Best of the obscure Ennio Morricone Soundtracks

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 Burglars (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
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. (120 mins.)
Director: Henri Verneuil
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
2.
Blood in the Streets (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
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... (111 mins.)
Director: Sergio Sollima
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
3.
What Have You Done to Solange? (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A teacher who is having an affair with one of his students takes her out on a boat. They see a knife killing on shore... (103 mins.)
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
4.
Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
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? (104 mins.)
Director: Dario Argento
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
5.
The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
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. (115 mins.)
Director: Dario Argento
“ Once again, very clever arrangement by Morricone. There are three different versions of Ninna Nana Blue all of which are wonderful for your ears. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
6.
Lulu the Tool (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
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. (125 mins.)
Director: Elio Petri
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
7.
Hitch Hike (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
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. (104 mins.)
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
8.
Allonsanfan (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A anarchist leader (Fulvio) wishes to retire, as he is old and tired. He tries to hide himself, but... (115 mins.)
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
9.
Spasmo (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Christian (Robert Hoffman) and his girlfriend are taking a walk on a deserted beach when they discover a woman's body lying... (94 mins.)
Director: Umberto Lenzi
“ Just a brilliant brilliant score with a combination of pop and classical tracks. Does contain some dissonant stuff as well. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
10.
The Most Beautiful Wife (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Based on the story of Franca Viola and Filippo Melodia. In Sicily, as a Mafia boss leaves for prison... (108 mins.)
Director: Damiano Damiani
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
11.
Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A chief of detectives, homicide section, kills his mistress and deliberately leaves clues to prove his own responsibility for the crime. (112 mins.)
Director: Elio Petri
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
12.
Mother's Heart (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
(92 mins.)
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
13.
The Sunday Woman (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Police commissioner Santamaria is investigating the murdering of the ambiguous architect Mr. Garrone... (105 mins.)
Director: Luigi Comencini
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
14.
A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A young woman is accused of murdering her debauched neighbor after dreaming it. Was she set up, or did she really do it? (104 mins.)
Director: Lucio Fulci
“ One of the best Morricone-Edda Del Orso collaborations. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
15.
The Invisible Woman (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
(95 mins.)
Director: Paolo Spinola
 
16.
Short Night of Glass Dolls (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
An American journalist in Prague searches for his girlfriend who has suddenly disappeared. (97 mins.)
Director: Aldo Lado
“ The memorable humming of Edda makes this one very memorable. I guess it is not that obscure. Recommend the movie as well. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
17.
The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
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. (120 mins.)
Director: Dario Argento
“ Reminded me of Jerry Goldsmith's score for THE OMEN. I love this one. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
18.
L'immoralità (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Federico is a child-killer running from the law. Wounded, he is taken in by a 12 year old girl named Simona... (109 mins.)
Director: Massimo Pirri
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
19.
The Hawks and the Sparrows (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An old man and his son are walking along the road when they suddenly meet a speaking crow, which represents Marxist beliefs... (89 mins.)
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
20.
Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The son of the owner of a large Italian cheese factory is kidnapped, but as the factory is on the verge... (116 mins.)
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
21.
The Sicilian Clan (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
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. (122 mins.)
Director: Henri Verneuil
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
22.
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
23.
The Family (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
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. (100 mins.)
Director: Sergio Sollima
“ Great badass crime soundtrack. Morricone is an expert at doing this sort of thing. Nearly as good as Revolver. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
24.
Sacco & Vanzetti (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The story of two anarchists who were charged and unfairly tried for murder when it was really for their political convictions. (120 mins.)
 
25.
He and She (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Mysterious romance involving an uninhibited woman and a photographer, shot in strange modernist interiors and abstract sports car-on-a-highway to nowhere exteriors. (90 mins.)
Director: Mauro Bolognini
 
26.
Hellbenders (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
An ex-Confederate and his sons plan to use stolen money as a way to revive the Confederacy. (90 mins.)
Director: Sergio Corbucci
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
27.
Le trio infernal (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A cunning French legal adviser teams up with an unemployed German girl and her sister to commit murders in Marseille. (107 mins.)
Director: Francis Girod
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
28.
Escalation (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
1968, London. Luca (Lino Capolicchio), the son of an Italian rich owner, is living his 'swinging' years... (89 mins.)
Director: Roberto Faenza
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
29.
Fun Is Beautiful (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Three stories, three characters all played by Verdone. The first is an awkward young man, who meet a Spanish tourist in Rome... (99 mins.)
Director: Carlo Verdone
“ The last track has a great melodious whistle. I couldnt stop listening to it for weeks. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
30.
Espion, lève-toi (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Sébastien Grenier,a secret agent eliminates all his rivals in order to decipher who has killed some of his associates. (98 mins.)
Director: Yves Boisset
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
31.
Il gatto (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Amedeo and Ofelia, middle aged brother and sister, own jointly an old decadent, but still attractive... (109 mins.)
Director: Luigi Comencini
“ Very playful and over the top soundtrack. Il Gatto and Gli Scantenati stand out. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
32.
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
33.
Le mani sporche (1978 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
(80 mins.)
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
34.
The Secret (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A stranger enters into and forever alters the life of a couple. He claims to be pursued by certain authorities... (102 mins.)
Director: Robert Enrico
“ 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 rest of the tracks are a bit repetitive and possibly unremarkable (I have been listening to the first two tracks over and over again).

The whole soundtrack has a menacing feel to it. I am very curious about the movie. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
35.
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
36.
Maddalena (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Maddalena is a young, sensuous girl who tries desperately to seduce a tormented priest. (105 mins.)
 
37.
Lady of the Camelias (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
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. (115 mins.)
Director: Mauro Bolognini
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
38.
Peur sur la ville (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Commissaire Letellier and Inspector Moissac are tracking Minos, a serial killer whose victims are women. (125 mins.)
Director: Henri Verneuil
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
39.
The Flower in His Mouth (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A female school teacher is implicated in a murder in a Sicilian town only hours after her arrival. The... (113 mins.)
Director: Luigi Zampa
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
40.
A Sky Full of Stars for a Roof (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Two drifters meet and soon become travelling companions. But one of them, Tim (Gemma), is being chased... (100 mins.)
Director: Giulio Petroni
“ Two great whistling tunes at the beginning and the end. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
41.
The Murri Affair (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Based on a true incident, this tells the story of a troubled young man who kills his sister's reactionary... (120 mins.)
Director: Mauro Bolognini
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
42.
My Dear Killer (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A mysterious decapitation leads Inspector Peretti into a case of blackmail, deceit and the unsolved kidnapping of a young girl. (96 mins.)
Director: Tonino Valerii
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
43.
Down the Ancient Stairs (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A mental hospital somewhere in Tuscany during the thirties. Far away from fascism, this closed world is rules over by Dr... (115 mins.)
Director: Mauro Bolognini
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
44.
Grand Slam (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
After retirement, Professor James Anders presents criminal Mark Milford an elaborate plan to rob a diamond... (121 mins.)
“ Also known as Adi Ogni Costo. The title track makes an appearance in Morricone's greatest hits. So maybe not that obscure. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
45.
The Fifth Day of Peace (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
At the end of WW II, German deserters are tried for desertion by fellow POWs inside a prisoner of war camp for Nazis. (110 mins.)
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
46.
Veruschka - Poetry of a Woman (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Fashion photographer Franco Rubartelli's visually lush and moody head film about European supermodel Veruschka. (92 mins.)
 
47.
Devil in the Brain (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
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. (106 mins.)
Director: Sergio Sollima
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
48.
Metello (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Metello struggles to escape from the poverty that led to the premature death of his parents, and that... (107 mins.)
Director: Mauro Bolognini
“ Great sweeping epic soundtrack. The piano version of the score on youtube is also wonderful. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
49.
The Voyeur (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
40 year old Sandro (Marcello Mastroianni) is married to Claude (Virna Lisi). Sandro has one strange obsession: he is a self confessed voyeur...
Director: Franco Indovina
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
50.
Dedicato al mare Egeo (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
(109 mins.)
Director: Masuo Ikeda
 
51.
Incontro (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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. (103 mins.)
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
52.
Matchless (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
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. (105 mins.)
“ Great title track with a tense and awesome base guitar and then it turns into a really great pop tune. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
53.
The Repenter (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
(120 mins.)
“ 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. ” - PimpinAinttEasy
 
54.
“ Italian title - E-La-Donna-Creo-L'uomo. Very playful, summery and emotional soundtrack. There are different versions of the title track. ” - PimpinAinttEasy