Best of the obscure Ennio Morricone Soundtracksby PimpinAinttEasy | created - 30 Jul 2013 | updated - 6 months ago | Public
An attempt to identify the best of the relatively unknown soundtracks of Ennio Morricone from his vast filmography which is a cornucopia of pleasant surprises.
As you might infer from my short write ups, I am not too good at writing about music :). I use words that come to my mind while describing the score for each movie. Mostly melancholic and tense and thrilling.
Some of the scores/films mentioned here might not be THAT obscure. But they are clearly not as well known as Morricone's really famous works.
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1. The Secret (1974)
Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A stranger enters into and forever alters the life of a couple. He claims to be pursued by certain authorities who intend to prevent him from disclosing a secret that only he holds, whence ... See full summary »
I find it amazing that Morricone's work for this film is not better known. It is among his best. The title track - Il Segreto starts off like it could enter Un Uomo Da Rispettare territory with the sounds of water drops trickling, followed by a dissonant sound. But there is soon a melodious piano and it is beautiful when the violin kicks in.
Dal Mare has Edda Del Orso (?) starting off slowly and seductively and building up to a crescendo. It is as good as the title track.
The whole soundtrack has a menacing feel to it. I watched the movie and it was very good.
2. The Burglars (1971)
PG | 120 min | Crime, Thriller, Action
In 1970s Athens a group of professional burglars plan an emerald heist from the home of a gem collector but the corrupt Greek police inspector Abel Zacharia is on their trail.
This score is my favorite Morricone score over the last 2 years. It has so many good tunes in it. Right from the warm title theme to the haunting love theme. A true obscure classic as far as Morricone is concerned. I strongly recommend it.
3. What Have You Done to Solange? (1972)
R | 107 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
In London, the Italian gym teacher Enrico 'Henry' Rosseni is having a love affair with his eighteen year-old student Elizabeth Seccles, who is the daughter of the owner of the Catholic ... See full summary »
Just one great melodious tune in this one. I love it. I have been playing this in my car for ages. Edda Del Orso in top form in this track.
4. 4 mosche di velluto grigio (1971)
PG | 104 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller
A musician is stalked by an unknown killer who's blackmailing him for an accidential killing of another stalker. But is everything what it appears to be?
This one has only one good tune, but it is sensational. Morricone's arrangement is so clever. The rest of the album contains many dissonant sounds. I am not a big fan of that kind of music. But this one is worth getting for the title track alone.
5. Blood in the Streets (1973)
R | 111 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
An Italian official's wife is kidnapped, and the kidnappers demand that a notorious prisoner be released in order for the man to get his wife back. He gets the man released--but then ... See full summary »
Another album like LE CASSE where Morricone really packs it in. Its not just UN AMICO which is great. There are many other great tunes in this score. Another underrated classic from Morricone.
6. Lulu the Tool (1971)
125 min | Drama
A conscientious factory worker gets his finger cut off by a machine. Although the physical handicap is not serious, the accident causes him to become more involved in political and revolutionary groups.
It is a manic and pounding score. The score has a very edgy proletarian quality and its impact is tremendous as the film builds up towards a frenzied ending. Definitely one of Morricone's best. He did some very interesting work for Petri.
7. Hitch-Hike (1977)
Unrated | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A bickering couple driving cross-country pick up a murderous hitchhiker who threatens to kill them unless they take him to a sanctuary. In return he agrees to split some bank loot he has on him.
Don't let the hippy song fool you into making any assumptions about this film :) This is a very sensuous soundtrack. It oozes sex, just like the movie. Orso is in top form.
8. Allonsanfan (1974)
115 min | Drama, History
A anarchist leader (Fulvio) wishes to retire, as he is old and tired. He tries to hide himself, but his friends find him and insist he carries on helping them.
I bet most people would have heard the awesome tune from this album in the INGLORIOUS BASTERDS OST. But there are two fine variations of the same theme. And there is a great playful track as well.
9. Spasmo (1974)
R | 94 min | Mystery, Thriller
Christian (Robert Hoffman) and his girlfriend are taking a walk on a deserted beach when they discover a woman's body lying. A closer look proves that she's alive. The next day Christian ... See full summary »
Just a brilliant brilliant score with a combination of pop and classical tracks. Does contain some dissonant stuff as well.
10. La moglie più bella (1970)
108 min | Crime, Drama
Based on the story of Franca Viola and Filippo Melodia. In Sicily, as a Mafia boss leaves for prison, he advises Vito, a young man who's his potential successor, to marry a virtuous and ... See full summary »
Great badass soundtrack for a battle of the sexes movie. The music sounds like something is boiling in a pot and just waiting to spill over. It is just perfect for this volatile movie which I strongly recommend.
11. Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)
R | 115 min | Crime, Drama
A chief of detectives, homicide section, kills his mistress and deliberately leaves clues to prove his own responsibility for the crime.
I guess it is not very obscure. But such a sensational score by Morricone. The title track perfectly complements Gian Maria Volante walking around menacingly.
12. Cuore di mamma (1969)
92 min | Drama
Lorenz has three young children who are victims of a media who wishes to turn out terrorists. She contends with her monstrous offspring and student revolts until she can't take it anymore.
A plethora of wonderful tunes in this soundtrack. The innovative opening track - Ricreazione Divertita-Titoli, filled with evangelical chanting, war marching, nostalgic violins and melodious pianos is wonderful. There are many versions of another melodious melancholic tune called "Ninna Nanna Per Adulteri". Gorno di Lavoro is another catchy tune. Cannot recommend this soundtrack enough. I like it enough to want to check out the movie.
13. The Sunday Woman (1975)
R | 105 min | Comedy, Mystery
Police commissioner Santamaria is investigating the murdering of the ambiguous architect Mr. Garrone. The investigations soon drive him into the Torino's high society. Santamaria suspect ... See full summary »
Italian name: La Donna Della Domenica. This one is awesome. Nearly as good as Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion. Though this one is more comical and less sinister sounding. There are many superb versions of the title track. Impaziente Pianino is a great rollicking piano only composition.
14. A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971)
Not Rated | 95 min | Mystery, Thriller
A young woman is accused of murdering her debauched neighbor after dreaming it. Was she set up, or did she really do it?
One of the best Morricone-Edda Del Orso collaborations.
16. La corta notte delle bambole di vetro (1971)
Not Rated | 97 min | Horror, Mystery
An American journalist in Prague searches for his girlfriend who has suddenly disappeared.
The memorable humming of Edda makes this one very memorable. I guess it is not that obscure. Recommend the movie as well.
17. La sindrome di Stendhal (1996)
Unrated | 113 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A young policewoman slowly goes insane while tracking down an elusive serial rapist/killer through Italy when she herself becomes a victim of the brutal man's obsession.
Reminded me of Jerry Goldsmith's score for THE OMEN. I love this one.
18. L'immoralità (1978)
109 min | Drama, Thriller
Federico is a child-killer running from the law. Wounded, he is taken in by a 12 year old girl named Simona. Their strange love affair is interrupted by Simona's depressed, oversexed mother... See full summary »
Morricone's idyllic sounding score is used in many scenes by the director. It is such a simple and beautiful melody on a piano, succeeded and punctuated by the violins and Edda Dell Orso's singing.
19. The Hawks and the Sparrows (1966)
Unrated | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Innocenti Totò and his son Innocenti Ninetto are drifting on a road in Italy, when they meet a Marxist speaking crow. The trio travels together in a long journey as their hunger increases.
A terrific rollicking song with vocals is a great start to this soundtrack. It is such a great tune with elements of rock n roll. I am surprised it is not more famous and more modern filmmakers have not appropriated it. I guess it is not that obscure because the song does make an appearance in some Greatest Hits compilations.
20. Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man (1981)
PG | 116 min | Comedy, Drama
The son of the owner of a large Italian cheese factory is kidnapped, but as the factory is on the verge of bankruptcy the owner hatches a plan to use the ransom money as reinvestment in the... See full summary »
One of the tracks from the Bertolluci movie makes an appearance in a Greatest Hits compilation. But I guess it is not that well known. I recommend it. There are many variations of the famous tune.
21. The Sicilian Clan (1969)
GP | 122 min | Crime, Drama
A young, ambitious mobster plans an elaborate diamond heist while seducing the daughter of a ruthless mob patriarch as a determined police commissioner closes in on all of them.
Votes: 5,422 | Gross: $3.00M
The main title theme is so cool. Imagine a bunch of gangsters walking around shooting people with that theme playing. The second track in this album called SNACK BAR has some great sax and is very romantic. Reminded me of the love theme from LE CASSE.
22. Crescete e moltiplicatevi (1973)
Great playful soundtrack that makes use of a lot of man made noises. Once again, Morricone at his innovative best. Brontolonte is a pleasure to listen to. The title track is wonderfully subversive, starting off with a highly sexual female moaning followed by very seductive music.
23. The Family (1970)
R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A hitman is double-crossed by his girlfriend and barely escapes a murder attempt. He then sets out to take his revenge on the woman and the gang boss who put her up to it.
Great badass crime soundtrack. Morricone is an expert at doing this sort of thing. Nearly as good as Revolver.
24. Sacco & Vanzetti (1971)
GP | 125 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
The story of two anarchists who were charged and unfairly tried for murder when it was really for their political convictions.
25. L'assoluto naturale (1969)
90 min | Drama
Mysterious romance involving an uninhibited woman and a photographer, shot in strange modernist interiors and abstract sports car-on-a-highway to nowhere exteriors.
26. The Cruel Ones (1967)
Not Rated | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
An ex-Confederate and his sons plan to use stolen money as a way to revive the Confederacy.
A great Western soundtrack. This one is a bit of a minnow compared to some of Morricone's legendary Spaghetti Western scores. But still a pleasure to listen to. I Crudeli - the first track and Un Monumento are standout tracks that make your hair stand.
27. Le trio infernal (1974)
107 min | Comedy, Crime, Horror
A cunning French legal adviser teams up with an unemployed German girl and her sister to commit murders in Marseille.
Very melancholicaly (!) feel good, uplifting and super melodramatic. Woody Allen could really have used this score if he was like Tarantino, lol. There are many versions of the title theme.
28. Escalation (I) (1968)
89 min | Comedy
1968, London. Luca (Lino Capolicchio), the son of an Italian rich owner, is living his 'swinging' years away from duties and responsibilities while his father wants him to be introduced to ... See full summary »
Another one of those Morricone soundtracks with many good tunes in them. Right from the melancholic and playful title track to the Dies Irae and the simply awesome Collage, this one is Morricone is at his most innovative best. Luca's sound - well, that was an interesting sound. Senza Respiro could have belonged in Hitch Hiker. Matrimonio is another wonderful soundtrack with competing female voices and primitive drumming. And Carillon Erotico is so achingly melodious.
29. Un sacco bello (1980)
99 min | Comedy
Three stories, three characters all played by Verdone. The first is an awkward young man, who meet a Spanish tourist in Rome. The second has planned a trip towards East with a suitcase full... See full summary »
The last track has a great melodious whistle. I couldnt stop listening to it for weeks.
30. Espion, lève-toi (1982)
98 min | Drama, Thriller
Sébastien Grenier,a secret agent eliminates all his rivals in order to decipher who has killed some of his associates.
Tense and rollicking first track nailed this one for me. This is the sort of tune that every crime film director would want to play during their title sequences. I was reminded if the famous Battle of Algiers theme while listening to this one.
31. Il gatto (1977)
109 min | Comedy
Amedeo and Ofelia, middle aged brother and sister, own jointly an old decadent, but still attractive, condominium. They want to sell it, but before they have to evict all the tenants. Of ... See full summary »
Very playful and over the top soundtrack. Il Gatto and Gli Scantenati stand out.
32. Anche se volessi lavorare, che faccio? (1972)
Full of pleasant, over the top and rollicking tunes. Anghingo is a happy song full of competing male and female voices. The track called Tramonto could be out of one of those Spachetti Westerns - it has a very catchy and melodious whistle.
The first track starts off quite melancholic but gets very pleasant to listen to.
33. Le mani sporche (1978– )
Tense, intense, melodious and melancholic. Some of the tracks could be the score for a zombie movie if Morricone ever did one. I'm not sure what the TV series is about. Nostalgia Dei Ricordi and Ritorno Dal Passato are great tracks. Nostalgia Dei Ricordi could be the score for a Polanski thriller or something. It would work perfectly for Ghost Writer or Frantic.
34. The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971)
Not Rated | 112 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company's experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer.
Once again, very clever arrangement by Morricone. There are three different versions of Ninna Nana Blue all of which are wonderful for your ears.
35. L'Agnese va a morire (1976)
Love this score. I played the track called Ostinazione e Impegno over and over in my car in the final months of 2015. It is this sprawling and epic tune.
And Agnes Chose to Die is one of those Morricone soundtracks with loads of good tunes.
Un Breve Canto Un Lungo Grido is another terrific track. The singing/ wailing (by Edda?) in this track is terrific. It is almost like a wailing lament. The first track is a more subtle version of this wailing.
37. La storia vera della signora dalle camelie (1981)
115 min | Drama, Romance
A young girl from the provinces, comes to Paris with one goal: to become a part of the rich bourgeoisie. To achieve this she will use her unique beauty and charm.
Has two amazing piano only pieces. You have to play these tracks quite loudly to hear anything. They are wonderful to listen to. I am a huge fan of the first nostalgic and melancholic sounding track.
38. Peur sur la ville (1975)
R | 91 min | Action, Thriller, Drama
Commissaire Letellier and Inspector Moissac are tracking Minos, a serial killer whose victims are women.
A very interesting and innovative crime soundtrack. Love the title track. It is a mix of dissonant pianos and whistling. Pretty badass. John Zorn sampled the title track in his tribute to Morricone.
39. The Flower in His Mouth (1975)
113 min | Drama, Mystery
A female school teacher is implicated in a murder in a Sicilian town only hours after her arrival. The dead man insulted her on the bus on the way into town. As the mystery unfolds, it ... See full summary »
Italian name: Gente Di Respetto. The first tune is a flowing and beautiful mandolin tune. Solo Per Amore, the second tune is a tense and melancholic work that invokes feelings of desolation. Gente Ipocrita begins somewhat playfully and ends in a wild over the top crescendo.
40. A Sky Full of Stars for a Roof (1968)
100 min | Comedy, Western
Two drifters meet and soon become travelling companions. But one of them, Tim (Gemma), is being chased by a crazed killer and his band of gunmen to settle an old score. The two (Adore being... See full summary »
Two great whistling tunes at the beginning and the end.
41. The Murri Affair (1974)
120 min | Crime, Drama, History
Based on a true incident, this tells the story of a troubled young man who kills his sister's reactionary, violent and abusive husband and is eventually arrested for the murder. However, ... See full summary »
Italian name: Fatti di gente perbene. An extremely melancholic score by Morricone with a really sad violin. Some of the tunes are ones that could have been used in a tense crime thriller. The film is apparently a court room drama.
42. Mio caro assassino (1972)
96 min | Mystery, Thriller
A mysterious decapitation leads Inspector Peretti into a case of blackmail, deceit and the unsolved kidnapping of a young girl.
Italian name: Mio Caro Assassino. This score begins with a rather dissonant lullaby accompanied by strange clangs and noises which gives it a rather tense character. I cannot say I am a big fan of this score. But it is worth checking out. The whole score is full of clangs and weird dissonant sounds. The lullaby is the only track that I really enjoyed.
43. Per le antiche scale (1975)
R | 110 min | Drama
A mental hospital somewhere in Tuscany during the thirties. Far away from fascism, this closed world is rules over by Dr. Bonaccorsi, a passionate benevolent psychiatrist whose dream is to ... See full summary »
Per le antiche scale. Begins with a pretty melodious and relaxing tune. But the rest of the score contains some really frightening noises like the ones he did for some of the giallos. Per le antiche scale (Preludio) and Postludio are really good tunes.
44. Grand Slam (1967)
121 min | Crime, Drama
At the suggestion of a retired professor, a motley group of criminals plans the robbery of a Brazilian diamond company but it must contend with a new alarm system and the mutual distrust among its members.
Also known as Adi Ogni Costo. The title track makes an appearance in Morricone's greatest hits. So maybe not that obscure.
45. The Fifth Day of Peace (1970)
GP | 103 min | Drama, War
At the end of WW II, German deserters are tried for desertion by fellow POWs inside a prisoner of war camp for Nazis.
Italian name is Gott Mit Uns. Pleasant and melancholic at the same time. The track called Lontano is worth checking out. There are some tracks that uses army drills and machine gun fire as musical accompaniments.
46. Veruschka - poesia di una donna (1971)
92 min | Drama, Fantasy
Fashion photographer Franco Rubartelli's visually lush and moody head film about European supermodel Veruschka.
47. Devil in the Brain (1972)
106 min | Mystery, Thriller
A child suspected of killing his father is imprisoned in a mental hospital. A doctor finds him mentally healthy and begins to suspect another explanation.
Il Diavolo Nel Cervello has an attention catching title track. It is a nice tune, I found myself humming it for a few days. There are different versions of the first track. All quite interesting.
48. Metello (1970)
107 min | Drama, History
Metello struggles to escape from the poverty that led to the premature death of his parents, and that is the lot of the working class in northern Italy during the second half of the 19th ... See full summary »
Great sweeping epic soundtrack. The piano version of the score on youtube is also wonderful.
49. Giuochi particolari (1970)
Forty-year-old Sandro (Marcello Mastroianni) is married to Claude (Virna Lisi). Sandro has one strange obsession: he is a self confessed voyeur. He films his wife in all walks of life on ... See full summary »
Italian name: Giochi Particulari. The track called Dorciamente has appeared in a few compilations. The very sparse title track is also very pleasant to listen to.
51. Incontro (1971)
Love story between a young man and a married woman. She's married to a businessman who's neglecting her. She would like to leave him but she's afraid of the age difference between her and her lover.
A very melancholic and melodramatic tune is the first track but its beginning is quite sparse but then it really builds up. It does contain some playful tracks as well. The final track called Per Claudia has some very memorable violins.
52. Matchless (1967)
104 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A secret agent possesses a ring that makes him invisible for a short time, once every 10 hours. He is in pursuit of an evil criminal mastermind but, at the same time, must evade an enemy agent who also wants the ring.
Great title track with a tense and awesome base guitar and then it turns into a really great pop tune.
53. Il pentito (1985)
120 min | Crime, Drama
Italian title - Il Pentito. One of those epic Morricone tunes. The first two tracks are amazing. This must be one of Morricone's best works of the 1980s.
54. Full Hearts and Empty Pockets (1964)
88 min | Drama
Italian title - E-La-Donna-Creo-L'uomo. Very playful, summery and emotional soundtrack. There are different versions of the title track.
55. Corleone (1978)
108 min | Crime, Thriller
Two friends grow up together in the Sicily of the '50s. Two different destiny, two different way of life. Could their friendship survive to the mafia shadow?
A beautiful melodious tune "Addio a Palermo" is the first track of the album. The title track is very ominous and moving. Rivolta Popolare, the fourth track is also a very gripping and remarkable tune.
56. Crossing the Line (1990)
R | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Sport
An unemployed Scottish miner (Liam Neeson) is forced into bare-knuckle boxing to make ends meet.
Votes: 894 | Gross: $0.06M
The main title is a gripping and rampaging tune with industrial piano beats. It probably belongs in a war film.
57. Mosca addio (1987)
101 min | Biography, Drama
A Jewish scientist in Russia becomes frustrated with the antisemitism in her country and decides to leave with her friend and sister. When they go to receive emigration permits, her sister and friend pass but she is declined.
Very melancholic title track to begin with but it somehow segues into a very pretty inspiring tune midway. It is very affecting. Nel Manicomio is also a very gloomy sounding tune.
59. Bianco, rosso e Verdone (1981)
110 min | Comedy
Three Italian have to move from their current city to vote to local elections elsewhere. Pasquale is an Italian emigrant living in Munich (Germany). He has to vote in Matera, Basilicata (... See full summary »
61. The Last 4 Days (1974)
PG | 91 min | Biography, Drama, History
In 1945, the dictator of fascist Italy and Hitler's close ally Benito Mussolini faces defeat. In a desperate attempt to avoid capture, he tries to flee the country with his lover Claretta Petacci, but Italian partisans are on their tail.
62. Let's Make Love (1960)
Passed | 119 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
When billionaire Jean-Marc Clement learns that he is to be satirized in an off-Broadway revue, he passes himself off as an actor playing him in order to get closer to the beautiful star of the show, Amanda Dell.
Votes: 5,404 | Gross: $6.54M
63. The Endless Game (1989– )
PG-13 | 123 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A British Agent comes back from retirement, after several of his former colleagues, including his former lover, are murdered. He must examine events from his own past to determine who killed them, and why.