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Stelvio Cipriani

Stelvio Cipriani (born 20 August 1937 in Rome), is an Italian composer, mostly of motion picture soundtracks.

Though not coming from a musical background, as a child Cipriani was fascinated by his church's organ. His priest gave him his first music lessons and encouraged Cipriani and his family. Cipriani passed his examinations and studied at Santa Cecilia Conservatory from the age of 14, then played on cruise ship bands,[1] that enabled him to meet Dave Brubeck. Upon return to Italy he accompanied Rita Pavone on piano.[2]

His first soundtrack was the spaghetti western The Bounty Killer (1966), followed by a well known score for The Stranger Returns (also known as A Man, a Horse, a Gun and Shoot First, Laugh Last) (1967) starring Tony Anthony. Cipriani later composed other spaghetti western scores with Anthony, together with many popular poliziottesco soundtracks.

Cipriani became prolific in the Italian film world and was awarded a Nastro d'Argento for Best Score for The Anonymous Venetian (1970).

One of Cipriani's most famous scores is from the 1973 film La polizia sta a guardare (The Great Kidnapping). The main theme was recycled by Cipriani in 1977 for the score to Tentacoli, and was brought to the public's attention again in 2007 when it was featured in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof.

Cipriani's scores for the films of the "La Polizia..." series were different arrangements over the same theme. Some of those themes were used in the soundtrack of the couple Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani's first feature Amer.

In a 2007 interview, Cipriani said that he had composed music for Pope John Paul II and was currently working with Pope Benedict XVI.[1]

Selected Filmography

Year Film Directed by Notes
1966 The Bounty Killer Eugenio Martín aka: The Ugly Ones
1967 The Stranger Returns Luigi Vanzi aka: A Man, a Horse, a Gun
1969 The Thirteen Chairs Nicolas Gessner
The Laughing Woman Piero Schivazappa
1970 Rough Justice Mario Costa
The Anonymous Venetian Enrico Maria Salerno
The Lickerish Quartet Radley Metzger
1971 Blindman Ferdinando Baldi
The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire Riccardo Freda
Death Walks on High Heels Luciano Ercoli
The Devil Has Seven Faces Osvaldo Civirani
Twitch of the Death Nerve Mario Bava aka: A Bay of Blood
1972 Night Hair Child James Kelley & Andrea Bianchi
Execution Squad Steno
Baron Blood Mario Bava
The Killer Is on the Phone Alberto De Martino
Tragic Ceremony Riccardo Freda
1973 The Countess Died of Laughter Franz Antel
The Great Kidnapping Roberto Infascelli
The Bloody Hands of the Law Mario Gariazzo
1974 The Balloon Vendor Mario Gariazzo aka: Last Moments
Emergency Squad Stelvio Massi
What Have They Done to Your Daughters? Massimo Dallamano
Rabid Dogs Mario Bava
1975 The Police Can't Move Luciano Ercoli
Frankenstein - Italian Style Armando Crispino
Mark of the Cop Stelvio Massi
1976 Colt 38 Special Squad Massimo Dallamano
Deported Women of the SS Special Section Rino Di Silvestro
Mark Strikes Again Stelvio Massi
1977 Tentacles Oliver Hellman as "S.W. Cipriani"
Stunt Squad Domenico Paolella
Suor Emanuelle Giuseppe Vari
Double Game Carlo Ausino
Highway Racer Stelvio Massi
1978 The Bermuda Triangle René Cardona Jr.
Covert Action Romolo Guerrieri
Fearless Stelvio Massi aka: Magnum Cop
Convoy Busters Stelvio Massi
The Bloodstained Shadow Antonio Bido
Papaya, Love Goddess of the Cannibals Joe D'Amato
1979 Concorde Affaire '79 Ruggero Deodato
Hunted City Stelvio Massi
The Great Alligator River Sergio Martino
1980 The Rebel Stelvio Massi
Nightmare City Umberto Lenzi
The Iron Hand of the Mafia Roberto Girometti
1981 Piranha II: The Spawning James Cameron & Ovidio G. Assonitis as "Steve Powder"
1983 The House of the Yellow Carpet Carlo Lizzani
1987 Rage of Honor Gordon Hessler
1988 Night of the Sharks Tonino Ricci
Don Bosco Leandro Castellani
1991 Voices from Beyond Lucio Fulci
2001 Death, Deceit and Destiny Aboard the Orient Express Mark Roper


  1. ^ a b Movie Music Italiano | The Home Of Italian Movie Music
  2. ^ Stelvio Cipriani - Biography

External links

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