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

on June 27, 2014, 4:19pm
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Ennio Morricone vs. Danny Elfman

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 that 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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danny elfman Whos the Greatest Film Composer of All Time? Round ThreeAs the vocalist for Oingo Boingo, a band known for their raucous Halloween concerts, it only makes sense that Danny Elfman would click with Tim Burton, the king of macabre comedies and dramas. Elfman provided the compositions for all of the classic films Burton either produced or directed: Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (his first score, which he created without any formal training), Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Batman Returns, and Edward Scissorhands. (Fun fact: He also lent his voice for Jack Skellington’s singing parts.) Elfman’s and Burton’s styles seem effortlessly intertwined — the sounds of these films captured both gothic grandeur and a more whimsical sense of wonder. Although he has never won an Academy Award, Elfman has been nominated four times for doing the scores for Good Will Hunting, Men in Black, Big Fish, and Milk. As if that weren’t enough, he’s also responsible for the theme to The Simpsons. Aye carumba. –Killian Young

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