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The 10 Best Western Scores Of ENNIO MORRICONE

best ennio morricone westerns soundtracks
No other composer's name is as synonymous with the western genre as Ennio Morricone. Here we pick our 10 favourite Morricone western scores.



Words by Eric Hillis (@hilliseric)


Gunfight at Red Sands (1963)
Morricone's first western score is also one of his best, most memorable for the rousing theme song 'A Gringo Like Me', sung by American folk troubadour Peter Tevis.

A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
The score that put Morricone on the map, along with director Sergio Leone and star Clint Eastwood. I suspect a lot of kids whistled this one in the playgrounds of 1964.

The Return of Ringo (1965)
In between Dollars movies, Morricone scored this Duccio Tessari western. Clint Eastwood borrowed its funeral theme for the end credits of American Sniper.

For a Few Dollars More (1965)
Morricone's second score for Leone is as memorable as his first. Morricone brilliantly integrates a chime watch - a crucial plot point - into his epic score, adding an extra layer of melancholy to a movie that's considerably darker than its predecessor.

Death Rides a Horse (1967)
Giulio Petroni's film stars Lee Van Cleef and John Philip Law in a classic revenge tale. Quentin Tarantino lifted its theme for Kill Bill.

Navajo Joe (1966)
This early Burt Reynolds vehicle features a great guitar driven Morricone score and was sampled by Daniel Pemberton for his recent Man From UNCLE score.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Considered by most as the best of Leone's Dollars trilogy (though we lean more towards For a Few Dollars More), it features another of cinema's most recognisable themes.

The Great Silence (1968)
Sergio Corbucci never got the attention of his namesake Leone, but his masterpiece The Great Silence is as good as any of Leone's movies, as is its beautiful score.

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
The most complex of Morricone's scores for Leone, with a handful of themes that belong in the canon of film music. Director John Carpenter had his bride, Adrienne Barbeau, walk down the aisle to its main theme for their wedding.

Two Mules For Sister Sara (1970)
Don Siegel's brilliant film is arguably the closest an American filmmaker ever came to making a spaghetti western, and Morricone's innovative score adds to its rugged Italian feel.



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