ROME – Italy on Monday cheered Ennio Morricone’s Oscar victory for composing the original score for Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight,” which marks the first competitive Oscar won by the 87-year old maestro with more than 500 movie credits to this name.
“After an almost 60-year-long career, and five nominations which had left him empty-handed, Ennio Morricone finally brings an Oscar for best score home,” trumpeted daily La Republica on its website.
“Superb Maestro, finally!” tweeted Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi at dawn, Italian time. Also on Twitter Italo Culture Czar Dario Franceschini enthused that “an all-time movie giant has triumphed.”
Morricone, who received an honorary Oscar in 2007, had been nominated five previous times, for “Days of Heaven,” “The Mission,” “The Untouchables,” “Bugsy” and “Malena.”
Earlier this year he won a Golden Globe and a Bafta nod for the “Hateful Eight” score. He had previously won Golden Globes for “The Mission,” in 1987, and Giuseppe Tornatore’s “The Legend of 1900” in 2000.
But international accolades for Morricone came after what is now considered his most groundbreaking work, on scores for Sergio Leone’s so-called “Dollars Trilogy” – “A Fistful of Dollars,” “For a Few Dollars More,” and “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” And also on Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in the West.” They revolutionized the way Westerns, and movies at large, are scored.
The soundtrack for “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2009.
Morricone’s “Hateful Eight” work marks his first original score for a Tarantino pic, and his first for a western in decades.
Their collaboration on “Hateful Eight,” first announced by Variety in June 2015, took place rapidly with Morricone working from Tarantino’s screenplay, rather than scoring specific scenes, similarly to his technique on “Once Upon a Time in the West.”