morricone. And the world just lost him. He passed away at the age of 91 years. Surely you know Ennio. All of that music came from him. Every tone in every scene, largely devoid of dialogue. But rich in context and tableau. Morricone set the backdrop to every Clint squint, and every segue from scene to scene.
MORRICONE HAD A KNACK FOR TELLING A STORY WITHOUT WORDS, PULLED AUDIENCES IN TO WATCH
Ennio Morricone himself thought that his best work came from Once Upon a Time in America in 1984. So while I’ll trust him on that, I won’t say it was my favorite. My favorite was likely Once Upon a Time in the West, starring Charles Bronson the “Harmonica Man” and the nihilist devil, Henry Fonda. The movie itself is simply huge in scope and vision. But like Clint’s Leone films, it was the little details and refrains we heard that carried us along the epic story. And one particular refrain explained the central mystery at the very end. The first time I saw it, it blew me away. Well, and the villain, too. But Morricone’s brilliance seared it onto my brain as a perfect film revelation.
HIS CANVAS WAS US, SO GO VISIT MORRICONE’S WORK FOR THE FIRST TIME, AGAIN
So yes, you knew and know Ennio Morricone. But if you don’t, you have an amazing time ahead of you with these films. If you can’t bear watching Clint with his political antics of late, you still have a veritable buffet with the two Once Upon films. And as for the West, you will discover how a composer can seamlessly work with natural sounds, as well as the staccato gunfire you find in all Westerns. But personally, I’ll always remember how Ennio Morricone wept when Eastwood presented him with the Lifetime Oscar Award. It was years ago now and Morricone already seemed frail. But he wept because of his humility, and how honored he clearly was. His music will stay with us.