This being Academy Awards night, my co-worker took off to attend an Oscar-viewing party that his daughter throws every year. Being a curmudgeon, I am totally uninterested in the proceedings- indeed, the only movie I've seen in a theater this past year has been True Grit. I have no idea which movie theme songs are in the running for an Oscar, but one of my all-time favorite pieces in any film is Ennio Morricone's "From Man to Man" from Death Rides a Horse. The monotonous rhythm is punctuated by jagged-edged flute trills and a choral group, building up a suspense-enhancing intensity:
It's not a good song to drive to, as it tends to leaden up the foot. A snippet of the piece was also featured on the Kill Bill soundtrack as a musical prelude to the "House of Blue Leaves" fight sequence. For completeness' sake, here it is in its original setting.
Lee Van Cleef ranks high in the pantheon of cinema badasses, whether playing a sadistic villain such as The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly's Angel Eyes, or the justice-seeking Colonel Mortimer in For a Few Dollars More (the linked video features the beautiful-yet-creepy Musical Pocketwatch theme, a piece which sounds gloriously incongruous with the sun-washed, bright setting of the scene in which it features).
A couple of years ago, I saw TGTB&TU (the good, the bad, and the truculent & unreliable?) on the big screen, and I noticed that Monsieur Van Cleef was missing the tip of one of his middle fingers. Damn, that's badass... did it happen in a brawl, or a horse riding mishap? Alas, nay!