Song of the Day: The Main Theme From The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly by Ennio Morricone


You knew this one was coming, right?  Seriously, no tribute to Ennio Morricone is complete without the main theme from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Morricone’s score is as much of a character in this film as the ones played by Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, and Lee Van Cleef.  It perfectly sets the moods, telling us that we’re about to see something that is truly epic.  The opening notes, which have so often been parodied but which have never lost their power, truly capture the feel of Sergio Leone’s mythical vision of the old west.

So, without further rambling from me, here it is:

Previous Entries In Our Tribute To Morricone:

  1. Deborah’s Theme (Once Upon A Time In America)
  2. Violaznioe Violenza (Hitch-Hike)
  3. Come Un Madrigale (Four Flies on Grey Velvet)
  4. Il Grande Silenzio (The Great Silence)
  5. The Strength of the Righteous (The Untouchables)
  6. So Alone (What Have You Done To Solange?)
  7. The Main Theme From The Mission (The Mission)
  8. The Return (Days of Heaven)
  9. Man With A Harmonic (Once Upon A Time In The West)
  10. The Ecstasy of Gold (The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)

Song of the Day: The Ecstasy of Gold by Ennio Morricone


Today’s song of the day comes to us from the classic score that Ennio Morricone wrote for Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly!  When we started our tribute to Morricone, there was no doubt that we would eventually include at least a few songs from this film’s soundtrack.  Today, we share The Ecstasy of Gold, which plays in the background of one of the greatest scenes in the history of cinema.  It’s hard to listen to this without thinking about Eli Wallach (as Tuco) joyfully running through that cemetery.

Here is The Ecstasy of Gold:

Previous Entries In Our Tribute To Morricone:

  1. Deborah’s Theme (Once Upon A Time In America)
  2. Violaznioe Violenza (Hitch-Hike)
  3. Come Un Madrigale (Four Flies on Grey Velvet)
  4. Il Grande Silenzio (The Great Silence)
  5. The Strength of the Righteous (The Untouchables)
  6. So Alone (What Have You Done To Solange?)
  7. The Main Theme From The Mission (The Mission)
  8. The Return (Days of Heaven)
  9. Man With A Harmonic (Once Upon A Time In The West)

 

6 Good Films That Were Not Nominated For Best Picture: The 1960s


Sonny and Cher walk down the 1968 Oscars Red Carpet

Continuing our look at good films that were not nominated for best picture, here are 6 films from the 1960s.

Psycho (1960, dir by Alfred Hitchcock)

The director was nominated.  Janet Leigh was nominated.  Amazingly enough, Anthony Perkins was not nominated for playing the role that would come to define him.  And, in the end, the film itself was not nominated for best picture.  Perhaps it was too sordid for the Academy.  Perhaps they resented no longer feeling safe in the shower.  Regardless, Psycho has gone on to influence every horror thriller made since 1960.  And let’s not even talk about how much we all cried while watching the finale of Bates Motel.

From Russia With Love (1963, dir by Terence Young)

The first great James Bond film should have also been the first Bond film to be nominated for best picture.  Actually, looking over the films that actually were nominated in 1963, From Russia With Love should have been the first Bond film to win best picture.

Blow-Up (1966, dir by Michelangelo Antonioni)

Mimes playing tennis and David Hemmings briefly breaking out of his shell of ennui to investigate a murder that has no solution!  How could the Academy resist?  Somehow, they did.  Michelangelo Antonioni received a nomination but the film was, at the time, considered to be too controversial to nominate.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (1967, dir by Sergio Leone)

Though initial reviews were mixed, Sergio Leone’s Civil War epic has come to be recognized as one of the greatest and most important Westerns of all time.  Perhaps it’s understandable that the Academy of 1967 would be skeptical of an Italian western starring Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, and Lee Van Cleef.  Still, it would have been one of the coolest best picture nominees of all time.  (Shockingly, not even Ennio Morricone’s iconic score was nominated.)

Petulia (1968, dir by Richard Lester)

Though Richard Lester will probably always be best known as the man who directed the first two Beatles films, he also directed one of the definitive 60s films, Petulia.  Sadly, in a year when many lackluster films were nominated, the challenging and rather melancholy Petulia was not.

Night of the Living Dead (1968, dir by George Romero)

Again, we really can’t be shocked that the Academy held off an recognizing a low-budget, independent film about zombies  But come on!  A Night of the Living Dead vs. Petulia Oscar race would have bene one for the ages.

Up next, in an hour or so, the 1970s!

Scenes That I Love: Eli Wallach Searches For The Gold In The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly


Eli Wallach

I just heard that, earlier today, the legendary character actor Eli Wallach passed away at the age of 98.  Wallach made his film debut in 1956’s Baby Doll and made his final film appearance 54 years later in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.  I have to admit that I don’t really remember much about Wall Street or Wallach’s performance in the film.  However, I do remember his wonderful cameo appearance in The Ghost Writer.

And, of course, everyone remembers Eli Wallach’s best role, that of Tuco in Sergio Leone’s classic spaghetti western The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.  In the role of a comedic yet ruthless bandit, Wallach brought a lot of life to Leone’s epic portrait of greed in the west.  His unabashedly flamboyant performance provided a wonderful (and much-needed) contrast to the more stoic performances of Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef.

For me, the best scene in The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly is one in which not a single bullet is fired nor a word uttered.  In this scene, Tuco has finally discovered the cemetery where a stolen shipment of gold has been buried.  All he has to do is find Arch Stanton’s grave and he’ll be a very rich man.  What Tuco did not take into consideration was just how many other graves there would be in the cemetery.

This is a rare moment in the film in which Tuco is not speaking but just watch Wallach’s performance here to see how much a great actor can do with just body language and facial expressions.  (Needless to say, Ennio Morricone’s classic score helps out as well.)

Eli Wallach, R.I.P.