With more and more spaghetti westerns arriving on HD media, some even on the 4K UltraHD format, getting a spaghetti western collection started is easier than ever. More generally, this is a golden age for spaghetti western fans. While, granted, the pace of rare titles arriving on shelves is still glacial, the overall number of spaghetti westerns released each year on DVD and BluRay is still very high. Even better then, that with some very few exceptions, all of the spaghetti western database’s top 20 essential spaghetti westerns are today available on BluRay at least in some market, and more gaps are being closed, some of them this or next year.
If you seek orientation or need to prioritize, these are the five essential spaghetti westerns that aren’t one of Sergio Leone’s that we think every fan should own on BluRay:
Sergio Corbucci’s masterpiece is a bleak and out of the ordinary entry in the genre that arrived on HD format relatively late, but is now available on both sides of the Atlantic. If you only get one, get this one. The star, Jean-Louis Trinignant, unfortunately passed away just a few days ago. In France, there is even a 4K UltraHD disc available.
A particular fan favorite, this one is epic on many scales and possibly the most extravagant buddy-duo in a revolution movie, with more showdowns than you can count and a fantastic score by Ennio Morricone. To me, also the best showdown.
With arguably the greatest opening title song ever (how was she never hired to do a Bond song?), this cat and mouse game between van Cleef and Milian is the quintessential spaghetti western, and BluRays are your chance at finally seeing an uncut version of this movie that’s got more substance than your teenage self remembers. Rumor has it that there will be a UK release soon, too.
To some, this ranks among the very best, and I am cheating because Leone shot at least one small scene in it. Hossein’s archetypical and sinister film embodies much of what made the genre successful, if you like the gritty kind. Interestingly, even though a French director and co-production, it is not yet available in France.
This is controversial. I originally opted for Django (and by all means, you should own that one as well), but there’s already so much of Sergio Corbucci, so to diversify a bit, get this Petroni-directed classic. As far as revenge movies go, this is a hit.
What do you think? Would you have picked differently? Which ones are still missing from your collection and which editions did you get? Comment below