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 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 1:16 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

THE BIG GUNDOWN
La Resa Dei Conti
Morricone's Indian Western
#40



This series is inspired by a controversy thread where someone posited the idea that besides THE MISSION and some Sergio Leone westerns Ennio Morricone hasn't written anything great. Rather than making my usual comment that most of Morricone's great scores are from Italy and trying to get Americans to listen to them is like getting them to see movies with subtitles, I decided to take another tact. Since I am at an age where I will only be able to make my case a finite number of times I decided to turn this into a series presenting each great score one at a time, sort of like recordman.

Outside of the Sergio Leone's westerns this is probably the most well known western film and score Morricone has done. It is one of the very few that received an American LP release, on the UA label. It is also the first of a series of westerns that have a native American spin to it. It allows Morricone to go to extremes in both vocals and instrumentals. Not to everyone's taste, scores like this one and NAVAJO JOE push the envelope in their barbarity. Here is the main titles sung by Maria Cristina Brancucci, also known as Christy, where she practically screams the words. But after all these years I've found it incredibly memorable, particularly the quiet area in the middle:





I consider this second only to "Ecstasy of Gold" from THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY as the ultimate in over-the-top Morricone western bravura. There are a number of great instumental versions of this on the album as well as an outrageously joyous square dance version. But there is also a number of Mexican pieces relating to the character Chuchillo played by Tomas Milian (who would play a number of similar roles based on the success of this). Nice guitar siestas. There is also a Mormon choral piece delivered, as usual, by "Cantori moderni" di Alessandroni. All of this conducted by the inimitable Bruno Nicolai.
This was the first of many films Morricone would do with director Sergio Sollima including REVOLVER (#3). Ostensibly the title to this film came from a track on FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, La Resa Dei Conti. Definitely the title to the sequel, RUN MAN RUN, came from the title song here. This is also well regarded as Lee Van Cleef's finest Spaghetti western performance, and he did many including SABATA. Cleef did this following his role in A FEW DOLLARS MORE but the film didn't hit America until after THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY was released which is why the tagline was Mr Ugly Comes To Town!

This was also the first time Morricone quoted Ludwig Van Beethoven's "Für Elise" for the cut "Dopo La Condanna". He would do it again but this is the most famous one and the version Quentin Tarantino used in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.

#1 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74811&forumID=1&archive=0
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 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 1:38 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Cleef did this following his role in A FEW DOLLARS MORE but the film didn't hit America until after THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY was released which is why the tagline was Mr Ugly Comes To Town!



 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 1:49 PM   
 By:   Loren   (Member)

One of my favourite Western Morricone for sure. I love Run Man Run in primis but all the other titles are unforgettable. "La Corrida" for instance is a convulsed, and funny as well, track with a bizarre orchestration. In brief: Morricone at the top of inspiration.

 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 2:16 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

Ah at last. I agree with every word of praise you posted, Henry. In my cranial jukebox of themes that are with me all the time, themes that come and go as I'm muddling through life, the theme from The Big Gundown is in the top 10. I find it to be one of Il Maestro's most infinitely addictive compositions. I was able only recently to finally see the film when it became available in widescreen format. I'm still twitching from the experience.

 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 2:41 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

. I was able only recently to finally see the film when it became available in widescreen format. I'm still twitching from the experience.
smile

 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 6:32 PM   
 By:   Holly Mitchell   (Member)

As I love La Resa Dei Conti, I was stoked to read this post and listen to some of the clips during my lunch break today.

Thank you, Henry! Keep the numbers rolling!!

 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 7:07 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)


By: David Sones (Allardyce) (Member)

LEE VAN CLEEF'S "THE BIG GUNDOWN" - THE RESTORATION OF A SPAGHETTI ...
http://www.cinemaretro.com/index.php?/archives/2854-LEE-VAN-CLEEFS-THE-BIG-GUNDOWN-THE-RESTORATION-OF-A-SPAGHETTI-WESTERN-CULT-CLASSIC-IN-CINEMA-RETRO-13.html

(spagh western enthusiasts should check this out)

 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 11:21 PM   
 By:   wayoutwest   (Member)

Love this score one of my favorites the Verita Note disc is the one to get as they changed the running order away from the original lp on the earlier GDM disc and it lost its impact.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 11:27 PM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I think I've had four progressively more comprehensive versions of this score, and with every one more fantastic music has emerged. How many different themes are there just in this one score? Not to mention a song where Christy is pushed to the point where she's skirting with vocal disaster - but without the risk of the ragged edge, Run Man Run would just be another western song.

And she manages this both in English and Italian...



 
 Posted:   Mar 4, 2011 - 11:52 PM   
 By:   Chris Rimmer   (Member)

Love this score, it's one of my favourite Morricone Western soundtracks. I 've bought every release of this score and the Verita Note is definitely the one to get, not only does it have the stereo tracks (that the GDM one doesn't) but the mono tracks have been remastered to a very high degree.

There is such a wealth of music here, I remember asking the staff in my local record shop to play side one of the LP for me (I couldn't wait till I got home to listen to it) the expressions of utter horror on their faces when Titoli di Testa (La caccia) blasted out of the shop speakers was a joy to behold.

La Resa is one of Morricone's best "Showdown" themes, the song is tremendous, La resa dei conti (Seconda Caccia) is one of the most exciting tracks I've ever heard, the guitar tracks are exquisite.

This is Ennio Morricone at his best, I bought the album in 1969 ( I think) and it's still being listened to frequently, in fact I'm off to listen to it now!!!!!!!

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2011 - 1:14 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

I'm with Chris and many others with this one ... I think it is my favourite - overall - western score from the Maestro. Other scores have individual tracks which I like more but as a complete (GDM CD release) score this one wins for me.

I initially had four tracks on the UK vinyl album Western Themes - Italian Style and subsequently purchased the score on an album doubled with Tepepa.

I was amazed when my mother said, when hearing the Christy UK vocal, that she liked it. Yes, some of it tends towards a scream but it stays just on the right side and the quieter passages are tingle-inducing.

The powerful main theme - in its variations - are superb and I especially like the drums and odd percussion prior to the theme kicking in.

When I found the internet and started buying on-line, this was one of the first EM scores I purchased. I have yet to be tempted by the Verita Note release but maybe one day ...

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2011 - 2:52 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Good choice again, Henry.

Like the others talk about on here - I too had first the Westerns Italian style LP, then mono soundtrack LP, coz that's all I could afford then as it was £1.50, cheaper than the stereo, which was about £3.00 then. After than I got the stereo LP when I saved up my pennies. I particularly liked turning up the treble and listening to the twangy guitar as loud and tinny and raucous and raw as possible - when Mum and dad were out!

I've seen so many confusing references to this over the years but what always got me was the confusion around how Lee Van Cleef's character could go from the Bad in the original book/story of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, to the Ugly in the film (english print at least). Originally, The Ugly was supposed to be the Ugly bandit Tuco. And they were in that order on the poster, weren't they?
Then there is the translation confusion in that Brutto is supposed to be Brutish or Beastial. Another Italian told me it translates to The Good, the Ugly and the Uglier.
And also the title was switched from "Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo" to "Il Buono, Il Cattivo, Il Brutto - the Good, the Ugly and the Bad. And was changed for the American market to The Good the Bad and The Ugly because it sounded better - or because Van Cleef was uglier than Eli Wallach???!!

check out the story on imdb:
Blondie (The Good) is a professional gunslinger who is out trying to earn a few dollars. Angel Eyes (The Bad) is a hit man who always commits to a task and sees it through, as long as he is paid to do so. And Tuco (The Ugly) is a wanted outlaw trying to take care of his own hide.

Not wanting to talk about GBU but it always fascinated me how something could get so messy and then impact on later films, like the publicity for The Big Gundown.




 
 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2011 - 7:24 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Like others in this topic, I can heap praise on this score. Love it. About two years ago, I sat down to watch this movie on TV. I'd never seen it before and wanted to see how the music fit. My husband walked away from this movie in less than 30 minutes. He said, "The music is overbearing and too loud." Well, that's the way I like my music. You do notice it in the movie.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2011 - 8:03 AM   
 By:   paulpertwee   (Member)

I'm glad, Henry, you finally came to a Morricone score that I not only know, but absolutely adore. Keep up the good work!

Have to back up all so far said about this score. It is indeed one of my very favourites of all time. And we all seem to have gone through similar experiences. I first heard the instrumental version of the theme (when the Cuchillo hunt starts)on a western theme compilation in the early seventies, then the Western Themes Italian Style (where I first heard Ecstasy of Gold and Navajo Joe). I then got a vinyl United Artists version which had the hole slightly out of dead centre!

So, is this Verita Note version still around? I've tried to get the other dcs mentioned here, but the only ones I can find are hellishly expensive.

 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2011 - 8:48 AM   
 By:   Chris Rimmer   (Member)

I'm glad, Henry, you finally came to a Morricone score that I not only know, but absolutely adore. Keep up the good work!

Have to back up all so far said about this score. It is indeed one of my very favourites of all time. And we all seem to have gone through similar experiences. I first heard the instrumental version of the theme (when the Cuchillo hunt starts)on a western theme compilation in the early seventies, then the Western Themes Italian Style (where I first heard Ecstasy of Gold and Navajo Joe). I then got a vinyl United Artists version which had the hole slightly out of dead centre!

So, is this Verita Note version still around? I've tried to get the other dcs mentioned here, but the only ones I can find are hellishly expensive.


Intermezzo Media had it a few weeks ago, it is expensive, but it's the best version available.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2011 - 9:28 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

I'm glad, Henry, you finally came to a Morricone score that I not only know, but absolutely adore. Keep up the good work!

Have to back up all so far said about this score. It is indeed one of my very favourites of all time. And we all seem to have gone through similar experiences. I first heard the instrumental version of the theme (when the Cuchillo hunt starts)on a western theme compilation in the early seventies, then the Western Themes Italian Style (where I first heard Ecstasy of Gold and Navajo Joe). I then got a vinyl United Artists version which had the hole slightly out of dead centre!

So, is this Verita Note version still around? I've tried to get the other dcs mentioned here, but the only ones I can find are hellishly expensive.


Verita Note is Japanese hence expensive:

http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/10581/LA-RESA-DEI-CONTI-THE-BIG-GUNDOWN/

 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2011 - 10:09 AM   
 By:   wayoutwest   (Member)

$28.80 at Arksquare in Japan
http://www.arksquare.net/index_main.html
Shipping is cheap for a single cd
Click on Feature Articles then you will see Verita Note banner

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2011 - 1:23 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

So, is this Verita Note version still around? I've tried to get the other dcs mentioned here, but the only ones I can find are hellishly expensive.

Verita Note is Japanese hence expensive:

http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/10581/LA-RESA-DEI-CONTI-THE-BIG-GUNDOWN/

I got mine through SAE and it's worth the purchase. Been through the Mask, Viva Music and the GDM CD issues.

When I was a teenager I found The Big Gundown on an 8-Track tape in a supermarket cut-out bin. Picked that sucker up for $2 bucks and about wore it out.

Greg Espinoza

 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2011 - 1:42 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)


Posted: Oct 22, 2008 - 12:04 PM
By: Mr. Marshall (Member)

if you have the GDM and Mask release you do not need the Verita. Here is my preferred version of this incredible soundtrack:

tracks 1-24 taken from GDM release (mono)
tracks 25-38 taken from Mask release (stereo) as compiled on a single cd-r.

number in parenthesis refers to the track number on the combined cd for progamming:
(e.g. (25) is the first track from the Mask cd; (7) is the 7th cue from GDM))

THE BIG GUNDOWN
(25) 1. Run Man Run (main title) 2;40
(29) 2. Corbett's Challenge 1:44
(34) 3. Cuchillo's Close Shave 0:50
(36) 4. Mormon Choir (source) 1:42
(7) 5. Cuchillio & Sarah 1:48
(26) 6. The Widow's Ranch 1:12
(28) 7. The Bullfight 1:52
(13) 8. Oasis in the Desert 2:30
(35) 9. Cuchillo's Story 1:24
(15) 10. The "Snake" Bite 4:25
(17) 11. Cantina (source) 0;41
(16) 12. Rosita 2:22
(27) 13. The Cane Field 2:49
(33) 14. Manhunt 2:20
(20) 15. Evading the Posse 0:54
(32) 16. Settling the Score 2:48
(31) 17. Corbett versus The Baron 1:13
(24) 18."De Nada, Amigo"(end title) 2:46

BONUS TRACKS
(38) 19. Corri Uomo Corri (Main title, Italian vocal) 2;49
(6) 20. Run Man Run (alternate) 2:01


I think this makes for a more satisfying listening experience. I have retitled some cues to reflect the film action more accurately and sequenced it in film order for the most part.


 
 
 Posted:   Mar 5, 2011 - 1:47 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

Whoops. Double post.

 
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