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Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack scores — for Sergio Leone’s “Dollars Trilogy”, Bertolucci’s 1900, THE MISSION — are well known, but this comprehensive portrait takes the full measure of his extraordinary career (over 400 scores for movies and television), including his early work arranging Italian pop songs in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Filming just before Morricone’s passing in 2020, longtime collaborator Tornatore (CINEMA PARADISO) weaves together six decades of film clips with Morricone’s ideas on creative process (including his use of nontraditional sound) and interviews with Clint Eastwood, Quentin Tarantino, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Dario Argento, Joan Baez, Wong Kar-Wai, and others. 

Presented with support from the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Fund

2021     156 MIN.     ITALY     MUSIC BOX FILMS



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“He’s my favorite composer. And I’m not talking movie composer. I’m talking Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert!”
– Quentin Tarantino (in ENNIO)

“A detailed, fantastically entertaining deep dive.”  
– Leslie Felperin, The Guardian (UK)

“Fascinating ... [An] exhaustive and fervently appreciative film.”
– Wendy Ide, The Observer (UK)

“If any film composer demands such an epic doc, it’s this one. Offers real engagement with a complicated character, endearingly stubborn and self-effacing, whose inventiveness changed both his chosen field and the one, film scoring, he entered only reluctantly…ENNIO leaves one wanting to rewatch dozens of movies, dig up more for the first time, and scour the internet for Italian pop records that may never have been released on these shores. Thank goodness Mario Morricone talked his son out of going to med school.”
– John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

CRITIC’S PICK. “If you’ve watched a movie in the last half century there’s a good chance that you’ve heard music by Ennio Morricone, the titanic Italian composer and arranger who helped define films as we know and hear them… One of the movie’s nice surprises is that Morricone turns out to be a total charmer, a low-key showman with a demure gaze that he works like a vamp and an impish smile that routinely punctuates one of his anecdotes….There’s much to see and to hear, most of it delightful.”
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“LOVING AND COMPREHENSIVE. A star-studded and compelling look at his musical genius…Tornatore is happy to do the one thing that most of Morricone’s directors never wanted to do: make a movie that exists in perfect service to its composer... [Morricone] continued producing strong work until just before his death, and so perhaps it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Tornatore’s 11th hour documentary finds the composer to be such a sharp and candid interview subject… He wrote music faster than most people can write a letter, sometimes recording as many as 21 film scores in a year. As he watched an assembly of 1900 for the first time, Morricone began composing the score right in his seat, as if creating a parallel movie in his head.”
– David Ehrlich, IndieWire

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