Two Great Composers For The Movies (With Sound)

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PLEASE NOTE: The sound links on this page require that your computer has RealPlayer installed (except where a MIDI file is indicated).

Ennio Morricone is still writing music for the movies, but Bernard Herrmann died in 1975. Herrmann's score played a very large part in the success of Hitchcock's Psycho. And Once Upon A Time In The West would be well worth seeing for Morricone's score alone. Morricone has written over 400 scores for movies and t.v. - he's certainly no hack though. Unfortunately there seems to be no other sound files of Herrmann's music available on the Web. If anyone can point me to any I'd be much obliged. The Morricone sound files linked on this list are linked from Ennio Morricone Music Page.

John Williams too obvious to include? He has quite a resume. Personally, I had forgotten that he did Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Wow! That certainly is a very impressive resume. And I do like Williams's music, but I can't say he's as much a favourite as Herrmann and Morricone. When I see either of their names in the opening credits I know I'm going to enjoy at least one thing about the movie.

Maybe I sound like a broken record... Two of my favorites are Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler. Knopfler even has an album called Screenplaying of movie music. Clapton has the dubious honor of being the biggest selling point for the movie Rush.

I'm with you on Knopfler and Clapton, but I also thing bertie should include Ry Cooder. Ry is absolutely THE GOD of soundtracks. The "Paris, Texas" theme is one of my favourites.

Yes, I recall seeing Clapton credited as composer on a movie and being mildly surprised. I wasn't used to associating rock icons with film scores.
After perusing the IMDb list, I can say I've seen several of the movies he's composed for - but unfortunately I didn't find the music memorable (I mean I can't remember any of it), not even the Lethal Weapon scores. No doubt you find that groan-worthy, but them's the facts.

I had forgotten that Morricone did The Untouchables soundtrack. Very cool.

Another composer I really enjoy is Randy Newman. Mostly because I thought his work on Toy Story was wonderful.

Jim, I just got back home from the video store clutching PLEASANTVILLE, sat down at my PC, read your comment, read Newman's IMDb listing, found PLEASANTVILLE on it. I love coincidences like that.

What did you think of Pleasantville?

"Pleasantville Marathon" is right. Interminable, with an inappropriately sentimental last half-hour that seemed like two hours. As for the musical score, I didn't notice it; I noticed a bunch of songs, including one of my favourite Lennon/McCartneys, but that didn't quite compensate. Sorry, Jim, but maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it. Recently I saw BLAST FROM THE PAST, which has a vaguely similar theme (= my, how things change nowadays) and I enjoyed it a lot more.

I enjoyed both Pleasantville and Blast From the Past, but I'd agree that then end of the former was unnecessarily sentimental (although I can be a sucker for that sort of thing). But getting back to the topic at hand, I had no lasting impression of the music either.

two of my favorites are danny elfman (edward scissorhands, the simpsons) and thomas newman (unstrung heroes, lost boys)...

Cute name, isn't it, 'Danny Elfman'. I suppose I've head the Simpsons theme, variously orchestrated, about five or six hundred times now.

i'm glad you mentioned danny elfman....when i saw the list title i was hoping someone would...if you've only heard the simpsons...then pooh! to you...i really loved his beetlejuice and edward scissorhands work

I've seen both those movies, so I've also heard the music. The purpose of this list is given by its title; I never intended to add more composers to it. There's nothing to stop you making your own "Great Composers for the Movies" list :-)

morricone's music owes a lot to Leone's visuals and vice versa... really a joy to watch... amazing the detail put into the music and visual interaction with those two... not very familiar with herrmann but from seeing that list he looks damn good... Still think morricone is unchallenged as the best film score composer of all time... those trumpets! i'm not a big classical music buff but he has to have some musical merit even outside of film. or so i would hope.

Yes, I don't know a lot about the processes of film-making, but I would imagine that composing is very much interactive with directing. I would have to say that Morricone is my favorite composer for the movies too. Another great, unfortunately passed away just recently, was Jerry Goldsmith - his list of works at IMDb is very impressive. I also like Danny Elfman's scores. Elfman's masterpiece is probably Batman.