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Author Topic: A Leone Lover's Guide To Other Spaghetti Westerns  (Read 41452 times)
cigar joe
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« on: November 04, 2004, 05:00:12 AM »


I've had mixed results with following Howard Hughes "Pocket Essentials Spaghetti Westerns" trying to expand my collection of good SW's, what we really need is a "Leone Lovers Guide to Spaghetti Westerns. Hughes is giving a more historical perspective covering the essential SW's of the genre, films that set precedents, benchmarks, big euro/italo box office and not necessarily something we Leone weaned fans would generaly like.

If I had to compile a list of the Leone Lover's Guide to SW DVD's this would be my current "A" list with the most similar in style and quality to Leone at the top and farther down the more they stray, not necessarily in quality but in style. Some of my criteria would be story, entertainment, cinematography, quality, look, actors, sets, score. This list only includes the the DVD's or VHS tapes I've seen and the Zapata Westerns also.

A lot of the "A" list features Morricone scores, but beware of Keoma, this Lenoard Cohen/Tiny Tim sounding score is a turn off to some, watch it with the sound off, lol. Another warning, some of your favorite Leone actors are dubbed by different voice actors, this has been commented on espcially for Gian Maria Volonte in "A Bullet for the General" and "Face to Face", some of the full lenght uncut films were never dubbed in English so in these segments the actors speak Italian with English subtitles, a small price to pay to see a directors full cut.

The one great experience you'll get in watching some of these films is that very same one you felt seeing Leone's westerns for the first time, they really bring you back to that initial "WOW" partly because they are so familiar and yet different almost like distant relatives.

The Almeria scenery and that different style stands out in stark contrast from most of the post SW modern western films we see today. For those of you who were around when the first Leone SW's  came out on the big screens some of these will be like going back in time.  

The "A" list so far:

The Big Gundown
The Mercenary
Companero's
Run Man Run
Face To Face
Death Rides A Horse
The Great Silence
Keoma
A Bullet For The General

The "B" List:

A Man Called Sledge
A Minute To Pray A Second to Die

The not sure if they are classified as Spaghetti Westerns but likely Euro Westerns shot in Almeria List:

Red Sun
Shalako
100 Rifles

More to come here.

To Stay away from List:

El Condor
Django
Navajo Joe
Captain Apache (the worst so far)
A Bullet For Sandoval (VHS)


*This list could probably go up into the 100's but I'm not going to be inclined to watching many off the wall SW's, if you drop in on the SW's board you'll hear about a lot of obscure titles.

Feel free to add or comment.


« Last Edit: June 22, 2009, 05:13:37 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2004, 06:25:14 AM »

Django and Navajo Joe belong on the A-list!

In fact thinking about it maybe we should have a "love 'em or hate 'em" list cos that's certainly what Django would fall into.

I'd also add God's Gun, Django Kill and Django il bastardo to the B-list.

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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2004, 08:26:02 AM »

I'd also add Four Of The Apocalypse to the B-list at least ( I'd put it on the A-list). Also B-list contenders: Texas Addios and Beyond the Law and Mannaja: A Man Called Blade.

« Last Edit: November 04, 2004, 08:29:25 AM by spag fan » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2004, 05:49:16 AM »

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I'd also add Four Of The Apocalypse to the B-list at least ( I'd put it on the A-list). Also B-list contenders: Texas Addios and Beyond the Law and Mannaja: A Man Called Blade.

Django and Navajo Joe belong on the A-list!

In fact thinking about it maybe we should have a "love 'em or hate 'em" list cos that's certainly what Django would fall into.

I'd also add God's Gun, Django Kill and Django il bastardo to the B-list.


Awww come on redyred! doesn't Django Kill have the "gay muchacho's" you can't be serious and try to introduce some greenhorn to other spaghetti's with that? Is God's Gun anything remotely close to Leone? Those are for rabid fans, lol

Hold on now remember this is a list to break newbies into other quality SW's besides Leone's. Its my personal list so the films I haven;t seen I realy can't comment on.

These westerns should be considered not as Spaghetti Westerns but as legitimate westerns, I guess is what I mean.  This is part of the problem with Huges book, the list I made the "A" list is for someone who likes all american westerns and likes GBU, FFDM, AFFOD, OUTITW, and Clint Eastwood, and may not have a clue that these westerns were not home grown American, this person may not know Leone and has no clue about other SW's, this someone will think Eastwood is the God of Westerns and not know that a lot of his style and magic came through Leone.

My "A" list is incrementally from Top to Bottom a film at a time further and further removed from Leone style and more and more other  SW styles.

So any additions will have to in that further and further removed order.  

If you  are someone that considers Leone a God of SW's no way,  no way are you to have any credibility with them putting crap like Django and Navajo Joe on the "A" list.  Plunking $$$ down on someones recomend is serious, if you burn them they won't trust your judgement.

If you like any western no matter how bad that's a different ballgame. That what I'm trying to achieve here. lol

« Last Edit: November 05, 2004, 05:53:09 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2004, 06:50:18 AM »


These westerns should be considered not as Spaghetti Westerns but as legitimate westerns, I guess is what I mean.  This is part of the problem with Huges book, the list I made the "A" list is for someone who likes all american westerns and likes GBU, FFDM, AFFOD, OUTITW, and Clint Eastwood, and may not have a clue that these westerns were not home grown American, this person may not know Leone and has no clue about other SW's, this someone will think Eastwood is the God of Westerns and not know that a lot of his style and magic came through Leone.


Then, I'd definitly yank Keoma off of that list! Grin To be honest, I think the fan you're speaking of would prefer something as mundane as Texas Addios over something as flambouyant as Keoma.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2004, 06:53:07 AM by spag fan » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2004, 08:14:58 AM »

i don't like "django"... corbucci, who did something very good (not great) with "the great silence", was very desapointing... no camerawork... caricatural screenplay... awful music ("djangooo! djangooooooo!": very funny. What about the music?)...
But there is something strange: do you remember the bridge in that movie, where django finds the girl and where he looses his coffin? it looks to be the same as the one in gbu, when tuco arrives in a town, after blondie left him in the desert. I'm not sure because everything is wet in django, whereas it isn't in gbu.
Hard to say, but i do think it is the same bridge.

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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2004, 09:41:30 AM »

noodles_leone ur absolutely right. Django is so cheap, terrible acting, dialogue, dubbing and just so much of a ripoff of leone but somehow it manages to be utter shite. the killings are just so inexplicable, and it really is too violent but cheap, when the mexicans cut the evangelicals ear off you see it still on him in the next shot - that is cheap.
the only cool thing is the character of django, with the coffin n all, but even thats bodged up by Nero.
The sad thing is its regarded as one of the better Spaghetti Westerns.  Undecided

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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2004, 12:54:33 PM »

i'm with you djimbo. before i saw it, i was thinking that was a great movie... i had eard of the coffin, i though that could be very good... and it isn't.
In french, the dubbing of nero as been done by the same guy who did the one of clint in gbu; and the strange thing is... he didn't do the job very well (whereas in gbu, he's perfect... one of the best dubbing ever). But it is true that with those dialogues, kind of bad  imitation of vincenzoni, it's very difficult to speak well Smiley

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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2004, 03:06:48 PM »

I like DJango more than almost ANY of the  Zapata Westerns.   The Bad guys is using humans as skeet when we meet him!

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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2004, 05:52:19 AM »

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I like DJango more than almost ANY of the  Zapata Westerns.  The Bad guys is using humans as skeet when we meet him!


I wonder if Mel Brooks ripped that off from Corbucci and used the same concept  for Louis VII in "History of the World Part I" lol, it is a funny grotesque sequence.

The Zapata Westerns I don't mind as much as some, in fact I'd like too see some of the Hollywood Versions again. I remember one of my favorite actors Wallace Berry, playing Pancho Villa, not sure I can put my finger on the title It may have been simply "Pancho Villa", and Yul Brynner in "Villa Rides was good too. There was also a more modern time flick almost a road picture with Robert Mitchum driving down to Mexico that was good.


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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2004, 05:57:56 AM »

noodles_leone , you didn't mention Corbucci"s two Zapata Westerns, curious, have you seen them? They are light years apart from Django.

They are still a notch below GBU but very enjoyable in the same way. If you haven't seen them I suggest seeing The Mercenary first then Companeros. Stay away from A Proffessional Gun, its a shorter cut of The Mercenary.

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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2004, 03:02:44 PM »



I wonder if Mel Brooks ripped that off from Corbucci and used the same concept  for Louis VII in "History of the World Part I" lol, it is a funny grotesque sequence.

The Zapata Westerns I don't mind as much as some, in fact I'd like too see some of the Hollywood Versions again. I remember one of my favorite actors Wallace Berry, playing Pancho Villa, not sure I can put my finger on the title It may have been simply "Pancho Villa", and Yul Brynner in "Villa Rides was good too. There was also a more modern time flick almost a road picture with Robert Mitchum driving down to Mexico that was good.


All the revolution bs in Zapata Westerns bugs the crap out of me.   I like the opportunism and vengeance themes of Leone's Westerns up to Duck, where he got roped into some Zapata crap but at least had Coburn.   I like the Spaghetti Westerns that are about revenge or stealing or getting rich!

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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2004, 07:09:52 PM »

Opinions on Django varies on this board to say the least, but it is a film that should without a doubt be on the A-list. Even if you don't like it, there's no denying that Django is the most influential non-Leone SW. Personally I like it a lot, but I've seen plenty which are a lot better.

It's kind of similar to The Jazz Singer. It's a huge classic, and a very influential film because it's the first film with sound, not because it is good. It isn't, it's crap, but I'd still recommend it to film buffs just as I'd recommend Django to SW buffs.

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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2004, 07:11:57 AM »

Nobody, I respect your opinon on Django , it is a definite touchstone film of the SW Genre and it would be on any SW classic "A" list.

But my Leone Lovers Guide To SW's wasn't meant to be a guide to the SW Genre.  I suppose in retrospect I should have made an "Off The Wall" list to accomodate Django and Navajo Joe, and a seperate "Crap List".

My list POV is from my generation of American viewers who have not only grown up with 50's TV westerns and 30's-40's-50's and more recent AW's that were also repeatedly broadcast on TV but actually live in the American West, that are still cowboys, that drive the plains and deserts every day, that hunt and shoot guns for fun.

Just from the shear magnitude of Hollywood output there is a certain level of historical accuracy and I guess a code of the west that had been ingraved in your brain. Leone's films stayed "on the reservation" so to speak, they took all that was before and amplified certain codes, they definitely expanded the envelope of historical accuracy, and broke the mold in style. I'm trying to stay within this definition using Leone as benchmark.

There was a 60's period of american TV that had a lot of secret agent & spy genre shows (Bond Films influence). This period had, The Man From Uncle, I Spy, Mission Impossible, Get Smart, etc., etc, that all featured wild gadgets and the like. It also had a great spy western The Wild Wild West. I watch the WWW with a different head than I do AFFOD, for WWW I suspend disbelief and enjoy the antics of Jim West and costumes of Artemus Gordon, but I don't give it the same weight that I do Leone.  I feel the same way about Sabata, and Django, they belong to that WWW sub genre. Django definitely had ist own style, and bravado.

Navajo Joe has the historical background story all screwed up so it still leans more towards the crap list


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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2004, 03:20:55 PM »

I guess you're right. I was thinking more in terms of a general SW list. Haven't seen Navajo Joe, is it worth checking out?

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