Ennio Morricone - Rotten Tomatoes

Ennio Morricone

Lowest Rated:   15% Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
Birthplace:   Rome, Italy
A lifelong Rome resident and classically trained musician, Ennio Morricone began studying at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia at age 12. Advised to study composition, Morricone also specialized in playing trumpet and supported himself by playing in a jazz band and working as an arranger for Italian radio and TV after he graduated. Morricone subsequently became a top studio arranger at RCA, working with such stars as Mario Lanza, Chet Baker, and the Beatles. Well-versed in a variety of musical idioms from his RCA experience, Morricone began composing film scores in the early '60s. Though his first films were undistinguished, Morricone's arrangement of an American folk song intrigued director (and former schoolmate) Sergio Leone. Leone hired Morricone and together they created a distinctive score to accompany Leone's different version of the Western, A Fistful of Dollars (1964). Rather than orchestral arrangements of Western standards à la John Ford, Morricone used gunshots, cracking whips, voices, Sicilian folk instruments, trumpets, and the new Fender electric guitar to punctuate and comically tweak the action, cluing in the audience to the taciturn man's ironic stance. Morricone's name became almost as well-known as Leone's when his more ambitious score for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) yielded a Top Ten hit.Even more so than in the first two Dollars films, Morricone's scores for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Leone's epic Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) elevated the action to operatic heights. Reaching crescendos in The Good's famous graveyard shootout and West's showdown between Charles Bronson's Harmonica and Henry Fonda's Frank Booth, Morricone and Leone created set pieces that were as powerful musically as visually, placing music on a par with the image rather than subordinating it. Morricone's scores were so integral to Leone's Westerns that he had Morricone write and record Once Upon a Time in the West's main themes, and then played them during shooting so that the actors could move to the score's rhythms. Morricone and Leone repeated this for their equally effective collaboration on the gangster saga Once Upon a Time in America (1984). Even as he was permanently changing the landscape of Western scores, the breadth of Morricone's talent became apparent as he took on more overtly "art" film projects. Morricone's music lent drama to Gillo Pontecorvo's highly regarded, documentary-style war film The Battle of Algiers (1966); that of Algiers and his score for Pontecorvo's Queimada! (1969) were two of Morricone's outstanding, non-Leone 1960s works. Morricone also delved into the remnants of Italian cinema's postwar heritage with Marco Bellochio's unsung, late neorealist film Fist in His Pocket (1965), Bernardo Bertolucci's neo-neorealist second film Before the Revolution (1964), and Pier Paolo Pasolini's parable/farewell to that legacy, Hawks and Sparrows (1966). Keeping pace with Bertolucci's and Pasolini's evolving styles and concerns, Morricone continued to collaborate with the directors into the 1970s. From the Godard-ian Partner (1968) to the coming of age story Luna (1979) and hostage drama Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man (1980), Morricone enhanced the emotion and drama of Bertolucci's increasingly stylized imagery, reaching an apex with the somber, grand, and celebratory compositions for Bertolucci's epic 1900 (1976). Staying close to his genre film roots even as he advanced in art cinema, Morricone provided psychedelic accompaniment for Mario Bava's superhero romp Danger: Diabolik (1968), and crafted a series of evocative scores for Dario Argento's stylized thrillers, including The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1969), The Cat O'Nine Tails (1971), and Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1974). Enhancing his international reputation from the 1970s onward, Morricone continued to compose for movies across the artistic spectrum as well as collaborating with an international constellation of directors and stars. Mor

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Sad Hill Unearthed (Desenterrando Sad Hill)
  • Actor
No Score Yet Ennio Morricone - Arena Concerto
  • Actor
No Score Yet The Spaghetti West
  • Actor
No Score Yet Morricone Conducts Morricone
  • Actor
No Score Yet Il Maestro: Ennio Morricone and 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'
  • Actor
No Score Yet I sogni nel mirino
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78% Everybody's Fine
  • Conductor
No Score Yet Time To Kill
  • Actor
No Score Yet The Key
  • Actor
15% Exorcist II: The Heretic
  • Actor
91% Duck, You Sucker (A Fistful of Dynamite) (Giù la testa)
  • Actor
77% The Hawks and the Sparrows (Uccellacci e uccellini)
  • Actor

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