Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, %1$s. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
May 21, 2018, 08:10:57 AM
:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  General Information
| |-+  General Discussion (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  Did Leone kill the western with kindness?
0 and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
: [1] 2
: Did Leone kill the western with kindness?  ( 10821 )
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

: 12987


easy come easy go


« : November 16, 2002, 08:20:39 AM »

After years of predictable Hollywood formulaic fare, then the inundation in the 50’s and 60’s of TV western shows, the genre was quite tired. As a kid I would devour any and all westerns, many on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, things were carved in stone, black and white, you knew the bad guys from the good, who was going to get the girl, who was going to win the draw, who was going to ride away into the sunset.

On a Saturday afternoon in the late sixties in New York City, I stumbled onto “For a Few Dollars More”, and it was never the same.

 Leone arrived on the scene with the uber western, and like James Coburn was quoted saying in the recent Leone tribute something on the order of, Leone made the western which was already big and made it “BIGGER”, essentially amplifying all the codes taking familiar faces and clichés from what came before and twisting them into wonderful new extravagances. The disdain that he showed for the use of pretty faces using grizzled, leathery, weathered characters also stands apart from modern demographics oriented westerns that from time to time show up at the cinema.  Leone also injected the shades of gray real life ambiguities into his films that culminated in what was called at the time the “anti-hero” and since then, the genre has all but withered away. Morrecone’s fantastic scores have never been duplicated

Personally I have as they used to say in the old west have “seen the elephant”  for me Leone was the pinnacle of the mountain, nirvana,  the copy cat spaghetti western frenzy that followed essentially did the same thing to Leone that he did to Hollywood, and they eroded the western down to nothing. You could say that Leone tributes killed the western with kindness, and the flood of spaghettis buried it. I have yet to see a modern western that side by side can compare with Leone, Eastwood’s flawless “Unforgiven” was good but he is still one of Leone’s disciples.

My two cents, what do you guys?gals think? I don't know if the atmostphere or the setup was the same in Europe or the rest of the world at the time, or just unique to the US, I assume that the flood of television westerns was not a factor as it was here.


"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
Ramon
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

: 220


What are we going to do with this one Frank?


« #1 : November 16, 2002, 11:02:03 AM »


My first experience of Leone was watching The Good The Bad and The Ugly on TV in the mid 70's. The reason why I watched it was because I'd heard the music but didn't know anything about the film let alone Sergio Leone. Even on a small monophonic  TV the film blew me away, the characters, the story, the music the atmosphere, everything. I've watched a lot of films since but never experienced that wonderful combination that you get in Leone films. I find that they are as watchable now as they have ever been.


I suppose any successful genre sets in motion a lot of imitations, from the 100's of Spaghettis made, some are arguably close to the quality of Leone's and others barely watchable. I would particularly like the see The Great Silence again.  BBC2 showed it a few years ago, but it doesn't get aired very often.



in these parts a man's life can depend on a mere scrap of information.

Ramon

www.fistfuloflocations.com
www.youtube.com/profile?user=swlocations
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

: 12987


easy come easy go


« #2 : November 17, 2002, 10:36:34 AM »

I suppose another way to get what I’m driving at is that since I’m speaking of what it was like pre Leone for those who weren’t there is to imagine the scene from Stanley Kubric’s “Clockwork Orange” where Malcom Mcdowell is strapped into a seat with his eyelids propped open and he’s forced to watch scenes of ultra violence.

Now place yourself in McDowell’s place and instead of being subjected to ultra violence being subjected to western scenes of the ultra maudlin, sentimental, weepy, saccharine, schmaltzy (take your pick). To try watching some of these pre Leone westerns now is pure torture. lol


"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
kyle_c
Road Apple
*
Offline Offline

: 3


I'm a llama!


« #3 : November 19, 2002, 09:12:47 AM »

There are some good pre-Leone westerns, but overall the western didn't really enter into a period of originality and cinematic creativity until he came along.  I like a lot of old John Ford westerns, but they're so old fashioned and melodramatic.  Whether or not you like Sergio Leone (of course all of us here do), you have to admit that his impact on cinema (not just the western) was monumental.  He really started to push the idea of the anti-hero and the idea of questioning and challenging old genre formulas into the forefront.  Every revisionist western (McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Unforgiven) owes a debt to him.  Sam Peckinpah is the only other director, I think, who came close to Leone's influence in this respect.

caius
Bandido
***
Offline Offline

: 118


"bravo!"


« #4 : December 27, 2002, 06:12:35 AM »

Not only did Leone revolutionise westerns, his characters did too. Take the Alamo with John Wayne, a big budget western which came out in 1960, 4 years before Fistful.  Now compare the two, firstly Fistful looks up to date to this day, Alamo looks 30 years older than fistful even though fistful was made on a smaller budget and with unknown actors.  Now take the lead performances in both, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.  WHAT AN ABSALOUTE JOKE!  John Wayne was crap, over sentimental boring, no hero in my books, always good and chubby as a pregnant dog.  Then take Clint, he is just cool, cool as ice, he exposes more emotions in us than the ones you get from gut wrenching john Wayne.  Leone didn't just revolutionise the western.  He took Hollywood's game, beat them at it, not only that, he made them look pathetic at something they had had 40 50 years to do, while this was his first go (a bit like the Australians (Leone,) and the English (Hollywood,) at cricket, but we won't talk about that.)

This only solidifies the fact that Leone is an absolute genius that  re shaped western (in fact all movies,) for ever.  


I hate signatures, so naf, but i had to put this up for a week or so to show my respect

r.i.p. joe strummer.  great man, great band
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

: 12987


easy come easy go


« #5 : December 27, 2002, 11:20:59 AM »

Casius, I couldn't agree with you more, I watched what I could of both Rio Bravo, and McLintock on Christmas day, what jokes, one of them had the fistfight in the mud puddle cliche, which was also used in North to Alaska another Wayen vehicle, too much formulaic bs. I try and keep my Leone like fine wine, to be watched only occasionally, and under optimum conditions. It should be a requierment FOR NEWBIES to have to watch so many hours of crap and then see your first LEONE!, lol.


"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
caius
Bandido
***
Offline Offline

: 118


"bravo!"


« #6 : December 27, 2002, 11:26:27 AM »

I find that tv programmers find christmas a great excuse to just shove on some crap old westerns, which they know people will only watch to get away from the extended family.  I also agree on your newbie point, you can't quite apprcieate a good novel/movie/song until you've heard a crap one.  God John Wayne is crap


I hate signatures, so naf, but i had to put this up for a week or so to show my respect

r.i.p. joe strummer.  great man, great band
jouissance
Bandido
***
Offline Offline

: 67


in the beginning there was light


« #7 : December 27, 2002, 09:16:01 PM »

Wayne is not all bad but i will say much of it is crap. i think the searches is great and even stagecoach. i think Leone created a new reality to the western. one that could still work today. i wish he could have made just a few more films. hey, that sounds like a title, "JUST A FEW MORE FILMS."

caius
Bandido
***
Offline Offline

: 118


"bravo!"


« #8 : December 28, 2002, 04:08:19 AM »

Did Sergio ever write any more scripts?  i know he had one richard gere movie in the pipe line before he died, but are there any movies written but undirected left.  Maybe like Mozarts students did to his unfinished sympthanies, we could finish it off, just one more for old times sake.  Maybe a western, starring.... Clint


I hate signatures, so naf, but i had to put this up for a week or so to show my respect

r.i.p. joe strummer.  great man, great band
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

: 12987


easy come easy go


« #9 : January 01, 2003, 08:25:07 AM »

Reflecting some more on Leone and westerns, watching some of the staple Hollwood oaters, I make this observation, Hollywwod directors had the back drop of the real "West" to work with but they tended to be to black and white, idealistic and preachy with their characters, its almost like some type of propaganda.

So the physical West in effect indellibly stamped credibility to the revised dime store novel versions of the real into what was the (pre Leone) American conciousness of what American's think of collectively as the "West".

Leone on the other hand had fastioned a fake west with more "shades of gray" realistic human acting characters with petty human falts that created an alternate revisionist version (actually a revision of the intitial revision,lol) that seems more alive, more in tune with what we know of as real, and hence gives us a version that is probably more in touch with what things were really like west of the Mississippi but with the amplification turned way up.


"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
MARKGPL
Road Apple
*
Offline Offline

: 15



« #10 : January 31, 2003, 05:38:47 PM »

I'm really dating myself here, but as a 50 year old, I really grew up during the golden age of westerns on television. It's hard to believe today, but back in the late 50's and early 60's, there were probably a dozen prime time westerns on televsion.

And I loved them all.

But even now I can recall how different "A Fistful of Dollars" was when I first saw it and how difficult it was watching amercian westerns after that. As hard as I tried, I just couldn't look at Bonanza or Gunsmoke the same way anymore. I still enjoyed them, but understood that Sergio Leone's film completely redefined the way I would look at film from that moment on.

A few years later, the cashier at a movie theater in my neighbourhood came up with a line that still brings a smile to my face almost 40 years later. I remember seeing The Good, The Bad and The Ugly about 20 times over a 3 week period and after paying 18 or 19 consecutive times, the cashier just looked at me and said "you like this movie, don't you"..??.


cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

: 12987


easy come easy go


« #11 : February 01, 2003, 11:33:22 AM »

That's a good story, lol.


"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
Il Buono
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

: 348


You're the son of a thousand fathers!


« #12 : February 02, 2003, 05:22:10 AM »

I think Leone's films still look innovative.  If I look at one now, it still is 'something different'.  After the spaghetti western period the western became American again and it became a sort of mix, though a soft one.  If the western was to gain popularity again, it would be by a new cultural approach I think.  Like the Italians in the 60s, it would be the Germans? Thai? Spanish?  Maybe the Italians again would be the safest... ;D


Your ass is grass... And I am the lawnmower
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

: 12987


easy come easy go


« #13 : February 02, 2003, 06:02:24 AM »

Thats good well call the mixed westerns "Soft Spaghettis" and the originals "The Al Dente!"

Leone was innovative in the genre and his particular style unforgetable, but with the realistic depiction of violence and the end results and physical effects to the human body (blood and bullet holes) is a hard genie to get back into the bottle.

Pre Leone, some one would get shot at close range and he'd just stand there with no visible bullet holes and either slowly sink to the ground or give a dying soliloquy.

So we have to remember Leone not only changed the western but also the depiction of violence (Peckinpah caught Leone's pass and ran with it, lol).

This is hard to realise if you have not watched many movies before the 1960's.

« : February 02, 2003, 06:02:58 AM cigar joe »

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
Il Buono
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

: 348


You're the son of a thousand fathers!


« #14 : February 02, 2003, 09:09:43 AM »

I wasn't here on planet earth yet before the 60s, lol. ;D ???


Your ass is grass... And I am the lawnmower
: [1] 2  
« previous next »
:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines
0.093151