The award-winning composer was 91 when he passed away Monday in Rome.
The astonishingly prolific Ennio Morricone composed scores for over 500 films and TV productions during a career that spanned six decades. But the master maestro — who passed away Monday at age 91 in Rome, his birthplace — will always be best remembered by most movie buffs, and almost all C&I readers, as the man who wrote the unforgettable music for the classic Sergio Leone westerns A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and Once Upon a Time in the West.
Indeed, Morricone was so closely associated with the first three of those films — collectively known as Leone’s “Dollars Trilogy” — it was altogether appropriate that Clint Eastwood, The Man with No Name himself, served as translator for the composer when Morricone received an Honorary Academy Award in 2007.
When the sad news of Morricone’s passing broke Monday, dozens of admirers and collaborators took to Twitter to pay tribute. Filmmaker Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Hot Fuzz) waxed eloquent: “Where to even begin with iconic composer Ennio Morricone? He could make an average movie into a must see, a good movie into art, and a great movie into legend. He hasn't been off my stereo my entire life. What a legacy of work he leaves behind. RIP.”
In turn, film historian Mark Cousins (The Story of Film) tweeted: “Movie lovers everywhere. If you have a projector, throw open your windows tonight and project this onto a wall, a cliff, a sheet, a billboard, to celebrate how Ennio Morricone made movies soar.”
And Quentin Tarantino — whose film The Hateful Eight was immeasurably enhanced by the musical score for which Morricone won his only competitive Oscar — posted this via New Beverly Cinema.
And now for something completely different: Here are two amazing interpretations of Ennio Morricone's themes — from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West — by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.