Film scores

Soundtrack review: La resa dei conti (Ennio Morricone – 1966)

La Resa dei Conti


I must admit I wouldn’t have listened to “La resa dei conti” (or “The big gundown”) if it wasn’t for Quentin Tarantino using tracks from this in “Inglorious basterds”. I am glad I did though. This is a rarer Ennio Morricone western score because it relies on suspense more than flashiness and adventure. In fact the theme that Tarantino used “La condanna” is the loudest track from “La resa dei conti”.

The melancholic guitar themes like “La vedova” and all its variations make me think of very lonely characters and there’s not a trace of fighting or action. The main theme (“Run man run”) provides a haunting and possessed vocal performance by Maria Cristina Branucci. This theme is the only fire in the score. “La resa dei conti” is more of an atmospheric western score driven by slow burning cues and minimalistic instrumentations.

The desert themes are all quiet and melodic. They aren’t even fully developed or catchy themes like most of Morricone’s compositions. They are ominous and tense melodies which won’t let you sleep and will keep you on your toes. The enemies in this score aren’t visible and loud; they hide in the shadows and rarely make an appearance.

I would call “La resa dei conti” an experimental Ennio Morricone album. Some of the sounds from this score seem way ahead of their time. “La caccia” is the most interesting piece. It starts like a Western movie track would sound if it was composed by The Doors before picking up and building up into a wonderful riding cue which gives me goose bumps. Those drums and the haunting wordless vocals will leave an echo.

Cue rating: 91 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 27 / 52

Album excellence: 52%


Run Man Run (Titoli Di Testa)

Arriva Cuchillo

La Resa Dei Conti (Titoli – Ripresa)

La Vedova (Il Ranch)

La Vedova

Corri Uomo Corri

Secondo Deserto

La Resa Dei Conti (La Caccia)

La Resa Dei Conti (Seconda Caccia)

La Resa Dei Conti

La Condanna

La Resa

Run Man Run (Titoli Finale)

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).


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  • I saw this movie 5 times in one week when it first appeared in theaters mainly due to the score by Ennio Morricone. THE CHASE cues are the best part, to me, with the second half featuring the electic guitar holding a special place in my heart. These two cues are very high on my list of Morricone’s compositions.