Ennio Morricone: A Fistful of Dollars Titles


The 1964 Spaghetti Western, A Fistful of Dollars saw a young Clint Eastwood star in his first leading role. Ennio Morricone was chosen to compose the music for the film based on his other similar works for Spaghetti Western films. The Main Titles use a number of tricks in this genre to portray the overall atmosphere of the piece.


The Music

From whistling to using more unconventional instruments, the Main Titles to A Fistful of Dollars is one of Morricone’s most famous tunes. The opening whistling theme is accompanied by an acoustic guitar, with Morricone adding a slapstick and flute as the theme is developed. The sparseness of the opening makes the bold section later on even more effective. As the voices enter a fuller instrumentation is heard. The guitar solo is electrified and the gravitas of the music heard. The music has a classic Western style to it, which is supported by a chugging accompaniment and extensive percussion section. After one last ‘We can fight’, the titles end quietly. 


Ⓒ Alex Burns

Happy Reading!

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