Italian Spaghetti Westerns versus New Westerns Essay

Italian Spaghetti Westerns versus New Westerns Essay

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The Spaghetti Western Once Upon a Time in the West and the modern western 3:10 to Yuma are examples of the western genre and have been filmed almost forty years apart, yet both movies operate with the same preconceptions how a western has to operate.
Sergio Leone, the Italian director, uses the Italian widescreen format Techniscope, which is according to Toronto Star’s Peter Howell, “A cheapo wide-screen process that used less film but delivered a grainier image” (Howell, L09). Leone came from the Italian tradition of “Sword and Sandal” movies, and many Hollywood productions, such as Ben Hur were filmed in Rome in the 1950’s and 1960’s (Hughes, xi). Hollywood mostly ceased the production of westerns for the big screen while television shows, such as Gunsmoke and Rawhide were successful. The movie The Magnificent Seven had only modest success in the USA, while it was a huge hit in Europe. Therefore, Europeans started looking into making westerns, and many countries made western films, which were hugely successful at the box office, such as the film adaptations of immensely popular German writer, Karl May (Hughes, xii). Many westerns were filmed in Europe and due to the success; big Hollywood movie stars went over the water and filmed in the old continent, such as Tarzan’s Lex Barker and an emerging star named Clint Eastwood. Leone filmed his movies, as many other European directors did, in the Andalusian province of Almeria, Europe’s only desert; “At La Calahorra, the town of ‘Flagstone City’ was built beside the railway line to film Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)” (Hughes xviii). Leone was so successful filming the “Dollars Trilogy” with Clint Eastwood, which consisted of A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More and The G...

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... why America is such a gun loving country, people are nostalgic for the seemingly easier times of the western frontier? It is also interesting to contemplate why especially Germany and Italy are in love with westerns, both countries that had fascist dictatorships. Maybe the men felt after losing World War II marginalized and were longing for being strong and masculine again, and not occupied by foreign male forces, who took their women away.

Works Cited

Ebert, Roger. "Once Upon a Time in the West." Roger Ebert LLC, n.d. Web. 30 Mar 2014. .
Howell, Peter. "ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS." Toronto Star [Toronto] 25 September 2007, Pg. L09. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.
Hughes, Howard. Once Upon a Time in the Italian West: The Filmgoer's Guide to Spaghetti Westerns. London: I.B. Tauris, 01/2005 . eBook.

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