Happy Birthday Maestro

Ennio Morricone hits 80. I think this might be his finest cinematic moment.

Celebrate with wine, pasta and an iconic stance.

And fer the record, here are my Top Five Morricone Scores:

1. ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (1969) – IMHO, the most perfect film marriage of image and music. Ever. Especially during the wistful, reverent journey through Monument Valley. Leone and Morricone were the Lennon and McCartney of the cinema.

2. THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966) – It’s beyond meta at this point, but it’s still an infectious audacious masterpiece. And of course the clip above features the soaring “Ecstasy of Gold.”

3. DANGER: DIABOLIK (1967) – The height of Morricone Musik Psychedelia remains this terrific comic book adaptation directed by Mario Bava with John Phillip Law as the sleek, dastardly hero. Too bad the original soundtrack was lost in a fire, but a fun, listenable CD is available.

4. DUCK YOU SUCKER! (1971) – Sergio Leone’s weirdest film has one of Morricone’s most lush, romantic and unique scores featuring the eternal chorus “Sean, Sean, Sean…” An essential soundtrack.

5. EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC (1977)One of the worst movies EVER with a spooky and fantastic theme.

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