Ennio Morricone

August 2021

Morricone added a touch of greatness to a remarkable selection of classics.

Introduction

  • The Sounds of Ennio Morricone

    The Sounds of Ennio Morricone

    This illustrated discussion will consider what makes Ennio Morricone’s scores so distinctive.

  • A Fistful of Dollars

    A Fistful of Dollars

    Leone’s classic western introduced the world to Clint Eastwood’s ‘man with no name’.

  • For a Few Dollars More

    For a Few Dollars More

    Sergio Leone’s follow-up to A Fistful of Dollars concerns bounty hunters, a heist and cold revenge.

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    One of the greatest westerns – and film soundtracks – ever made.

  • The Battle of Algiers

    The Battle of Algiers

    A dazzling depiction of events in Algiers during the French occupation in the 1950s.

  • Once Upon a Time in the West

    Once Upon a Time in the West

    An epic western and Leone’s masterpiece.

  • Two Mules for Sister Sara

    Two Mules for Sister Sara

    One of many collaborations between Clint Eastwood and Don Siegel, set in post-Civil War Mexico.

  • Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

    Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

    Pasolini’s powerful – and shocking – final film is an examination of post-war fascism.

  • Days of Heaven

    Days of Heaven

    Malick’s visually beautiful account of life in the Texan wheat fields during WW1.

  • The Thing

    The Thing

    John Carpenter’s terrifying – and supremely gory – horror classic about a creature from another world.

  • Once Upon a Time in America

    Once Upon a Time in America

    Leone’s gangster epic follows youngsters rising through the ranks of organised crime.

  • The Mission

    The Mission

    Moving tale of the alliance between a Jesuit priest and a slave trader in 18th-century South America.

  • The Untouchables

    The Untouchables

    Elliot Ness goes head to head with Al Capone in De Palma’s gangster saga.

  • Cinema Paradiso

    Cinema Paradiso

    Tornatore’s Oscar-winner began a long collaboration with Ennio Morricone.

  • Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down

    Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down

    Almodóvar’s darkly romantic – and controversial – tale of obsession.

  • White Dog

    White Dog

    A dog trained to attack dark skin is reconditioned in Fuller’s exploration of the roots of racism.

  • The Legend of 1900

    The Legend of 1900

    Tim Roth stars as a talented pianist, abandoned as a child on an ocean liner.

  • The Hateful Eight

    The Hateful Eight

    Tarantino’s western brings together a motley crew of characters in a remote lodge.

Introduction

‘I have scored 400 films and only 30 of them are westerns... in other words, I’m no specialist, because I’ve done everything. I’m a specialist in music.’
Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone was one of the greatest composers to work in cinema. He created scores, across a variety of genres, that vividly evoked characters and environments. His musical instinct and his fondness for introducing different sounds and instruments into his repertoire saw him courted by auteurs such as Pasolini, Zeffirelli, Leone, Malick and De Palma. His range was huge, from the indigenous drumming and the oboe melody in The Mission, to the cracking whips, gunshots and ocarina in Leone’s Dollars trilogy. Unusually, Morricone often composed his music to the script rather than to footage, which resulted in some directors allowing the score to shape the shoot. His death in July 2020, just four years after winning his first competitive Oscar® for The Hateful Eight, leaves us with over 400 films and TV shows touched by the hands of a true virtuoso.

Justin Johnson, season programmer

Want more?
See our Big Screen Classics

Due to the pandemic, we were unable to present this season in its entirety as planned last Autumn and so, by popular demand, we’re pleased to have the opportunity to re-present it to audiences, just over a year after Morricone’s passing.