The Italian Almanac

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Ennio Morricone

Italian News - December 15

Italian movie composer Ennio Morricone, famed for his work on such "spaghetti westerns" as "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and "A Fistful of Dollars," will receive an honorary Oscar during the Academy Awards ceremony next February. Morricone, 78, has composed more than 300 motion picture scores during his 45-year career, but had never won an Oscar. He was nominated five times, for "Days of Heaven" (1978), "The Mission" (1986), "The Untouchables" (1987), "Bugsy" (1991) and "Malena" (2000).

The honorary Oscar, determined by the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, went this year to director Robert Altman, who died last month. "The board was responding not just to the remarkable number of scores that Mr. Morricone has produced," said Academy president Sid Ganis, "but to the fact that so many of them are beloved and popular masterpieces."

Morricone's other credits include the scores for "Once upon a Time in America," "Cinema Paradiso," "Bulworth," "In the Line of Fire," "La Cage aux Folles" and the 2008 release "Leningrad."