It's with great sadness we've learned the news today that legendary and irreplaceable composer Ennio Morricone has passed away in Rome following complications from a fall last week. The Italian maestro and Oscar-winner was 91.
Morricone, known mainly for his inventive and unmatched contributions to Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns, scored over 500 films throughout his career, including seven (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West, Once Upon a Time in America, My Name is Nobody and Duck You Sucker) for his elementary school classmate and fellow countryman Leone.
Nominated for six Academy Awards, Morricone finally won an Oscar back in 2016 for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, and was also nominated original scores for Days of Heaven, The Mission, The Untouchables, Bugsy and Malena. He also was awarded with a well-deserved honorary Oscar in 2006 for his "magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music."
Tarantino, a massive fan of Morricone's work, also used some of his compositions for the Kill Bill films, Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds. It's also interesting to note that Morricone's throbbing, horror-esque score for The Hateful Eight features pieces of unused music from his score for John Carpenter’s The Thing.
In addition to The Thing, most horror fans will likely recognize Morricone's work on several giallo classics, including The Bird With the Crystal Plumage, The Cat ‘o Nine Tails, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, Black Belly of the Tarantula, Four Flies on Grey Velvet and What Have You Done to Solange?.
He also scored Exorcist II: The Heretic, Orca, Dario Argento's Phantom of the Opera, The Stendhal Syndrome, Last Stop on the Night Train and Wolf.
Metallica have also used his classic composition "The Ecstacy of Gold" as their live intro music for decades now. They recorded a cover of the song for the all-star tribute album We All Love Ennio Morricone.
Several of our favorites here at CryptTeaze have offered up their condolences this morning.
"Brilliant composer Ennio Morricone has passed away. A friend and collaborator, his talent was inestimable. I will miss him," John Carpenter wrote on Twitter.
Director Edgar Wright also posted a tribute to social media, "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."
Our hearts and the hearts of cinephiles and music lovers around the world are hurting today. Ennio Morricone will remain a major influence and constant source of inspiration for generations to come.