9. Mr Morton - Once Upon A Time In The West
Sergio Leone's artful masterpiece boasts an impressive collection of memorable deaths. One of the best is Mr Morton's (Gabriele Ferzetti) agonising failure to reach his dream of getting to the Pacific Ocean. The railroad tycoon hires the murderous mercenary, Frank (Henry Fonda), to scare off a farmer in the way of his latest railroad plans. As these things so often do, it goes horribly wrong when Frank instead kills the farmer and his family.
Horrified, Morton tries to have the gunman killed but fails miserably and his men are ultimately butchered by an entirely different party. The furious Frank shows up for revenge only to realise it's already happened.
Walking amongst the corpses, he finds Morton in his final moments, his life having gone astoundingly wrong on all fronts. Leone's sound design here includes the crashing of waves, a cruel reminder of the shore Morton will never see.
The legendary composer Ennio Morricone outdoes himself again here with a gentle piano score. Its delicate sound provides a sense of irony to the proceedings as the once powerful Morton realises he was horribly out of his depth.