The Big Picture: The Music Man with No Name

You may not have heard of Ennio Morricone, but his tunes are in your head

Robin Little / Redferns

Barbican on Oct. 3, 2001.

Three tough guys stare daggers at one another in the prelude to a triangular gunfight. A pioneer woman carries water to men laying tracks for a railroad. A Jesuit priest contemplates a South American waterfall. G-men pursue gangsters across a bridge. A boy peeks through a projection-booth window to see a movie or through a keyhole to watch a beautiful woman slowly undress before her mirror.

Each of these images--from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Mission, The Untouchables, Cinema Paradiso and Malèna--has its own meaning and feeling. But if, during these movies,...

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