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Who’s the Greatest Film Composer of All Time? Round One

on June 13, 2014, 5:08pm
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Ennio Morricone vs. John Barry

Ennio-MorriconeEnnio Morricone’s strength is in his diversity. Three specific scores back up this claim: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The Untouchables, and The Mission. The score for GBU gallops at a reserved speed, just slow enough for Clint Eastwood’s Blondie to ride off into the sunset with some swagger. The main theme from The Untouchables and its opening credit score are as different as night and day; the former with sweeping strings and horns, the latter with its mysterious piano atop a rat-tat-tat drumbeat. Morricone’s so good even the great John Carpenter let him score one of his films (The Thing). But at the end of the day, Morricone’s greatest achievement is the go-jus “Gabriel’s Oboe” from the so-so film The Mission. The show’s about to begin… –Justin Gerber

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John BarryJohn Barry is responsible for composing the coolest score ever. If you’re not familiar with Barry, you’re likely opening up his Wikipedia entry, where you’ll discover he’s the man who wrote the legendary “James Bond Theme”. While this piece of music is iconic in its own right, it isn’t the coolest-of-the-cool score I was specifically referring to. To find the score in question, you have to check out the James Bond film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, specifically its title instrumental track. Barry’s new take on 007 (now with Moog!) was even used decades later in the teaser trailer for The Incredibles. For a good cry, also check out his theme for Somewhere in Time, which was played during the Oscar’s latest “In Memoriam” –Justin Gerber

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