Gian Maria Volonté

What’s everyone’s heres thoughts on this actor, i personally love all the spaghetti westerns he starred in and think he is one of if not the best actor I’ve seen in this genre. It’s a shame he didn’t do more spaghettis because all the ones he did are generally considered some of the best of the genre. Id also like to know what films he did outside of spaghetti westerns that you all would recommend.

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For some reason I am not the biggest fan, but he’s definitely an amazing actor. I would love to learn more about him though, there’s a documentary mentioned in this thread

I need to get a copy of the blu ray version of bullet for a general, one of my top 20 favorites and that documentary seems like it would be really insightful and interesting look of his life and career.

Do not mind him in his western roles, but find alot of his other roles not my cup of tea so to speak.

I just love the range he shows in each spaghetti western he’s starred in, plays each role completely different and each one to me are fantastic, you don’t see range like that in this genre imo.

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I think the best way to describe the elder Volonte is that he like a caged tiger, extremely threatening but hides his fangs behind a laconic expression until fresh meat comes around. I get a weird vibe from the guy to be honest and am not surprised that he apparently had some radical political views, specifically he had a love affair with Communism (a political system I vehemently detest) . He also helped Oreste Scalzone flee from Italy after the guy tried to create an armed uprising in order to overthrow the Italian government.

As an actor he has a good range, and can pull off the whole mad-man bit pretty well, whether it’s the overdrive crazy like in For a Few Dollars More or subdued crazy like in Face to Face. I haven’t seen any of his other films besides the four Spag’s he was in, but I am interested to see some others. Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion is one I’m interested in seeing, and it won an oscar.

You can watch it on Amazon Video.

I would of loved to see what he would of done in the role of tuco in the good, the bad and thes ugly if Sergio leone were to cast him again, not to say he would of done any better than Eli Wallach because he was absolutely perfect in the role and my favorite in the movie, but it would of been interesting to see what he could of brought to that role.

The Good The Bad and the Ugly would have been a lot less comedic then. I don’t think Volonte is capable of “funny”.

Marvellous actor, but his political shenanigans is liable to bore me to tears.

Yeah your probably right, I feel like his performance would be similar to the acting he did for bullet for a general imo.

I would recommend Jean Pierre Melville’s Le Cercle Rouge which also stars Alain Delon.

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Good call … very atmospheric movie with minimal dialogue - Highly recommended :slight_smile:

PS: ‘la classe operaia va in paradiso’ / ‘The Working Class Goes to Heaven’ (1971) shows a very different Volonte, and he does do comedy in this one. :smiley:

Personally, I think it best to avoid politics when assessing someone’s worth as an actor/ entertainer, otherwise I’d be forced to throw out all my Clint Eastwood and John Wayne films. LOL


Entirely true, politics should never be the reason of breaking a friendship or ignoring an artist. Too many people are worried about politics these days.

An oppressive political system for sure, as ideology at that time still embraced by a lot of anti-oppressive minded people.

Yes, I’d recommend anything he made with Elio Petri


To me, best Italian actor. Makes every movie he’s in worth a watch.

I think he was excellent in the 2 films I got to see him in. I don’t have anymore to go on , hadn’t he won some pretty prestigious awards though ?