Monday, March 12, 2018

Musical Monday - A Fistful of Dollars by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra

A Fistful of Dollars was the first Spaghetti Western to have real success in the United States, and is the first of the "Man with No Name" trilogy. I am not sure, but it may have been the first Spaghetti Western to receive a wide release in the United States. To cater to the American audience, many of the Italian members of the production company took "American sounding" stage names - for example, Sergio Leone was credited as Bob Robertson, and Ennio Morricone was credited as Dan Savio.

Even with the name changes to "fit in", these movies were a distinctly alien presence in the American cinema landscape of their era, and part of that traces to the music. More specifically, how the music was used during the production of the films. Apparently, Morricone often composed music for the score before filming began, and Leone would tailor the scenes in the film to match Morricone's work, often lengthening sequences so as to accommodate the music. I think that this pattern - having the music dictate the pace of the film rather than the pace of the film dictating the music - is a large part of why this set of movies have such an otherworldly feel to them.

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