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The 20 Best Non-Western Scores Of ENNIO MORRICONE

We've previously highlighted Morricone's work in the western genre, but the Italian worked in every genre imaginable. Here's the best of the rest.


Words by Eric Hillis (@hilliseric)


The Battle of Algiers (1966)
Morricone worked with practically every Italian filmmaker of note. Here he scores Pontecorvo's acclaimed docu-drama with frantic and edgy compositions that perfectly complement the onscreen action.

Teorema (1968)
The 1960s saw an explosion of talented filmmakers emerge from Italy's then prosperous film industry. Pasolini was another of the country's many auteurs who employed the talents of Morricone. The best of their collaborations is this 1968 psycho-drama.

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)
An eccentric score that could just as easily be placed over a spaghetti western as a crime drama like director Elio Petri's.

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)
Having emerged a decade earlier, the giallo genre hit its peak in the '70s. Dario Argento's 1970 debut is one of the genre's best, and features a Morricone score that would be much imitated over the decade.

What Have You Done to Solange? (1972)
Massimo Dallamano's giallo is one of the more interesting of the genre, thanks in no small part to a hauntingly beautiful Morricone score.

Blood in the Streets (1973)
Crime thrillers flourished in Italy in the '70s. Oliver Reed starred in this one, directed by spaghetti western master Sergio Sollima. Doesn't this score sound a lot like a prototype for a certain Brian De Palma movie a decade later?

Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
John Boorman's film is one of the most reviled sequels ever released. Step back from the original and take it on its own merits and you'll find a deliriously bonkers and visually spectacular movie of the type that would never come out of mainstream Hollywood today. Morricone's score is as insane as the film itself.

Days of Heaven (1978)
At this point Morricone began to collaborate with auteurs on the other side of the Atlantic. His score for Terence Malick's acclaimed period drama is subtle but gorgeous.

Bloodline (1979)
Terence young's Audrey Hepburn starring thriller is as trashy as they come, but Morricone keeps it classy with a sumptuous score.

The Professional (1981)
This is one of the cases where a score becomes more famous than the film it accompanied. The theme for this French spy thriller, 'Chi Mai', has become a staple of 'mood music' compilations.

The Thing (1982)
Known for scoring his own films, John Carpenter handed his synth over to Morricone for a memorable score that sounds a lot closer to Carpenter's work than the Italian's.

White Dog (1982)
One of Morricone's most overlooked scores is this one for Sam Fuller's controversial and misunderstood 1982 drama. Like the film itsel, Morricone's score is melancholy and often downright depressing.

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Morricone reteamed with Sergio Leone and delivered one of his finest scores. Pan pipes would become a regular feature in Morricone's scores from this point on.

The Mission (1986)
Another case of a score that's out-lived its movie. Few have seen Roland Joffe's film, but its score is one of cinema's most identifiable.

The Untouchables (1987)
The score for Brian De Palma's cracking period thriller plays like a Morricone greatest hits package, recalling several of his early western and crime scores. It's one of Morricone's densest scores, packed with individually great themes.

Cinema Paradiso (1988)
Though he was the toast of Hollywood in the '80s, Morricone never stopped working in his homeland. His score for Guiseppe Tornatore's love letter to the screen is simply a joy.

State of Grace (1990)
Another often overlooked Morricone score is this one for Phil Joanou's gangland drama. One of Morricone's most melancholy.

In the Line of Fire (1993)
For a while back in the '90s it seemed like Morricone's score for In the Line of Fire featured over every second trailer.

The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)
By the late '90s, Morricone was spending more time in Italy than Hollywood. His fourth collaboration with Argento produced one of his finest scores, though sadly forgotten now.

Malena (2000)
Morricone's score for Malena is as beautiful as its star Monica Belluci.

With so many scores to choose from, I'm sure there'll be debates over the ones we excluded for our list. Comment below if left out your favourite Morricone non-western score.


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