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 Posted:   Jul 11, 2013 - 3:44 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

BANDITS IN ROME
(ROMA COME CHICAGO)
Gangster Morricone
#52



This series is inspired by a controversial 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, which 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 or the new sheetmusic man.

I have returned to this series to present one of my last holy grails. I have maybe one left from every major silver age composer and this one belongs high up (with Goldsmith’s LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER) on that list. Starting from the very beginning crime and gangster films became one of Morricone’s many fortes. Films with titles like SVEGLIATI E UCCIDI, COMANDAMENTI PER UN GANGSTER, MACHINE GUN MCCAIN, THE FAMILY (CITTA VIOLENTA), LA VIOLENZA: QUINTO POTERE, IL PREFETTO DI FERRO, CORLEONE and many others kept his association with crime films alive and well. In fact one of his earliest primo scores was a mafia one released on an American label ( a rarity in those days), THE SICILIAN CLAN came out on Twentieth Century Fox Records. The gangster scores he became most famous for were THE UNTOUCHABLES, for which he received an Oscar nomination, and ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA which he probably would have been nominated for if the film company had remembered to submit it to the Academy. He is credited with most of the music for LA PIOVRA (THE OCTOPUS) a popular series of 10 Itlaian mini-series (!!!) that ran from 1984 to 2001, based around a police inspector (Michele Placido ) who dedicates his life to fighting the Mafia. BANDITS IN ROME is one of his earliest crime films. It is his 3rd film of 7 with director Alberto De Martino and to be honest that director is his most undistinguished regular collaborator. Still there is strength in only two things that were praised from this film. They were actor John Cassavetes and Ennio’s score.

This score can be used as a template in the art of Italian B-film composing. As many know sync sound did not exist through most of the Italian cinema’s existence. All dialogue was dubbed afterward. This may be why Italian films were considered visually superior but the sound and dialogue would have a certain awkwardness. In the same manner most scoring was NOT done to picture. The composer would give music to the filmmaker and he would lay it in anyway he deemed appropriate, sometimes unwisely. You might think this would have given the music a generic quality and much of the time you would be right. But the best composers learned to create a flow that could be cut into or easily faded into or away from. And a workaholic like Morricone would provide a vast amount of material for directors to play with, while at the same time a speficity that worked amazingly well. He would include stingers and shifts in mood that when placed properly could almost feel like it was done to picture. Here is arbitrarily the only scene from the film on youtube and I am surprised how effective the 3 cues used are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvPQaDpwXfE&feature=player_embedded#at=41

It got him a reputation for writing wonderful and even deep scores that Indeed could be cut and paste at will. With master conductor Bruno Nicolai they cranked out as many as 22 scores in one year for quite a while. This is the one primo example that is unrepresented on CD and that really should be remedied. There are many unusual pieces in BANDITS OF ROME and one item is when his music is raised into a wild frenzy (easily warranted by the violence that ensues) that only Ennio can seem to pull off.



Like many of his gangster scores this one has an aggressive driving force and this one has an unusual structure with an offbeat carhorn punctuation. Yet he varies it, giving a number of different tempos for the filmmaker to work with. Over the years I have even been enamored with the way Morricone does his source cues. Here there are three. There is a rock piece for dancing. As Ennio has said, the strength of rock isn’t so much in the writing as the performance. I can’t argue with that, so he got someone golden to perform on electric guitar and takes advantage of this by writing a piece that is practically abstract. You don’t notice because everything is played well with familiar current sounds. The second is a syncopated big band number with a tinge of Sicilian folk to it. And the third is a slower rock piece, the kind that pretty much made Morricone the king of lounge for a very long period. Again 3 short source cues that could have been throwaway but he uses them to be creative.
I hope Digitmovies , GDM or somebody is working on this. It may be a rights issue but this one is worth jumping through many a hoop to get to.





#1 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74811&forumID=1&archive=0
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 Posted:   Jul 11, 2013 - 4:20 PM   
 By:   YOR The Hunter From The Future   (Member)

What?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 11, 2013 - 11:21 PM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

What?

Polite company says "pardon".

Great to see the return of this classic series, Morrers. This is a score with which I'm yet to become familiar and thanks for the introduction.

TG

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 12, 2013 - 12:43 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Yeahhh! At last mate, the series continues! And not before time.

Nice one H.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 12, 2013 - 7:42 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Yeahhh! At last mate, the series continues! And not before time.

Nice one H.


I'm not sure if I am continuing it but since I was going to bring this last grail up I thought this series was the ideal format. It kind of disturbed me, now that the market is receding, that this has been totally unrepresented except through bootlegs. I assume it is some sort of rights issue but it is the caliber of score I would hate to see never get a legit release. Damn good!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 12, 2013 - 3:00 PM   
 By:   jwoverho   (Member)

This is one of my Holy Grail titles from EM. The bootleg releases only hint at what a better quality presentation could do for this score. The cues are very atmospheric and some of them really crank up the intensity to a fever pitch.

I too would love to see this score have an official release.

Morricone and Nicolai were a formidable team in their prime.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 13, 2013 - 8:44 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

This is one of my Holy Grail titles from EM. The bootleg releases only hint at what a better quality presentation could do for this score. The cues are very atmospheric and some of them really crank up the intensity to a fever pitch.

I too would love to see this score have an official release.

Morricone and Nicolai were a formidable team in their prime.


Yeah and that is always the revelation, all those LONELY ARE THE BRAVE boots and then the Varese legit CD came out and it was like I was hearing it for the first time.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 13, 2013 - 9:32 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Glad to see this series back, Morricone. Haven't heard this score before you posted this. Love the fact that you continue to educate us about this prolific composer.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 13, 2013 - 10:08 AM   
 By:   PatrickB   (Member)

Glad to see this series back, Morricone. Haven't heard this score before you posted this. Love the fact that you continue to educate us about this prolific composer.

Hello,
Many thanks to this review, Henry, it is always a pleasure to read.
It is one of my favorite unreleased score. Its jazz-flavored, Sixties' atmosphere, tension music and so on work very well. One of his more powerful gangster movie music so far.
But the bootlegs have some differences in the number of tracks.

Some of you wish more stuff, comments and in-depth analysis on Morricone's music and films ?

You can complete your information and thoughts with our new fanzine Maestro dedicated to his works, in English and for free.
You have to register here : http://www.chimai.com/index.cfm?screen=register

And then, after receiving a confirmation email, you can downoad it here :
http://www.chimai.com/index.cfm?screen=fanzine&id=2

The number 2 has been just issued. Good reading this Summer.

Patrick

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 13, 2013 - 2:27 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Glad to see this series back, Morricone. Haven't heard this score before you posted this. Love the fact that you continue to educate us about this prolific composer.

Hello,
Many thanks to this review, Henry, it is always a pleasure to read.
It is one of my favorite unreleased score. Its jazz-flavored, Sixties' atmosphere, tension music and so on work very well. One of his more powerful gangster movie music so far.
But the bootlegs have some differences in the number of tracks.

Some of you wish more stuff, comments and in-depth analysis on Morricone's music and films ?

You can complete your information and thoughts with our new fanzine Maestro dedicated to his works, in English and for free.
You have to register here : http://www.chimai.com/index.cfm?screen=register

And then, after receiving a confirmation email, you can downoad it here :
http://www.chimai.com/index.cfm?screen=fanzine&id=2


The number 2 has been just issued. Good reading this Summer.

Patrick



Thanks Patrick for picking up the slack after our beloved MSV went under. I still miss it.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 14, 2013 - 7:34 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Glad to see this series back, Morricone. Haven't heard this score before you posted this. Love the fact that you continue to educate us about this prolific composer.

I deeply appreciate anyone who is open enough to take one step out of traditional American scores.
Thank you for all the support over the years Joan!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 14, 2013 - 5:27 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Sadly the last piece of news that came out about this possible release came in 2003 on the Chimai website:

Due to objections from De Laurentiis production company, ROME COME CHICAGO, HORNETS NEST and other up and coming projects from Hexacord, GDM, Hillside have been cancelled. GDM bosses are said to be furious, as labels such as Legend and Mask in Italy have issued bootlegs of De Laurentiis scores without any complaints from the company.

(Source: John Mansell at the moviemusicitalania Yahoo group)

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2013 - 1:18 AM   
 By:   slint   (Member)

I am not sure how much this is up to date. Legend are now releasing CDs as
GDM/Legend and as far as I know the latest Mask releases are legitimate. Also,
I do no think that any "label" has released Roma Come Chicago, so I am not
sure what people are referring to.

If you look at the de Laurentiis productions (most titles are translated to
their English titles so it is a bit confusing),

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0209569/

it is sad but true that most soundtracks are unreleased. You can find titles released by Legend here and
there. Since many of those Legend titles have a poor sound ("Fraulein Doktor",
"La violenza: Quinto potere" or "Una breve stagione", I wonder if one of the
problem with de Laurentiis productions is that mastertapes are simply
not available (or perhaps Legend just took tape copies because they could
not get the mastertapes?)

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2013 - 4:11 AM   
 By:   Stefan Schlegel   (Member)

Sadly the last piece of news that came out about this possible release came in 2003 on the Chimai website:
Due to objections from De Laurentiis production company, ROME COME CHICAGO, HORNETS NEST and other up and coming projects from Hexacord, GDM, Hillside have been cancelled. GDM bosses are said to be furious, as labels such as Legend and Mask in Italy have issued bootlegs of De Laurentiis scores without any complaints from the company.


I don't think that the entire series of CDs which Maurizio Buttazzoni released in 2010/2011 on his Legend label - all those CDs with the suffix "DLX", among them Cicognini´s ULISSE, Lavagnino`s LA RISAIA/LA DONNA DEL FIUME, Piccioni´s GUENDALINA/NATA DI MARZO/LA PARMIGIANA, Morricone`s FRAULEIN DOKTOR and MATCHLESS, Mayuzumi´s THE BIBLE etc. - were bootlegs, but they were all licensed from Radiofilmusica and almost all of them mastered by Giovanni Cimmino who managed the music library at Laurentiis. Maurizio also told me about some of his plans to release further material from the Radiofilmusica archive which they still had there, but then he suddenly died and everything has come to a standstill since. It seems that almost nobody besides him has any good connections with Radiofilmusica and this is the reason why no scores from there have been released since.
You also have to consider that not everything had survived at Radiofilmusica. There was a huge fire in the De Laurentiis studios some years ago where also many tapes had been destroyed. So it is rather a hit and miss affair which you could also see quite well on the Lavagnino and Piccioni CDs mentioned above: Only some tracks of these scores from the 50s had survived at Radiofilmusica, but others not.
But as to ROMA COME CHICAGO, probably it would have come out on Maurizio´s label, but he isn't here anymore. And he has not been replaced.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2013 - 5:20 AM   
 By:   slint   (Member)

Your statement is in agreement with what I was thinking, that not all mastertapes are available.

The positive side is that there are still thousands of other soundtracks to release,
so I can live without De Laurentiis productions for a little while. Now it seems that CAM
is the source for almost all releases, perhaps except some recent GDM (but they also release
a lot of CAM). On that subject, anyone knows the status of the 20 or so most famous
CAM releases (recently re-released with the same content) that they seem to "protect".

for instance:
Morricone - Il clan dei siciliani
Cipriani - Anonimo Veneziano
Most of Nino Rota soundtracks

Any expanded editions of those soundtracks would likely sell out in a few weeks, yet they
never happen. Anyone knows if CAM has given some restrictions to the labels regarding those
movies? Also I am a bit surprised they did not start to expand the Piccioni CAM CDs yet but I
guess that it will come...

 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2013 - 5:28 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

'Roma Come Chicago' continues to be one of my grails.

Reading this thread, chances of an official release don't look good but my fingers are firmly crossed!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2013 - 8:11 AM   
 By:   PatrickB   (Member)

A music for a Dino de Laurentiis’ production which has been destroyed, as I heard, is Danger : Diabolik. That’s why only a semi-bootleg appeared.
For Banditi a Roma/Roma come Chicago (Bandits in Rome), at least, nothing is lost : from the bootleg one could make, with sound restoration, a good CD one day.

We are happy enough to have a Fraulein Doktor's CD, unexpected since longtime, maybe the mock-up of a project of LP, better than nothing.
I hope that the master of Orca is still available, I’m a bit afraid…

For CAM, yes, GDM seems to issue some titles of their catalog, but among the titles cites, there is not only in case the wishes of CAM or GDM, but also the composer’s.
In the case of Le clan des Siciliens I heard from a sure source that Morricone himself is opposed to an expanded CD project !
Why ? Because according to him, the LP is simply enough…

Patrick

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2013 - 8:12 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

A music for a Dino de Laurentiis’ production which has been destroyed, as I heard, is Danger : Diabolik. That’s why only a semi-bootleg appeared.
For Banditi a Roma/Roma come Chicago (Bandits in Rome), at least, nothing is lost : from the bootleg one could make, with sound restoration, a good CD one day.

We are happy enough to have a Fraulein Doktor's CD, unexpected since longtime, maybe the mock-up of a project of LP, better than nothing.
I hope that the master of Orca is still available, I’m a bit afraid…

For CAM, yes, GDM seems to issue some titles of their catalog, but among the titles cites, there is not only in case the wishes of CAM or GDM, but also the composer’s.
In the case of Le clan des Siciliens I heard from a sure source that Morricone himself is opposed to an expanded CD project !
Why ? Because according to him, the LP is simply enough…

Patrick


True. But I have a feeling Ennio has mellowed. His most adamant position about his scores was on DUELLO NEL TEXAS. Because it was his first western and he hadn't arrived (with Leone's help) at his spaghetti western sound he felt a couple cues were enough for that one. But last year he changed his mind and OKed the full release. I think hearing how a composer evolves is instructive and maybe Morricone understands that now.

 
 Posted:   Jul 16, 2013 - 8:54 AM   
 By:   orbital   (Member)

A music for a Dino de Laurentiis’ production which has been destroyed, as I heard, is Danger : Diabolik. That’s why only a semi-bootleg appeared. (...)

I hope that the master of Orca is still available, I’m a bit afraid… (...)

Patrick


I keep my fingers crossed (firmly!) for those two ... DIABOLIK seems to be wishful thinking only but I hope an expanded & better sounding ORCA will happen (GDM/Legend?).

[Wishlist-wise there's also TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA. Hopefully there's a chance when the Blu-ray arrives in the US (it's out "anywhere else").]

And on-topic: Thanks, Morricone, for reviving your great series - much appreciated! cool

 
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