Ennio Morricone death: Sergio Leone kept composer from scoring Stanley Kubrick film in biggest career ‘regret’

‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ director was dishonest about Morricone’s availability

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 06 July 2020 09:26
Ennio Morricone 'regrets' not scoring A Clockwork Orange

The greatest regret of Italian composer Ennio Morricone’s career was due to an apparent lie told by his regular collaborator, Sergio Leone.

Morricone has died at the age of 91. His career saw him write scores for more than 400 films and TV shows from the 1960s right up until his death.

He scored every one of Leone’s films from A Fistful of Dollars (1964) onwards, and was sought out by several prolific filmmakers, including John Carpenter (The Thing), Brian De Palma (The Untouchables, Casualties of War, Mission to Mars), and Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight).

However, the director Morricone regretted not working with the most was Stanley Kubrick, who asked him to compose the score for A Clockwork Orange in 1971.

Due to the fact that Morricone had just completed work on Leone’s A Fistful of Dynamite, Kubrick called the director to ensure he wasn’t stepping on his toes.

But, despite Morricone being freed up to work on another project, Leone allegedly lied to keep him from doing so.

A Clockwork Orange – I really regret not making the music for that,” Morricone told Channel 4 in 2015.

"Stanley Kubrick asked me to compose the music, and I accepted. The problem was that Kubrick’s decency made him phone Sergio Leone, who was mixing the film I’d just composed the music for, and I’d finished working on.

“But Sergio Leone told him I was still busy with him, so Kubrick didn’t ask me again. I wasn’t able to do A Clockwork Orange, a great regret. Kubrick never called me back."

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Reflecting on his career in general, Morricone said it “annoyed” him that people “only remember [him] for” the spaghetti western genre.

“Sometimes I’m quite disappointed, because I’ve written for so many other types of films,” he said.

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