WolfmanOz at the Movies #13

Music in Movies – Lalo, John and Ennio

Film is a collaborative art form, it’s not just about who is in front of the camera or the directors/screenwriters behind it but also the editing, music, makeup, cinematography, production design, sound etc.

So I was amazed, but not surprised, to read the other day that the woke Oscars (Academy Awards) have announced that at this years ceremony eight awards will not be broadcast live and will be pre-taped an hour before the start of the telecast. The reason given was to “allow more time for comedy, film clips and musical numbers”. More likely it will be more time for insufferable Z grade talented actors and actresses lecturing us with their bulltish . . . but more of that for next weeks post.

Some of cinema’s greatest moments are the combinations of images and music

Here are a few of my favourites . . .

Lalo Schifrin, who’s still with us, is an Argentine-US film composer who produced a terrific range of scores, mostly in the 60s and 70s, especially for urban police thrillers and he also composed the iconic theme for the TV series Mission: Impossible.

But the piece I always go back is his music for the Steve McQueen classic Bullitt. The set-up for the amazing car chase scene is superbly under-scored by his jazz inspired music.


Another great film composer from the 60s is John Barry, a particular favourite of mine.

Most famous for his scores for the early James Bond movies, Barry was a prolific film composer whose scores also enhanced such films as Born Free, The Ipcress File, The Lion In Winter, Somewhere In Time, Dances With Wolves, Chaplin to name just a few.

But my favourite is his lush and romantic score for Out Of Africa, which is marvellously presented here with the sweeping scenes of the bi-plane flying over the plains of Africa.


And who could not include the maestro himself in the late, and great, Ennio Morricone.

It would be tempting to include a clip from one his collaborations with Sergio Leone, but I’ve gone for the end scene from Cinema Paradiso, as Salvatore watches Alfredo’s reel and discovers it comprises all the romantic scenes that the priest had ordered Alfredo to cut from the movies.



PS Following up from last weeks post and especially for jupes who first mentioned it.


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Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
March 17, 2022 9:47 am
March 17, 2022 11:44 am

Thanks for the clip Wolfie. That Zuni doll would kick Chucky’s arse.

Mark Steyn is also a fan of John Barry. Dunno if you’ve ever read any of his stuff. One director Steyn is not a fan of is Quentin Tarantino, who uses popular songs rather (more?) than original scores. I disagree with Steyn on this and reckon Tarantino’s use of pop songs is superb. He knows how to pick ’em. Mr Blonde’s dance in Reservoir Dogs is a good case in point.

March 17, 2022 12:33 pm

Here you go Wolfie, Mark Steyn discussing John Barry with some other movie composers such as Tim Rice, Don Black and David Arnold.

Cassie of Sydney
March 17, 2022 1:27 pm

I have two favourite film soundtracks…one is Cinema Paradiso and the other is Cavatina from The Deer Hunter.

March 17, 2022 1:50 pm

John Barry was also briefly married to Janey Birkin.

Bruce of Newcastle
Bruce of Newcastle
March 17, 2022 2:19 pm

The Third Man is supposed to have one of the best and most atmospheric movie music soundtracks.
The incessant zithering reminded me of mosquitos.

I am very bland in such things, I like John Williams and Danny Elfman.

Plus the music from Patton, which I think added an upbeat plus at times somber feel to the movie.

Bruce of Newcastle
Bruce of Newcastle
March 17, 2022 2:29 pm

Ok, I’ll ante up. In order here are the three composers Williams, Elfman and Goldsmith:

Star Wars – The Imperial March

Danny Elfman — Alice’s Theme

Patton | Soundtrack Suite (Jerry Goldsmith)

I’m not going to put up the zithers from Third Man.

Bruce of Newcastle
Bruce of Newcastle
March 17, 2022 2:47 pm

Ok I’m hooked now. Three more fine themes from marvelous composers.

Lawrence Of Arabia | Soundtrack Suite (Maurice Jarre)

The Sting | Soundtrack Suite (Scott Joplin & Marvin Hamlisch)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Yes, I’m with your Wolfman: Ennio Morricone was awesome.

March 17, 2022 3:21 pm

Wolfman, thanks for the Steve McQueen clip. I am not usually interested in car chases, but that one never gets old. And, the lead up of Barry’s jazz music, followed by just the sound of the car engine, is brilliant.

The downgrading of music in the stupid Academy Awards (already a joke) is not surprising. The kind of crap that Hollywood churns out these days does not include, or warrant, great film scores. Recycling other people’s recordings is not in the same league.

As Tony Taylor mentioned, some TV themes and accompanying music are also worth a mention. Barrington Pheloung,* who is from Tasmania, composed the excellent Inspector Morse theme and also did the incidental music for the series, which was both apposite and not overbearing – a rare thing. The motif is the Morse code for ‘Morse’ – very clever as well as pleasing to hear.

And who can forget Mancini’s theme for Peter Gunn?

*I thought he must be of Thai origin, but it turns out to be a variant spelling of an Irish surname.

March 17, 2022 3:28 pm

Oh my, I see from the sidebar to Mancini that John Barry composed the James Bond theme as well.

What a star!

March 17, 2022 4:36 pm

Any votes for Nino Rota?

Score for Visconti’s “Il Gattopardo” (The Leopard), for starters. See also: The Godfather, Roma, La Dolce Vita…He was a prolific composer af all manner of music.

March 17, 2022 5:04 pm

The one and only Theme From Shaft, courtesy of the mighty Isaac Hayes. Used as the intro music for the the Rugby League match of the round as called by Rox Messup during the Seventies.

See also Curtis Mayfield’s soundtrack to Superfly.

Cliff Boof
Cliff Boof
March 17, 2022 5:23 pm



March 17, 2022 5:38 pm

I quite like Michael Giacchino soundtracks. The soundtrack for Star Trek is pretty awesome.

March 17, 2022 7:25 pm

What a great thread!

Jarre for Dr. Zhivago
Steiner for Gone With the Wind

You only have to hear a couple of bars and you can identify and locate the music in the film.

Barry and Morricone – I have both Out of Africa and The Mission scores on disc.

The other one I love is Gladiator (Zimmer and Gerrard collaboration).

March 17, 2022 7:27 pm

Oh, and Lord of the Rings – Shore

Hear the music and you can watch the movie in your mind’s eye. It’s definitely elf magic.

vlad redux
vlad redux
March 17, 2022 10:03 pm

John Barry gets my vote as the all time best.

He didn’t compose the James Bond theme, though – that was Monty Norman. Barry arranged it.

Bruce in WA
March 17, 2022 10:08 pm

I honestly think much of Ron Goodwin’s contribution to movie soundtracks is overlooked. Here are three of my favourites:

The Dam Busters March

Battle of Britain March

and for something completely different

The Trap

March 18, 2022 4:22 am

Rabz, if you’re reading, maybe add TV show themes to your list?

March 18, 2022 4:50 am

Thanks for clearing that up, Vlad. Still, the Great Man touched possibly the most enduring movie music of all time. Although, the Pink Panther deserves a mention. 🙂

March 19, 2022 7:15 pm

From many years ago I remember the theme from Superman blaring through my headphones as the chopper I was in burst through clouds while tearing at breath taking low altitude over the great lip of the Haleakala Volcano in Maui. I thought then it was a GREAT movie theme for that moment.

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