A visual history of Italian western cinema in the 60s and 70s.

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Credited cast:
Ferdinando Baldi ...
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Alex Cox ...
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Sergio Donati ...
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Sergio Sollima ...
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Storyline

For about ten years, from 1964 to 1973, Italian production crews made hundreds of Westerns. This documentary looks chronologically at that enterprise, starting with the success of Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci: their silent anti-heroes gave Clint Eastwood and Franco Nero stardom. The genre then shifted to political films of the collective downtrodden facing the state. The genre ended, spent, in comedy and farce. Along the way, argues this documentary, the spaghetti western established a language of filmmaking rooted in post-war cynicism and moral ambiguity, with cinematic tropes, including close-ups, violence, and soundtracks, that influenced filmmaking in Hong Kong and the U.S. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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September 2005 (USA)  »

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Originally contained sequences of Alessandro 'The Whistler' Alessandroni performing the music of Ennio Morricone over the end credits but music clearance was not obtainable. See more »

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References A Fistful of Dollars (1964) See more »

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A nice little overview of the genre
16 November 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Oddly, the DVD for this documentary clocks in at 56 minutes--not the 65 listed on IMDb. Why? I really don't know. Perhaps IMDb is just incorrect.

"The Spaghetti West" is a documentary show about the Italian western films of the 1960s and 70s. Like you'd expect, it starts at the beginning--giving an overview of the sorts of films that the country was making before the westerns and then moves on to a chronological discussion of the seminal films--with particular emphasis on the first ("Fistful of Dollars") to among the very last. The film consists, naturally, of film clips and lots of interviews--mostly with Italian directors and the like. Among some of the very interesting things you learn in the film are the tremendous number of Italian westerns (over 500), the multinational nature of most of the films as well as the way Terence Hill's career began. All of which, and so much more, is fascinating and gives both information as well as a sense of excitement for the films. Well worth your time.


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