Ennio Morricone has won his first Academy Award for Best Original Score to Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, 37 years after he was first nominated.
At 87, Morricone has also become the oldest winner in the history of the awards – surpassing the record held by Christopher Plummer (who was 82).
Morricone was given a standing ovation as he received the award and in his acceptance speech he said, “There isn’t a great soundtrack without a great movie that inspires it.”
It is the highlight of an incredible awards season which has seen Morricone collect prizes at the BAFTAs and Golden Globes, as well as the Critics' Choice Award for Best Composer. Earlier this week, he was also recognised with a star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Hateful Eight soundtrack marked the sixth Oscar nomination for Morricone, who’s previously received the Academy Honorary Award for his ‘contribution to the art of film music’ in 2006.
While Tarantino is a lifelong fan of Morricone’s work and has used his music in his past five films, this historic collaboration on The Hateful Eight marks the first time Morricone has recorded an original score specifically for one of Tarantino’s films. It is also the first time Morricone has scored an internationally released Western film in over 40 years, having previously scored legendary films such as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West.
In The Hateful Eight, set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of red rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former Union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new sheriff. Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie's haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Demian Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of red rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and Confederate general Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to red rock after all…
Written and directed by Academy Award®-winner Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight is produced by Richard N. Gladstein, Stacey Sher, and Shannon McIntosh. The executive producers are Georgia Kacandes, Harvey Weinstein, and Bob Weinstein.
To watch the film’s official trailer, click here.