Sunday, November 7, 2021

The Best Spaghetti Westerns? [Part 3]

 The Chicago Tribune

June 15, 2021

Best spaghetti Westerns | In the 1960s and ’70s, a new style of film began to emerge in Europe: the spaghetti Western. On the surface, these films mirror classic American Westerns like “3:10 to Yuma” and “High Noon.” However, a closer look reveals that they are actually quite different. Aside from the language element, many of these foreign-born films have more action and less dialogue than their U.S. counterparts. An expressive musical score — come to be epitomized by Ennio Morricone’s orchestrations — and an abundance of violence also characterize the genre. To provide a closer look at this subgenre of film, Stacker compiled data on the top Westerns of all time, narrowed the scope to spaghetti Westerns (Italian-produced Westerns from 1964-1978), and ranked them by IMDb user ratings, with ties broken by votes. To qualify, the film had to have at least 1,000 votes on IMDb. Whether or not you believe Westerns are your thing, read on to see our list of the best spaghetti Westerns. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite! (Canva)

[Maybe better put the most popular Spaghetti Westerns TB]


9. The Big Gundown (1966) | Director: Sergio Sollima - IMDb user rating: 7.4 - Runtime: 110 minutes | Another Lee Van Cleef picture, “The Big Gundown” sees the actor playing an experienced bounty hunter sent out on one last mission: to capture a man accused of the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl. As is the case with most spaghetti Westerns, it turns out that the story the bounty hunter has been fed may not be as simple as it seems, and gunfights abound. (Produzioni Europee Associate (PEA))




 8. My Name Is Nobody (1973) | Director: Tonino Valerii - IMDb user rating: 7.4 - Runtime: 116 minutes | Henry Fonda stars as a retirement-aged gunfighter named Jack Beauregard, who wants nothing more than to leave his life of violence behind and move to Europe in peace. Unfortunately for him, a younger gunslinger named Nobody (Terence Hill), who idolizes Beauregard and wants to see him earn his place in history, arranges for a shootout between his idol and the 150-man Wild Bunch. “My Name Is Nobody” is noteworthy as the last Western movie Fonda ever made. (Rafran Cinematografica)



 7. They Call Me Trinity (1970) | Director: Enzo Barboni - IMDb user rating: 7.5 - Runtime: 115 minutes | A spoof of the traditional spaghetti Western, “They Call Me Trinity” introduces fans to the brothers from “Trinity Is My Name”: Trinita (Terence Hill) and Bambino (Bud Spencer). The bumbling, are-they-good-or-are-they-evil duo protect a settlement of Mormons from a gang of bandits who want to lay claim to the land themselves. Rather than ending with a gunfight, like many films of the genre, “They Call Me Trinity” concludes with a highly choreographed fistfight. (West Film)



 6. Duck You Sucker (1971) | Director: Sergio Leone - IMDb user rating: 7.6 - Runtime: 138 minutes | An Irish rebel and explosives expert makes an uneasy pairing with a Mexican gunman and his crew of outlaws after they all become accidentally involved in the Mexican Revolution. Also known as both "A Fistful of Dynamite" and "Once Upon a Time ... the Revolution," this oft-overlooked gem is praised for its sense of humor and its incredible score, earning a 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. (Rafran Cinematografica)



 5. The Great Silence (1968) | Director: Sergio Corbucci - IMDb user rating: 7.7 - Runtime: 105 minutes | Sergio Corbucci’s masterpiece “The Great Silence” pits a mute gunslinger, leader of a band of outlaws and a widow, against a gang of ruthless bounty hunters led by a corrupt banker. The film earned lukewarm reviews upon its release, thanks to its bleak outlook and darker tone. However, in the intervening years it’s developed something of a cult following, as evidenced by the high place it holds on our list. (Adelphia Compagnia Cinematografica)



 4. A Fistful of Dollars (1964) | Director: Sergio Leone - IMDb user rating: 8.0 - Runtime: 99 minutes | “A Fistful of Dollars” is one of the more widely known spaghetti Westerns, perhaps because it marks Clint Eastwood’s debut. The legendary actor’s first leading role is a drifting gunman who pits rival gangsters against each other, playing them each for his own purpose. Critics agree that Eastwood’s involvement, more than anything else, makes this movie a must-watch. (Jolly Film)




3. For a Few Dollars More (1965) | Director: Sergio Leone - IMDb user rating: 8.2 - Runtime: 132 minutes | Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef co-star as two bounty hunters who team up to track down the same villain in “For a Few Dollars More.” A sequel to Eastwood’s first picture, “A Fistful of Dollars,” production on this film started before the first was even released. (Produzioni Europee Associate (PEA))




 2. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) | Director: Sergio Leone - IMDb user rating: 8.5 - Runtime: 165 minutes | In a role that was extremely unusual for him, Henry Fonda plays a villain in “Once Upon a Time in the West.” The film really has two plots — a land battle over a valuable piece of property, and a revenge mission against a cold-blooded killer — that are only loosely related. A later offering from Sergio Leone, some critics argue that the film suffers from its long run time. (Rafran Cinematografica



1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) | Director: Sergio Leone - IMDb user rating: 8.8 - Runtime: 178 minutes | The best spaghetti Western of them all has to be “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Sergio Leone, Lee Van Cleef, and Clint Eastwood team up yet again to tell the story of a trio of gunslingers racing to find a trove of hidden gold buried in a cemetery amidst the chaos of the Civil War. The final installment in the “Dollars Trilogy,” this movie is generally considered to be the project that launched Eastwood into mainstream stardom. (Produzioni Europee Associate (PEA))


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