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Based on Critics
fan reviews ( 1 )
  • June 11, 2011 magewirtz
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    I like Westerns generally, and I particularly like good, well made Westerns. I grew up with appreciation for films such as High Noon, and such John Ford films as The Horse Soldiers and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. The Spaghetti Westerns appeared when I was in my early twenties and, from the little I saw and heard of them, I disliked them from the outset. I just finished viewing A fisful of Dollars on TV and it reminded me of why I disliked the spaghetti Westerns, and re-enforced that dislike. The Western is and should be a particularly American genre: Its backdrop should be the beautiful wide-open spaces of the American West, and its cast of characters should be the types that populated the Western frontier in the mid to late nineteenth century: Anglo-Saxon and Celtic types, immigrants from other parts of Western Europe, Blacks, Chinese, Mexicans, Native Americans, and maybe a sprinkling of others. The Spaghetti Western looks and feels wrong in every respect. The landscape is clearly not the American West, The color of the sky and the light and hence the mood is wrong, and the cast consists of Italian and Spanish Mediterranean types. What\'s worse, these speak Italian or Spanish while the dialogue is dubbed into English so that the speech and lip movements don\'t agree. Also, the English is spoken in very gruff, deep voices, as if this makes the character tougher. Then there is the Italian Director\'s penchant for stylized lingering ridiculously long on extreme facial close-ups to create mood and suspense. Finally, there is the gratuitous, excessive violence, with someone fanning to death about a dozen bad guys in a couple of seconds, or not having to reload his six-shooter during a barrage of twenty shots, or so. Admittedly, traditional American Westerns left a lot to be desired, with only a few gems among a plethora of junk.. Even those with good plots, acting and direction, were false to the time and place, with inauthentic hats, costumes, weapons, and negatively stereotypical depictions of Mexicans, Indians and Blacks. Things were gradually improving, however, when the Spaghetti Western came along. It represented a new approach to the genre, but instead of improving it, I feel it made it worse. Happily, that fad has passed, and now, although we may no longer get the quantity of Westerns once churned out, among the infrequent oaters we now get are some really good ones, such as True Grit, 3:10 to Yuma, Tombstone, Seraphim Falls, The Assassination of Jesse James...,Appaloosa, and Lonesome Dove.

similar movies

  • The Wild Bunch (1969)

  • High Plains Drifter (1973)

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1967)

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