IMPUTAZIONE DI OMICIDIO PER UNO STUDENTE (CHRONICLE OF A HOMICIDE) Protest Morricone #60
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 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.
THE longest association Ennio Morricone has had with any director was with Mauro Bolognini. 13 features, 2 single segments from omnibus features and a section of the documentary IMAGO URBIS, totaling 16 collaborations. This film took place in the middle of them AND in the middle of world wide protests involving war, commercialism, civil rights, women's rights, gay issues, environmental issues and the questioning of accepted norms on every level. Mauro picked American actor Martin Balsam (PSYCHO, A THOUSAND CLOWNS, TAKING OF PELHAM 1-2-3) to portray a judge who tries a student protester for the killing of both a police officer and fellow protester. But it is the judge’s son, pop singer and actor Massimo Ranieri, who is the culprit which is the catalyst of the drama.
For the main theme of this film Morricone gave Ranieri a compelling song “Un Po’ Per Giorno” to sing to underline the tragic events. Bolognini and everyone else were impressed with this main theme and it was pretty much used throughout, either as an instrumental or in song form or even a hummed version. Usually songs have that tacked-on quality in films. This movie may not be a tenth as successful but Morricone’s song is as important to the story as HIGH NOON, THE WAY WE WERE or CASABLANCA’S “As Time Goes By” is to theirs. Powerful is the word:
A not as edgy instrumental is all that is available on Youtube:
And as most of Ennio Morricone’s monothematic scores tend to be, they really are not. Ennio is incapable of bending a theme to do things too far afield of their original purpose. So here he wrote a protest song “Scappa Fratello Scappa”, a brooding confession scene “Dialogo Col Padre”, a strident build-up to a riot “Imputazione di Omicidio Per Uno Studente” and a couple more individual cues.
BTW The screenplay was co-written by Ugo Pirro who may have written more of Morricone’s films than anybody else. Among them were INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION, METELLO and NAVAJO JOE as well as other notable films like GARDEN OF THE FINZI CONTINIS and BATTLE OF NERETVA. So here is CHRONICLE OF A HOMICIDE one of Bolognini’s most forgotten films…except by Morricone fans.
We love the work of the maestro for many reasons. One of these, is his amazing ability as arranger and orchestrator. This specific side of his is portrayed perfectly in the songs that appear in many of his scores. You Henry, have chosen to approach many of your posts in this fantastic series, by presenting the song that is featured in the score. We remember your posts from Sostiene Pereira, Uccellacci et Uccelini, Revolver, Anche Se Volessi Lavorare, Che Faccio?, Gli Intoccabili etc. and now, Imputazione Di Omicidio Per Uno Studente. EM's arrangement/orchestration in each of these is simply wonderful and a perfect fit for each of the songs. The orchestral power of Gli Intoccabili , the floating orchestration in Anche Se Volessi etc. Here again, a beautiful arrangement/orchestration, with those trademark strings and that wonderful Morricone sound! And thanks for explaining the background of the film. Great series. Thanks for keeping this going!
Have found a version of the vocal track and have posted it below.
I LOVE this idea, Henry, both for reasons of opening minds & ears to a great artist, and for what is no doubt a treasure trove of scores I've yet to hear and will enjoy discovering.
Thanks Craig, when I started this series in 2010 (!!!) I was surprised at the remark about Morricone doing few notable scores that started this series. Since then I have found that most film music fans connect with a handful of scores in their childhood and do not venture very far from those. I have found a ton of John Williams fans who do not know most of William's work.
The great thing about Morricone I have learned is that the entire WORLD grew up with him and only the United States and a few other places is he relatively unknown. Those who were kids when those westerns came out literally span the globe. But even they, like Williams, Goldsmith, Bernstein fans only know the popular range of music they have heard from A to D. The purpose of these threads is to reveal that in order to score the whole range of films he has done Ennio needed to master the further reaches from E to Z. AND he brought all the mastery and innovation of orchestration to every one of these.
By presenting the full scope of EM's work, you really are opening the door for many who are familiar only with some of his Westerns and a few of his other famous scores. Am not aware of any other musician with anything close to this awe-inspiring musical range. Also think that the Maestro does this first and foremost to keep himself interested, but this is of course lucky for those of us who want to hear new kinds of music that we have not yet been exposed to. EM has been doing this for a long time, right up till now in fact with the Hateful 8 being again something completely original. It is a wonderful journey and hope many music lovers will join us on this trip. Welcome aboard Craig and thank you Henry for doing this!