Film scores

Soundtrack review: Spogliati! Protesta! Ucidi! (Ennio Morricone – 1986)

“Spogliati, Protesta, Uccidi!” (aka When Man is the Prey) is a 1986 movie directed by Vittorio De Sisti, and is a story of forbidden love complicated by racial tension. Samantha is the beautiful daughter of a powerful, conservative American politician who fears that her daughter might be carrying an affair with young social warrior Nat Brook. After the man she loves he kills two people hired to clean up the politically sensitive love affair, Samantha must take sides and choose between her father and lover. It’s another Ennio Morricone score released in expanded form this year. I think he is the composer with most scores released in 2015, which is great.

The score relies on the main theme titled “No one can”. It’s strange because usually I try to exclude vocal songs from my comments but here I have to take them into consideration because the score would be orphan without them. This main theme is nice and harmless and doesn’t really make me recognize Ennio Morricone in it. It’s more of a laid back pop romantic song with a nice choir and a very soft percussion.

“Drama su di noi”, the first fully instrumental track, sounds like another unusual experiment from the maestro. It features a lot of that aggressive piano that Ennio usually uses for powerful action scenes but again it makes me think of popular music because it’s a combination of jazz and rock quite appropriate for radio. It’s not until “Danza delle tenebre” when I can finally enjoy a film music cue.

I don’t know what the composer tried to do here, or if it was the demand of the musical age but I can’t connect with the style of “When man is the prey”. The instrumental songs are too quiet and hidden; I keep waiting for them to build up to something but they just fade away in the same sound they start in. I think Morricone was going for a modern sound which could attract more listeners but for a true fan like me this sounds like a departure from the style that made me love his music.

Yes the percussion pieces are cool and “Sinket primo”, chaotic as it is, could feature on a cool 70s police movie. But this is not what I come for when I listen to a Morricone score. I am looking for romance, feeling, intensity. I leave this score with very mixed feelings, leaning towards negative because the sound was a little too raw and aggressive to please me.

Cue rating: 66 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 5 / 47

Album excellence: 10%

Highlights:

Sinket primo

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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