According the IMDB, “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly” has been referenced in over 100 films, and understandably so. How often is it the film’s infamous howling score is parodied, imitated and honored, but never matched. It’s that infamous ah-ee-ah-ee-aaahhhh (sounds better than it reads) and it’s the timeless gift of composer Ennio Morricone, this year’s Honorary Oscar recipient.
His epitomized grand movie compositions with the likes of “The Mission,” “Cinema Paradiso,” “The Untouchables” and “Bugsy,” which achieved fully orchestrated bliss. Yet he was never afraid to stir things up like with his synth-based horror scores (“The Thing” and “Phantom Of The Opera”), and rock driven spaghetti westerns (His infamous work for Sergio Leone, director of “Once Upon A Time In The West”).
Nominated five times, but never earning a win, Morricone has been in the ears of filmgoers for over four decades. The first nomination came from Terence Malick’s “Days Of Heaven,” and most recently he received his fifth for 2000’s “Malena.” Always fresh and experimental and never repetitive, Morricone is considered the daredevil blender of classical compositions with contemporary sounds.
With over 40 years and 400 scores to his credit, the 78-year old has expressed his disdain for the Academy in the past, citing that his losses had left “a hole” in him. But hey, Altman, Hitchcock and Scorsese never won Oscars. And though they’re more popular, Morricone has always been just as important.