Wednesday, March 25, 2009

America in Rome

L’America a Roma – Italian title
L’Amerique a Rome – French title
L’histoire du western spaghetti – French title
America in Rome – English title

A 1998 Italian production [RAI-Intelfilm/Raiuno (Rome)]
Producer: Mario Mazzarotto
Director: Gianfranco Pannone
Story: Gianfranco Pannone
Teleplay: Gianfranco Pannone
Photography: Tarek Ben Abdallah [Pellicola Koday color]
Music: Alessandro Molinari
Running time: 88 minutes

William Bogart - Guglielmo Spoletini
Ray O’Connor - Remo Capitani (Renato Capitani)
Jim Martin - Luigi Marturano
Paul Carter - Paolo Magalotti
Victor Man - Mauro Mammatrizio
Ken Wood - Giovanni Cianfriglia
Frank Daddi - Franco Daddi
with; Mauro Bolognini, Carlo Lizzani, Luigi Mannini, Peter Berling, Manolo Bolognini, Mary Spoletini

This Italian documentary explores ‘60s Italy: the fashion for Spaghetti Westerns is at its height. Before the gradual decline that took place during the ‘70s, the genre hit its peak in 1967-1968, with 150 films being made over these two years. Together with ex-western actor and stuntman Guglielmo Spoletini alias William Bogart, the director sets off in search of the actors and stuntmen who were featured in these masterpieces. Working as parking-lot attendants, drivers, or simply enjoying a quiet retirement, they look back at the Roman youths they were, usually from quite modest backgrounds, and how one day they turned into the heroes of a fascinating, fictitious world, that of an imaginary America, invented at Cinecitta Studios. The aged actors, the deserted film studios and the canyons around Rome are all filmed in the same golden and red desert colors that characterized those films. “America in Rome” is not only a sentimental, yet cheerful journey through the golden age of the unofficial side of the Italian cinema, but also a history of ‘60s Italy, when, to afford an Alfa Romeo 2000, ordinary Romans became Mexican bandits and heroic cowboys in a cardboard cut-out America.


  1. This sounds interesting..For a while a few fellows found a new niche when filmaking in Italy took a new unforseen turn..

  2. tom, where does one find a copy of this movie on DVD?


  3. Here's a link to a site showing it as part of the Colt Colletion DVD set.

    Now that you know that it's part of this set you maybe albe to locate it else where as well.

  4. Ally Lamaj slipped me a VHS copy a few years ago, and your description is well done. I found it rather melancholy, since these actors, who became familiar faces to us, ended up going back to being what they were, their glory days fading into relative obscurity outside of their celluloid adventures.