File this one under the “It’s About Bloody Time” file, and it doesn’t involve Martin Scorsese, Peter O’ Toole, Forrest Whitaker or Alan Arkin.
The brilliant film composer Ennio Morricone is receiving an Honorary Award for his body of work at this year’s Academy Awards.
It’s uncertain exactly how many films his music appears in. According to Internet Movie Database, his music has appeared in over 500 films in Hollywood and in Italy. Morricone broke new ground in film scoring in the 1960s with his work on the Leone westerns. He blended electric guitar, harmonica, mouth harp, bells, whistling, vocalizations and even the pan flute with his orchestrations. He would collaborate on all of Leone’s films: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, GBU, Once Upon a Time in the West, A Fistful of Dynamite and Once Upon a Time in America.
For over 40 years, Morricone’s work has appeared in every genre of film in Hollywood and in Europe. He’s been nominated for an Academy Award five times (Days of Heaven, The Mission, The Untouchables, Bugsy and Malena). Other notable scores include Cinema Paradiso, My Name Is Nobody, Franco Zefferelli’s Hamlet and 1900. His music can also be heard in bad and ugly films like Orca and Exorcist II: The Heretic.
A big shout-out to Ennio Morricone. He should have a shelf filled with Oscars for his work in Sergio Leone’s films alone. Better late than never.