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A special column of the music general counsellor of Morriunion
Mr. Yang dalin and Ms. Yang dong
The Establishment of the Music Style of the Italian Spaghetti Western Movie
---- An analysis of the incidental music of the "Bounty Golden Trilogy" (1)
The Chinese famous specialists and pioneer for research on film music  The married couple Mr.Yang dalin and Ms.Yang dong
The Chinese famous specialists and pioneer for research on film music
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The music general counsellor of "China Morricone Fans Association"
The married couple Mr.Yang dalin and Ms.Yang dong
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The Establishment of the Music Style of the Italian Spaghetti Western Movie
---- An analysis of the incidental music of the "Bounty Golden Trilogy" (1)
The writer Daling Yang
Translated by Tianyi Han

The first scene in the American comedy "Holiday (2006)" was that the leading role Miles (played by Jack Black) was composing the incidental music for a movie. Soon after that, the magnificent melody from the famous Italian movie "Cinema Paradiso" was floating out from the car of the composer. Miles admitted that he himself could by no means write out such fabulous pieces of music, which indeed, was composed by "the great Morricone". It seems that the composer of the comedy "Holiday"-Hans Zimmer intended to pay his homage to the great musician as well as his craft brother through the role in the movie. It was the first time that the plot and the lines of a movie were directly related to a movie music composer, and what was also rare is his world famous prestige. However, you are supposed to know something about the collaboration between Morricone and Sergio Leone if you want to know more about the great musician.

It was in 1964, when the Spaghetti Western movie "A Fistful of Dollars" was brought to the market, that the two genius artists-the director Sergio Leone and the composer Ennio Morricone began there cooperation. It was exactly this movie that established a special "Italian Style", upon which the classic Italian Spaghetti Western Movie series-"The Bounty Golden Trilogy" were formed.

The music Morricone composed for "A Fistful of Dollars" was unprecedented and experimental, for it was the first time that the crisp sound of the whip, the sound of the church bell as well as the little pieces of chorus, all of which was a musical method that carried a sense of mockery, appeared in the movie. Even the simplest musical instrument-whistle also played an important role in the main melody of the movie. Soon after the beginning of the movie, an appealing piece of guitar solo was aroused in company with the scene in which a nameless gunman played by Clint Eastwood as on the horse. This piece of sole contains the fruitful seeing and hearing elements that were always carried in the productions of the Italian director Leone. The aghast and distant town, the alarming and vigilant residents etc, and then a rider with an unforgettable face as well as a wide rim hat walked up. In the subjective vision of the nameless gunman appeared the greeting which was stuck on the back of the stranger and sounded like coming from the hell:" So long, my friend." With the shift of the scene, on the base of the floating melody of guitar solo, the original theme rhythm, which was base on the canzonet and played by fruity whistle, was suddenly interrupted by a saw-like tune that seemed to be played by a folk fiddler and that carried a bit sense of humor.

The following piece of music that played by piano, flute and stringed instruments was concise and comprehensive, which stressed the description of the mental feelings of the characters and played a key role in helping shape the atmosphere of the pictures and the scenes in the movie. While what the seemingly random melody implies is exactly the talent of Morricone as a musician, which enables him to transform the things observed into music and endow it with deep connotations.

The first Italian style Western movie "A Fistful of Dollars" was welcomed by the audience. Two years later in 1966, Sergio Leone produced another movie called "For A Few Dollars More", which can be deemed as a continuation of the last movie in the same style. This movie shaped the character of this genius Italian movie maker further, in which, Morricone played a important role. The composer made the new theme music similar to the last movie, in consideration of the establishment and the continuity of the style of the movie, as well as the emerging interest of the audience(especially the European audience). The new theme music, same as the last one, contains the effects of the sound of gunshot at first, and was made up mainly by whistle, guitar, chorus as well as English tube, trumpet, stringed instrument etc. It was performed by the same band, including the short chorus carried a sense of mockery. It is the conception inspired by insights of Morricone that made the seemingly simple elements of music produce a everlasting artistic effect after elaborate combination.

The gunman also played by Clint Eastwood had a name this time-Monco. A man wearing his cloak, pulling the horse, walked in the street of the White Stone Town, which was folded by fog and rain-this was the first appearance of Monco in the movie. The floating melody played by whistle, which carried a vague disposition of emotion and yet a clear skein of thought, was inextricably bound with the character of Monco throughout the movie.

Leone made a change to the plot of his second movie-the appearance of another gunman, Col. Douglas Mortimer(played by Lee Van Cleef), made the plot more devious and fruitful. In the plot in which the robbers lead by Indio succeeded in robbing the bank and were escaping through the valleys and plains, the seemingly irrelevant chorus by women was first introduced, in correspondence with the shift of the medium shot and the establishing shot. The following appearances of guitar and English tube carried a miserable feeling, which produced an extraordinary atmosphere and stimulate the imaginations of the audience virtually.

The last fighting scene, which contains rich seeing and hearing elements, has long been spoken highly of by the film reviewers and critics, where the music played a significant role in it without doubt. The recurring music of the "click" of the watch had ultimately turned into the real tune, which possessed a deeper connotation at the same time. The rough sound of the guitar and the feeling of pacing steps that gradually formed by the string, pushed the atmosphere of the key scene to climax. When the two just characters-Monco and Mortimer cooperated to fight with the bad guy-Indio, the drastic melody performed by trumpet was full of a strange feeling of misery, which added a sense of epic to the fighting scene.

The music by Morricone endows the picture a deep and ineffably connotation, which, together with the cinematograph, made the Leone's Italian style Western movies that are widely different from the Hollywood's.

Below are added information
001-About Sergio Leone
赛尔乔·莱昂内 Sergio Leone
赛尔乔·莱昂内 Sergio Leone
Mini Biography
Date of Birth 3 January 1929, Rome, Italy
Date of Death 30 April 1989, Rome, Italy (heart attack)
Sergio Leone was virtually born into the cinema - he was the son of Roberto Roberti (aka Vincenzo Leone), one of Italy's cinema pioneers, and actress Bice Valerian. Leone entered films in his late teens, working as an assistant director to both Italian directors and American directors working in Italy (usually making Biblical and Roman epics, much in vogue at the time). Towards the end of the 1950s he started writing screenplays, and began directing after taking over Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei (1959) in mid-shoot after its original director fell ill. His first solo feature, Il colosso di Rodi (1961), was a routine Roman epic, but his second feature, Per un pugno di dollari (1964), a shameless remake of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961), caused a revolution. Although it wasn't the first spaghetti Western, it was far and away the most successful, and shot former TV cowboy Clint Eastwood to stardom (Leone wanted Henry Fonda or Charles Bronson but couldn't afford them). The two sequels, Per qualche dollaro in pi (1965) and Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo. (1966), were shot on much higher budgets and were even more successful, though his masterpiece, C'era una volta il West (1968), in which Leone finally worked with Fonda and Bronson, was mutilated by Paramount Pictures and flopped at the US box office. He directed Gi la testa (1971) reluctantly, and turned down offers to direct The Godfather (1972) in favor of his dream project, which became Once Upon a Time in America (1984). He died in 1989 after preparing an even more expensive Soviet co-production on the World War II siege of Leningrad.(here)

Composer Ennio Morricone has said that Leone asked him to compose a film's music before the start of principal photography - contrary to normal practice. He would then play the music to the actors during takes to enhance their performance.

Was very insecure about the films he made and every film he made was almost his last. Between Gi la testa (1971) and Once Upon a Time in America (1984) he produced several films and directed several commercials. He also did some uncredited directing work on some of the films he produced. Before his death he planned on making a film called The 900 Days about the siege on Leningrad. He was able to get $100 million in financing without even having written a script and he planned to cast Robert De Niro.

Started many feuds with his collaborators - Sergio Donati, for not being credited for co-writing Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo. (1966); Luciano Vincenzoni; and Tonino Valerii, whom he usurped on the set of Il mio nome Nessuno (1973) by directing many scenes of that film.

Was working on a screenplay idea called "A Place Only Mary Knows", which was to star Mickey Rourke and Richard Gere, which involved a Union soldier and s Southern conman searching for a buried treasure during the American Civil War.

Claimed his lifelong ambition was to remake Gone with the Wind (1939).

Was often noted to embellish events that occurred on the sets of his films, as noted by many of his collaborators.

Although they did not work together until 1964, as children Leone and composer Ennio Morricone were classmates.

His last project was "Leningrad" about the siege of Leningrad during World War II. He died of a heart attack two days before he was to leave for Los Angeles to sign the contracts.

He had two daughters, Francesca Leone and Raffaella Leone, and a son, Andrea Leone. Francesca appeared in her father's Per qualche dollaro in pi (1965) as a baby. Both girls were reportedly among the extras in Flagstone in C'era una volta il West (1968). For Leone's final film, Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Francesca was given a bit part and Raffaella was credited as Assistant Costume Designer.

Clint Eastwood was amused by Leone's on-set behavior during their collaborations, having called the short, heavy Leone "Yosemite Sam" for his over-the-top temper and attempts to act like a cowboy through his thick Italian accent.

Was voted the 41st Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly, having directed only 11 films.

When he made C'era una volta il West (1968), his stylistic influence switched from the more frenetic pace of Hollywood westerns (which he put on hyper-drive for the "Dollars" trilogy with Clint Eastwood) to the slower, tenser style of Japanese samurai films, mainly those of Akira Kurosawa.

He controversially baited his former collaborator, Clint Eastwood, by claiming after making Once Upon a Time in America (1984) that Robert De Niro was a real "actor," unlike Eastwood. Eastwood seemingly brushed off the insult, which may have resulted by Leone's jealousy that Eastwood was a more successful director by that time than Leone himself.

He died at the age of 60 from a heart attack, which was most likely resulted from his eating habits. He had an infamous love for food and gained weight throughout his life until he was borderline obese in the 1980s.

Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945- 1985". Pages 577-581. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.

Son of director Roberto Roberti.

When his old friend Clint Eastwood - who was also close with Don Siegel - directed the Oscar-winning "anti-Western" Unforgiven (1992), Eastwood dedicated this film in memory of both Leone and Siegel.

Son of Bice Valerian, father of Francesca Leone, Andrea Leone and Raffaella Leone.

Famously feuded with director Peter Bogdanovich over the directing reigns of Gi la testa (1971) - Leone claimed that Bogdanovich was fearful of such a large production and backed out at the last minute. Bogdonavich stands by the story that Leone hired him as a patsy, as he wanted to direct the film all along.

His favorite actor from childhood was Henry Fonda, who was offered a role in every one of Leone's early Westerns. After Fonda finally worked with him on C'era una volta il West (1968), he returned the compliment, later citing that film as his favorite role.

His favorite movies were reportedly (in no particular order) Yojimbo (1961), Warlock (1959), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), High Noon (1952), Shane (1953), and Vera Cruz (1954).

Aside from saying 'Goodbye', Sergio Leone never spoke a word of English and always relied on a translator when talking to American actors. According to an interview with Eli Wallach, he spoke to Sergio in broken up French and discovered he is fluent in the language. This is how he communicated to Sergio Leone when shooting Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo. (1966) ("The Good, the Bad and the Ugly").

Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1971.

Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1978.

Was sued by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa for remaking his Yojimbo (1961) as "A Fistful of Dollars" (Per un pugno di dollari (1964)) shot-for-shot without crediting him, and copyright infringement. The production of Per un pugno di dollari (1964) apologized, compensated Kurosawa with $100,000, and 15% of box office revenues.

His callous behavior towards his collaborators reached a high-water mark during the shooting of C'era una volta il West (1968) ("Once Upon a Time in the West"), when bit-part actor Al Mulock committed suicide on the set of the movie. Murlock, who also had appeared as the one-armed bounty hunter in Leone's Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo. (1966), jumped from a hotel on location in Guadix, Spain. Production manager Claudio Mancini was sitting in a room in the hotel with Mickey Knox, an expatriate American who had been hired by Leone as a screenwriter; they both saw Mulock's body pass by their window. Knox recalled in an interview that while Mancini put Mulock in his car to drive him to the hospital, Leone said to Mancini, "Get the costume! We need the costume!" Mulock was wearing the costume he wore in the movie when he made his fatal leap.

Was approached to direct Clint Eastwood western Hang 'Em High (1968) , but he turned it down since he was working on C'era una volta il West (1968) at the time.

荒野大镖客,A Fistful of Dollars((1964)
黄昏双镖客,For a Few Dollars More(1965)
黄金三镖客,The Good, the Bad and the Ugly(1966)
A Fistful of Dollars((1964)
For a Few Dollars More(1965)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly(1966)
西部往事,Once Upon a Time in the West(1968)
革命怪客,Giù la testa(1971)
美国往事,Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Once Upon a Time in the West(1968)
Once Upon a Time in Revolution (1971)
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
002 - The stills of "A Fistful of Dollars" and "For A Few Dollars More"
003 - Reference page in the site
A movie page of "A Fistful of Dollars" >>>>
A music page of "A Fistful of Dollars" >>>>
A movie page of "For A Few Dollars More" >>>>
A music page of "For A Few Dollars More" >>>>
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