Article by James Oliver about the Spaghetti Western, extracted from The New European, April 19 - April 25 2018. Published partly to coincide with the re-release of 'A Fistful of Dollars', the article begins by focusing on Sergio Leone's film and some of the factors underlying its enduring success (production design, Ennio Morricone's music etc). Leone followed up with 'For a Few Dollars More' - among around 400 'Spaghetti Westerns' produced before the end of the 1960s. Oliver points out the poor quality and commerciality of most of these, against contemporary European art house cinema, though he also stresses the qualities of the best of the Westerns. Oliver then looks at the directors who followed Leone and amplified the anti-heroic themes and style, especially Sergio Corbucci whose many films include 'Django', 'Navajo Joe' and 'The Great Silence'. In contrast to the basic optimism of American westerns, the tone of the Spaghetti Westerns is inherently bleaker. Oliver illustrates the adaptability of the genre in transposing themes and politics, especially Communism, to a western setting, e.g. 'The Big Gundown.' Italian Westerns such as 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' and 'A Bullet for The General' (the latter written by the Communist Franco Solinas) critique America. Other westerns such as 'Requiescant' and 'Face to Face' also contain a political message for their audiences. In a testimony to the continuing appeal of the genre, Scorsese's 'Django Unchained' is a tribute to Sergio Corbucci. Finally, Oliver stresses just how watchable and entertaining the Spaghetti Westerns actually were. The article includes some film posters and stills.
|Country of origin||UK|
|Related people||James Oliver|
Part of the Anthony Attard Collection