Tag Archives: Ennio Morricone

Michele Lacerenza.

Born in Taranto, Puglia, Italy on January 7th 1922. Michele Lacerenza was to become one of the most important musicians to be connected with the Italian cinema and in- particular the Italian western. Like Alessandroni, s whistle and guitar playing, Franco De Gemini’s excellent harmonica performances and Edda Dell Orso’s unique aural vocalising, Lacarenza was to make his mark on the western genre and also other movie scores with his inspired and unblemished trumpet playing.

Lacerenza came from a family background that was musical; his Father Giacomo Lacerenza was a well known conductor. Lacerenza came to the forefront of Italian film music when he was asked by composer Ennio Morricone to perform trumpet on “A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS”. The films director Sergio Leone had originally insisted on having Italy’s most prominent trumpet player at that time Nini Rosso to perform on the soundtrack, but Morricone wanted to use Lacerenza because he remembered his flawless performances whilst they were at the music conservatory and has stated since that he wrote the piece with Lacerenza’s trumpet in mind.

After playing the films central theme for Leone the great film-maker was said to be reduced to tears because Lacerenza’s performance was so full of emotion. Morricone described him as “A sublime trumpet player” After the success of A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, Lacerenza continued his collaboration with Morricone on scores such as A PISTOL FOR RINGO , FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE and THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY. Lacerenza became much in demand and began to perform on many other film soundtracks, it was also at this time that he had a hit record with a cover version of THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN (La Casa Del Sole) a song that had been a worldwide hit for British rock band The Animals.

 

Lacerenza’s career went from strength to strength and as well as performing on film scores and collaborating with composers such as Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota and Armando Trovaioli he also began to compose music for the cinema and although his output may not have been immense it was certainly important and original. The Maestro also taught music at the Foggia conservatory of music and the Santa Cecilia Academy.  He died in Rome on November 17th 1989.

INCONTRO.

incontro_cse057

 

 

Ennio Morricone is as we all know the world’s most prolific composers of music for film. The 1960, s and 1970, s were in many fans opinions the golden age for the composer, he worked on many motion pictures during those two decades and it seemed as if there were at least two soundtracks by Morricone released every week, westerns, dramas, comedies, romantic tales all benefited from the Maestro’s distinct musical style. One movie score of his from the 1970’s still remains a favourite of mine. INCONTRO 1971, contains one of his most haunting and romantic soundtracks and although it has been re-released recently there is sadly no more music available. The score has a running time of just over 30 minutes, but what it lacks in quantity it certainly makes up for in quality. This is a score that is brimming with delicate romantic themes that have about them a fragility and an alluring persona, that is both subtle and fully lush. Morricone combines both a vintage passionate sound with that of a more contemporary style, thus keeping the score fresh and appealing throughout. Piano is underlined by strings and also supported by heartrending solo violin performances, with trademark woodwind and harpsichord that are understated but essential in creating this poignant and emotive soundtrack. Originally released on a CAM records LP and then re issued as part of the CAM soundtrack encyclopaedia on compact disc.

 

incontro_sag9036

The soundtrack more recently was re-issued on the Spanish label Quartet, who gave it a new look art work wise. INCONTRO is I suppose what is referred to as classic Morricone, and is in the same league as LOVE CIRCLE, LA CALIFFA, HE AND SHE and many others that have also earned the title of being classic Morricone. It’s a pity that no more music is available for release but with some things less is more if you get what I mean. Recommended.

RIPLEYS GAME. (Review).

RIPLEYS

To say that composer Ennio Morricone is talented and innovative is something of an understatement and when writing about him it is often difficult to find the words to describe his creativity. By the time Ennio Morricone came to score RIPLEYS GAME in 2002 the Maestro was a seasoned film music composer who had already written hundreds of scores for varying genres of motion pictures. The movie was based on the third book in trilogy of novels entitled RIPLIAD written by Patricia Highsmith. Set in France, Germany and Italy, RIPLEYS GAME is a classy, smooth and sophisticated thriller which focuses upon art connoisseur and harpsichord expert Tom Ripley who also happens to be a master of improvisational homicide and a con artist. Ripley is portrayed convincingly by actor John Malkovich who is supported ably by fellow actors Dougray Scott and Ray Winstone. Ripley, with the help of British gangster Reeves (Winstone) becomes involved in an art scam in Berlin. Reeves is told by Ripley to stay outside whilst he goes into a building to do a deal with a client but things do not go to plan and Ripley resorts to killing this potential customer. He then gives the money that he has got from the now dead customer to Reeves, but at the same time keeps the piece of art work for himself telling Reeves that their partnership is dissolved, which is something that Reeves is not too pleased about. The story then skips three years forward and we see Ripley living a wealthy, privileged lifestyle in Italy living in a luxuriously opulent villa with his beautiful wife Luisa who is a harpsichordist. Ripley and his wife are invited to a party which they are enjoying until Ripley overhears the host Johnathan Trevanny (Scott) making remarks about him and his taste in art and also making references to Ripley’s somewhat shady past, the furious Ripley briefly confronts Trevanny but leaves the party with the matter unresolved. It is at this point the disagreeable Reeves character returns to the storyline asking Ripley for help in dispatching a rival. Ripley recommends that they use an amateur for the hit telling Reeves to offer it to Trevanny, Ripley knowing that Trevanny is suffering from leukaemia and needs money for his wife and family to keep them when he dies. At first Trevanny is surprised and horrified at the offer and turns down Reeves proposal, but then begins to think of the money and agrees to carry out the hit.

ripleys 2

Trevanny assumes that this will be the last time he has to have anything to do with the unsavoury Reeves but the gangster has other ideas and blackmails Trevanny into carrying out another assassination, this time however things do not go to plan and Trevanny looses his composure and is nearly killed himself until Ripley comes to his aid and helps to dispatch three mobsters on a train. Trevanny then forms an uneasy friendship with Ripley and returns to his wife and son telling his wife that the money has come from a hospice where he has undergone experimental treatment. The three murdered mobsters associates decide to pay a visit to Italy and attack Ripleys villa. They kill Reeves and throw his body in the boot of their car. However Ripley has anticipated their moves and has set traps for them and picks all of them off with the help of Trevanny who seems to have gotten a taste for killing. Trevanny returns to his home to find that the mobsters have sent henchmen to kidnap his wife and are holding her captive, but Ripley once again has managed to stay one step ahead of the game and after taking Trevanny home spots the mobsters cars in the undergrowth, he doubles back and in the nick of time manages to kill the henchman. One of the mobsters is only wounded and is about to shoot Ripley when Trevanny throws himself in front of the bullet and is fatally wounded.

ripleys 3

The movie is a captivating one and has an intelligent and consuming storyline, directed by filmmaker and screenwriter Liliana Cavani ( GALILEO,THE YEAR OF THE CANNIBALS, THE NIGHT PORTER, LA PELLE etc) it is a must see motion picture and stands up well to the test of time and one which I believe has matured and grown even more interesting with the passing of the years rivalling many of the more recent thrillers that have been released. The musical score incorporates harpsichord performances at certain points within its duration, the composer utilising the instrument to accompany the films central figure, it is also a score that is filled with drama and tension, the Maestro masterfully building the atmosphere throughout via his use of strings, brass, electric guitar, woodwind, piano, percussive elements and aforementioned harpsichord which are subtly enhanced by a sprinkling of electronic effects that fuse seamlessly with the conventional instruments of the orchestra to create a score that oozes tension and apprehension but also has at its core highly thematic and melodic material. As with any soundtrack penned by Morricone one is aware almost immediately that we are listening to the supremely innovative work of Il Maestro, a Master of his craft. There is that sound, that style and that individuality present that just says Ennio Morricone.

images (24)

The score features Morricone’s regular collaborator/performer Gilda Butta on piano and harpsichord, with the composer writing extensively for saxophone and also flicorno performed by Gianni Oddi and Cicci Santucci respectively, both instruments feature throughout the soundtrack and make lasting impressions upon the listener, creating either a mood of melancholy or indeed an apprehensive and threatening atmosphere. One of the highlights of the score is the music for the murders on the train which is split into two cues on the album, PRIMO TRENO AND SECONDO TRENO both cues establish almost straight away an air and atmosphere that is filled with tension and suspense, we hear dissonant brass that is punctuated and paced by an ominous sounding rhythmic background which at times evokes the sound that the composer realised on certain cues within his score for THE UNTOUCHABLES. The opening cue on the compact disc “IN CONCERTO” is actually the last piece of music that we hear in the movie, the harpsichord opens the proceedings and establishes the central melody of the composition, flicorno is added to the mix along with support from the string section which enhances and adds depth and further substance to the piece, the composition builds slowly but steadily as the composer fuses a jazz orientated style with that of baroque. As the piece gathers momentum the composer adds slightly harder sounding and imposing brass and introduces an electric guitar which although subdued adds much to the dramatic content of the movie and creates greater tension within the composition.

MORRICONE

With harpsichord all the time being the main stay of the cue forming its foundation and then becoming its core. There are a few pieces within the score that at times sound as if they could be improvised as in COLLAGE DE RIPLEY which has saxophone and flicorno in a duet performance underlined by short and harsh sounding violin strokes which are further supported by submissive percussion. There have been numerous re-issues of scores written by Ennio Morricone in recent years, this I have to say is one of the most welcome and worthwhile.A KRONOS RECORDS release. LTD EDITION.

RIPLEYS GAME…..sleeve notes.(un-edited)

Sleeve notes for the soon to be released RIPLEYS GAME soundtrack on KRONOS RECORDS.

http://www.kronosrecords.com/K70.html

RIPLEYS

To say that composer Ennio Morricone is talented and innovative is something of an understatement and when writing about him it is often difficult to find the words to describe his creativity, longevity and genius, at times when describing an artist, a composer or a writer critics and followers of the individual very often use the word genius lightly, in the case of Ennio Morricone this word is applicable in every sense. The Maestro, has written a plethora of film scores all of which have become classics in their own right, whether they be for large scale productions or lower budget affairs, the reason for them attaining this status is simply because of their originality and alluring musical content, the sound as created by Morricone is one that is individual to him and him alone, yes it has been imitated and many of his themes and at times entire scores have been covered by other recording artists, but there is certainly nothing like the originals. Morricone is without any doubt the most prolific composer of film scores from both the 20th and thus far 21st Century. His music has supported, underlined, punctuated and ingratiated hundreds of motion pictures and television productions which range from romantic tales to comedic escapades and include touching stories that are filled with emotion, dramatic tales of war and heroism, gangster and police thrillers and politically slanted movies. It is probably true to say that the Maestro became noticed mainly via his scores for westerns that were produced by Italian film makers, but it is surprising that the western scores he has written occupy just a small section amongst his staggering musical output. The composer has also written extensively for the concert hall as in his ballet REQUIEM DI DESTINO which was well received and also his composition SUONI PER DINO which reached the finals in the Festival of Contemporary Music in Venice in 1969, he has also applied his own particular sound and style on recordings for well known vocalists such as MINA giving her and others a distinct and lasting musical accompaniment. Ennio Morricone was born in the Trastevere district of Rome on November 10th 1928, his Father Mario was a trumpet player and he would perform in an orchestra at times whilst the family were on holiday in Riccione. He would also work in nightclubs and later performed on film soundtracks. The young Morricone attended the Salesian school in Trastevere which is where he first came into contact with one of his class members a certain Sergio Leone, who of course he went onto work alongside on numerous movies striking up a special friendship with the film maker.

The collaboration between Morricone and Leone is now looked upon by many as one of, if not the most important one in Cinema history, the way in which Morricone scored the films of Leone was itself inspiring, groundbreaking and innovative. At times the composer writing the music before the cameras had even started to roll, with Leone either explaining to the composer how he could see the scene developing and the film maker then shooting a scene to fit the music rather than the music being tailored to support the scene. This was probably more evident in movies such as ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA and THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY, the composers music becoming an extension of the characters on screen and also integrating fully with the storyline or scenario that was unfolding on screen, creating new levels of expression and greater depth and dimension to each and every frame of film. Morricone studied at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia where he obtained a diploma in trumpet, composition, music direction and choral work. He studied under composer/tutor Godffredo Petrassi and initially had set his sights on being what can be called a composer of serious music, as in music for concert hall performance, he began to compose music from an early age, his first credited piece being IL MATTINO PER PIANO E VOCE in 1946, the young composer concentrated and focused predominately of this type of music until 1961, it is then that he scored his first Television project ALLA SCOPERTA DELL AMERICA which was directed by Sergio Giordani, after this his musical talents were soon in demand for the Cinema with directors such as Luciano Siace engaging him for films such as IL FEDERALE, LA CUCCAGNA, LA VOGLIA MATTA and LA MONACHINE in the early part of the 1960,s. From here Morricone went onto collaborate with Sergio Leone, Sergio Sollima, Sergio Corbucci, Dino Risi, Lucio Fulci, Duccio Tessari, Gillo Pontecorvo, Bernardo Bertolucci, Oliver Stone, Giuseppe Tornatore, Warren Beatty, Dario Argento, Quentin Tarantino and numerous other talented directors. The Maestro Created music that would leave a lasting impression upon cinema audiences the world over and would also influence and inspire hundreds of younger composers and musicians. It is amazing that Morricone is still composing today in 2016 and what is even more amazing is that this titan of music for the cinema has recently won a long overdue Oscar for his atmospheric score to THE HATEFUL EIGHT, the composer also picking up the BAFTA and a Golden Globe for his work on the movie. The music of Ennio Morricone is wonderfully melodic, marvellously intricate and fragile, at times complex and diverse, powerfully dramatic, deeply moving and undoubtedly original. Once heard it is never forgotten.

 

ripleys 3

By the time Ennio Morricone came to score RIPLEYS GAME in 2002 the composer was a seasoned film music composer who had already written hundreds of scores for varying genres of motion pictures. The movie was based on the third book in trilogy of novels entitled RIPLIAD written by Patricia Highsmith. Set in France, Germany and Italy, RIPLEYS GAME is a classy, smooth and sophisticated thriller which focuses upon art connoisseur and harpsichord expert Tom Ripley who also happens to be a master of improvisational homicide and a con artist. Ripley is portrayed convincingly by actor John Malkovich who is supported ably by fellow actors Dougray Scott and Ray Winstone. Ripley, with the help of British gangster Reeves (Winstone) becomes involved in an art scam in Berlin.

ripleys 4

Reeves is told by Ripley to stay outside whilst he goes into a building to do a deal with a client but things do not go to plan and Ripley resorts to killing this potential customer. He then gives the money that he has got from the now dead customer to Reeves, but at the same time keeps the piece of art work for himself telling Reeves that their partnership is dissolved, which is something that Reeves is not too pleased about. The story then skips three years forward and we see Ripley living a wealthy, privileged lifestyle in Italy living in a luxuriously opulent villa with his beautiful wife Luisa who is a harpsichordist. Ripley and his wife are invited to a party which they are enjoying until Ripley overhears the host Johnathan Trevanny (Scott) making remarks about him and his taste in art and also making references to Ripley’s somewhat shady past, the furious Ripley briefly confronts Trevanny but leaves the party with the matter unresolved. It is at this point the disagreeable Reeves character returns to the storyline asking Ripley for help in dispatching a rival. Ripley recommends that they use an amateur for the hit telling Reeves to offer it to Trevanny, Ripley knowing that Trevanny is suffering from leukaemia and needs money for his wife and family to keep them when he dies. At first Trevanny is surprised and horrified at the offer and turns down Reeves proposal, but then begins to think of the money and agrees to carry out the hit.

ripleys 2

Trevanny assumes that this will be the last time he has to have anything to do with the unsavoury Reeves but the gangster has other ideas and blackmails Trevanny into carrying out another assassination, this time however things do not go to plan and Trevanny looses his composure and is nearly killed himself until Ripley comes to his aid and helps to dispatch three mobsters on a train. Trevanny then forms an uneasy friendship with Ripley and returns to his wife and son telling his wife that the money has come from a hospice where he has undergone experimental treatment. The three murdered mobsters associates decide to pay a visit to Italy and attack Ripleys villa. They kill Reeves and throw his body in the boot of their car. However Ripley has anticipated their moves and has set traps for them and picks all of them off with the help of Trevanny who seems to have gotten a taste for killing. Trevanny returns to his home to find that the mobsters have sent henchmen to kidnap his wife and are holding her captive, but Ripley once again has managed to stay one step ahead of the game and after taking Trevanny home spots the mobsters cars in the undergrowth, he doubles back and in the nick of time manages to kill the henchman. One of the mobsters is only wounded and is about to shoot Ripley when Trevanny throws himself in front of the bullet and is fatally wounded. The movie is a captivating one and has an intelligent and consuming storyline, directed by filmmaker and screenwriter Liliana Cavani ( GALILEO,THE YEAR OF THE CANNIBALS, THE NIGHT PORTER, LA PELLE etc) it is a must see motion picture and stands up well to the test of time and one which I believe has matured and grown even more interesting with the passing of the years rivalling many of the more recent thrillers that have been released. The musical score incorporates harpsichord performances at certain points within its duration, the composer utilising the instrument to accompany the films central figure, it is also a score that is filled with drama and tension, the Maestro masterfully building the atmosphere throughout via his use of strings, brass, electric guitar, woodwind, piano, percussive elements and aforementioned harpsichord which are subtly enhanced by a sprinkling of electronic effects that fuse seamlessly with the conventional instruments of the orchestra to create a score that oozes tension and apprehension but also has at its core highly thematic and melodic material. As with any soundtrack penned by Morricone one is aware almost immediately that we are listening to the supremely innovative work of Il Maestro, a Master of his craft. There is that sound, that style and that individuality present that just says Ennio Morricone.

images (24)

The score features Morricone’s regular collaborator/performer Gilda Butta on piano and harpsichord, with the composer writing extensively for saxophone and also flicorno performed by Gianni Oddi and Cicci Santucci respectively, both instruments feature throughout the soundtrack and make lasting impressions upon the listener, creating either a mood of melancholy or indeed an apprehensive and threatening atmosphere. One of the highlights of the score is the music for the murders on the train which is split into two cues on the album, PRIMO TRENO AND SECONDO TRENO both cues establish almost straight away an air and atmosphere that is filled with tension and suspense, we hear dissonant brass that is punctuated and paced by an ominous sounding rhythmic background which at times evokes the sound that the composer realised on certain cues within his score for THE UNTOUCHABLES. The opening cue on the compact disc “IN CONCERTO” is actually the last piece of music that we hear in the movie, the harpsichord opens the proceedings and establishes the central melody of the composition, flicorno is added to the mix along with support from the string section which enhances and adds depth and further substance to the piece, the composition builds slowly but steadily as the composer fuses a jazz orientated style with that of baroque. As the piece gathers momentum the composer adds slightly harder sounding and imposing brass and introduces an electric guitar which although subdued adds much to the dramatic content of the movie and creates greater tension within the composition. With harpsichord all the time being the main stay of the cue forming its foundation and then becoming its core. There are a few pieces within the score that at times sound as if they could be improvised as in COLLAGE DE RIPLEY which has saxophone and flicorno in a duet performance underlined by short and harsh sounding violin strokes which are further supported by submissive percussion. There have been numerous re-issues of scores written by Ennio Morricone in recent years, this I have to say is one of the most welcome and worthwhile.

THE McGREGORS AND MORRICONE.

download (7)

Maestro Ennio Morricone is probably the most prolific composer of film music in the 20th Century and continues to surprise and delight fans in the 21st Century only the other day we were presented with a new score by the Maestro which is unmistakably Morricone through and through, he just has the amazing ability to establish a sound and his style in the opening bars of any melody or theme that he pens and his undeniably unique musical fingerprint is recognised by all instantly. He not only writes for film and television but does also make the a number of forays into the world of what aficionados like to refer to as being “SERIOUS” music which is for concert hall performance. However if you were to stop a member of the public who knew just a little about films and music and ask them who is Ennio Morricone they would probably answer “He is the Italian guy who writes music for westerns” which is to a point true I suppose, but when you take a look at the musical output of this great music-smith one can see that western film scores take up a very small percentage of his contributions to film. As a collector of Italian music I am pleased to say that most of Morricone,s western scores have been released in complete editions or at least have had the odd track here and there on a compilation or music collection allowing collectors to at least savour certain cues from the scores. It is as we all are aware the Western score or the western sound that he invented along with director Sergio Leone on the DOLLAR movies, the composers creativity and originality when writing for western films more or less rejuvenated film music collectors interest in the western score and it is this type of soundtrack that the Maestro is still best known for, although I don’t think that Morricone himself would agree with this. Two westerns that were scored by Morricone however do remain unpublished, apart from a track or two along the way, which invariably were the same tracks on each occasion and were included in most collections of his work for the “Spaghetti Western”, as it was crudely dubbed by critics outside of Italy.

250px-upthemacgregors22

The two scores in question are, SEVEN GUNS FOR THE McGREGORS and SEVEN WOMEN FOR THE McGREGORS and it looks as if these two westerns scores are never going to be issued on a compact disc in complete form with various reasons being given as to why, but these last two Morricone western scores are certainly worth waiting for and I am sure that they will go like those veritable hot cakes that always seem to sell so well as soon as anyone decides to issue them on compact disc. Released in 1966, SEVEN GUNS FOR THE McGREGORS was in fact the first movie to be produced by Jolly Films after filmmaker Sergio Leone had departed the company, his assistant director for the film A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, Franco Giraldi was given the job of helming the production which starred Robert Woods, Agata Flori, Alberto Dell’Acqua and Fernando Sancho and to be fair Giraldi made a pretty good job of things. The production team involved on SEVEN GUNS FOR THE McGREGORS also included a number of technicians etc that had worked alongside Leone on the first DOLLAR movie and this also included composer Ennio Morricone.
51eJP9jK4ML

The movie itself is essentially a comedy but also surprisingly contains a large amount of quite brutal violence, a hefty body count along the way and lots of what can be seen as rip roaring action scenes and brawls. The movie which was based on an idea by Duccio Tessari was filmed on location near Guadix, it boasted a couple of impressive scenes these were a particularly realistic and tense knife fight which took place on a waterwheel and also a really exciting and exhilarating attack on a train, in fact the assault on the train was so realistic that actor Fernando Sancho who portrayed one of the stories villains was nearly decapitated by an iron bridge as the train passed under it.
Thankfully Sancho escaped unscathed, which is more than can be said for some of his fellow cast members who sustained broken ribs and other injuries but were forced to carry on as the budget and schedule for the film was so tight. A number of the cast for the movie had originally been either stunt doubles or Circus performers so the frantically paced action scenes were at times very fast and certainly furiously entertaining. Ennio Morricone’s score was somewhat different from the western scores he had produced during this period of his career, written in the year after he worked on films such as A PISTOL FOR RINGO, THE RETURN OF RINGO and Leone’s FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE and in the same year as THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY,NAVAJO JOE,THE HILLS RUN RED and THE BIG GUNDOWN.

b70-11514

The Mcgregors score seemed to contain more of an American sound to it, by this I mean that the composer scored the movie in a fashion which was original but not as unique as his approach on A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, with cues such as SANTE FE EXPRESS being expansive and urgent but also containing a more typical western sound or at least a western sound that we had become used to. Morricone making effective use of timpani (racing snares) and near anthem like but at the same time urgent sounding brass that is supported by choir underlined by strings and punctuated by piano.
sjff_04_img1564

The striking and pulsating opening theme is presented in the form of a somewhat tongue in cheek sounding march “MARCIA DI McGREGORS” underlines perfectly the persona of the central figures within the movie and adds a certain comedic rawness or bawdiness to the proceedings with Alessandro Alessandroni’s excellent Il Cantori Moderni providing the vocals and mid way through the track the whistling that are interspersed with shrill sounding Harmonica and Bagpipe effects supported by thundering martial sounding drums that just underline the Scottish connections of the McGregor family. The style that the composer employs at times within the score echoes the sounds of the Italian western soundtrack before it had truly established itself, by this I mean it is at times like listening to a western score that was written before or at the time of Leone’s first Dollar movie, however this does not take anything away from the quality of the soundtrack as this is a western score to die for, in fact anything from this period and by Morricone is an essential purchase. The sequel SEVEN WOMEN FOR THE McGREGORS (aka-UP THE McGREGORS), which was released in 1967. Actor Robert Woods did not return for this second outing of the troublesome Scottish family but like the previous movie it was directed by Franco Giraldi and was again a combination of comedy, action and violent scenes which are at times even more brutal and horrific than the first movie, we are treated (if that’s the right terminology) to executions, torture scenes and also a massacre of an entire towns population and a harrowingly effective scene that involves a child walking through the town being the only survivor of the carnage.

maxresdefault (1)

Robert Woods was replaced by almost unknown actor David Bailey, which was something of a risk on the part of the producers but a risk that paid off as Bailey was an impressive replacement for Woods. In this tale The McGregors gold is stolen by the same Mexican bandits under the leadership of Leo Anchoriz reprising his role from the previous outing and the McGregor boys set off in hot pursuit to retrieve it along the way encountering seven Irish women who they become romantically involved with, a cross eyed dentist also pops into the storyline and there are even more full on fist fights and drunken situations dotted throughout the storyline. Morricone again supplied the music, the original theme or a variation of it at least being utilised at certain points, but the remainder of the score was more of a low key melodic affair with Morricone penning a particularly melancholy central theme for strings and harmonica, which could easily be mistaken for a theme from any of the Winnetou movies which were produced by the Germans during the early 1960,s. The lighter more subdued approach mirroring the romantic involvement of the McGregors with the seven Irish girls. Hopefully both scores will find their way onto compact disc very soon, they would fit perfectly into the essential purchase category and make loyal Morricone fans ecstatic. So who is going to release these two soundtracks.