Wealth of Geeks
By Kyle Logan
May 28, 2023
In the late 1960s and ’70s, after the decades-long reign of the Hollywood Western, Italian filmmakers took the genre by storm with their darker, more explicitly violent takes on the genre. Many of these films aren’t stories of honorable sheriffs and innocent townspeople but instead focus on characters who are, at best, morally gray. Look at the best-known film from the “Spaghetti Western” subgenre, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, wherein “the good” is a greedy man whose only claim to goodness is that he isn’t as bad as the other two characters.
There are tens if not hundreds of these films, and fans often move through the genre’s classics quickly after they begin exploring, leaving them searching for lesser-known gems. So when one Spaghetti Western fan asks an online film forum for recommendations of unknown best of the genre, other fans are more than happy to stick up for the lesser-known movies they love.
1. Day of Anger (1967)
2. Death Rides a Horse (1967)
3. The Big Gundown (1967)
The third Lee Van Cleef movie released in 1967, The Big Gundown, follows Van Cleef as a bounty hunter searching for an accused rapist and murderer. Things become more complicated when he finds the man. It’s a western with several film noir elements in its plotting and packs a serious socio-political punch.
4.They Call Me Trinity (1970)
5. Cemetery Without Crosses (1969)
Cemetery Without Crosses is an especially bleak film within its genre. It is a revenge western that explores loneliness, futility, and regret. It’s a film that’s not easy to watch. But it is rewarding for those interested in a movie that considers revenge and why we seek revenge philosophically.
6. Mannaja (AKA a Man Called Blade) (1977)
7. If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1968)
8. Rita of The West (AKA Crazy Westerners) (1967)
9. The Legend of Frenchie King (1971)
10. Four of The Apocalypse (1968)
11. And God Said to Cain (1970)
12.Cut Throats Nine (1972)