American TV series as influence for Spaghetti Westerns?

I just noticed that the hero from the 1957 TV series Restless Gun had an interesting weapon. It was a composite pistol with attachable rifle stock and extendible screw barrel. The scenes in which this compound weapon is put together is very similar to what occurs with Lee Van Cleef in For A Few Dollars More.

Also… for years I have had a feeling that the quirky, memorable characters in The Rifleman TV series have some resemblance to Spaghetti Western characters. It is an early appearance of blind gunslingers for example… earlier than what is seen in the American B Western An Eye for an Eye (1966).

Does anyone else feel that Western TV series had an influence on Spaghetti Westerns and played a role in making these films more distinctive? American TV series were often more offbeat than American movies as writers searched for more content to milk out of the genre.


I also would single out “The Rifleman” as being particularly (apparently) influential. Another example: The episode “Skull” in which the outlaws at the ranch all wear a skull on a chain around their neck-- just like the one worn by Lee van Cleef in “Da uomo a uomo.”

There are SCORES of examples in the old late '50s/early '60s tv westerns. I laugh when I see them. Not only little things but themes, too.