Italian film composer Riziero “Riz” Ortolani died in Rome today at the age of 87. Sadly, Ortolani—who worked with directors like Vittorio De Sica, Dino Risi, Damiano Damiani, Lucio Fulchi, Gualtiero Jacopetti and Pupi Avati—would have celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary of marriage to his wife Katyna in just a few days time.
Ortolani’s music first gained worldwide exposure with his score for the infamous Mondo Cane. The film’s title theme “More” won him a Grammy and an Oscar nomination. It’s been covered by Frank Sinatra and Count Basie, Judy Garland, Andy WIlliams, Herb Alpert and many others.
In a career that spanned decades, Ortolani wrote the music for around three hundred bloody giallo films, “Mondo” documentaries, zombie flicks, exploitation films and spaghetti westerns. In recent years his work has been heard in the films of Quentin Tarantino and in Drive.
The gorgeous theme music to Cannibal Holocaust:
Mondo Cane’s theme tune, “More” sung by Judy Garland in 1963: