Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Movie Music and More #34: "The Untouchables" (1987)

I (Hamlette) am back again to share another wonderful movie soundtrack with you.  Today, I'm featuring Ennio Morricone's delicious music for The Untouchables (1987).  Both movie and music are a masterpiece, and this soundtrack is one I pull out and listen to quite regularly.  By now you're probably aware that I'm a Morricone fan, and this is definitely one of my favorites of his.  

I'll start off with "The Untouchables Theme," which is such a lovely blend of tender feeling with determination.  It tells you up front that this is a story of Good Guys and Bad Guys, doesn't it?  I like how it soars at the end, but remains melancholy and grounded, not utterly triumphant.  Definitely brings home the idea that winning a war comes at a steep price.

Next up is "Strength of the Righteous," which is very militant and swaggering.  I love the way the percussion makes me think of both footsteps and gunshots at different times.  As a song it doesn't exactly go anywhere, which also works to underscore the idea that this fight against organized crime is ongoing, not something that gets all tied up quickly and neatly.

And I also love "Machine Gun Lullaby," which plays during the famous shoot-out on the long staircase, a scene that deliberately evokes the famous slaughter in Battleship Potemkin (1925).  The music leads off with a tripping little melody like a baby's music box or wind-up toy, then adds some ominous strings underneath that gradually swell and are joined by menacing horns. These burgeon until they overwhelm the music box melody, and by the end, the whole piece is eerie, high-pitched and minor.  It's such a chilling, evocative piece of music, isn't it?

That's it for today, friends :-)  Until next time, remember:  if they put one of yours in the hospital, you put one of theirs in the morgue.  Always excellent advice, don't you think?


  1. Wow, I LOVED Machine Gun Lullaby! What two different sounds to mesh together! :)

    1. Jamie, I know! It is such a brilliant juxtaposition, isn't it?

  2. "Strength of the Righteous" is the main title, and my favorite cue from the movie. Such a great way to start the movie, as it really sets the tone for what's to come!

    1. I wrote a bunch of one of the d'Yae stories to this soundtrack -- it's so stirring and mighty.


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