I’ve seen a bunch of Spaghetti Westerns on the big screen. But, then again, I am an old geezer!
When I was a kid, we had a sort of outdoor theater the operated on the weekends. It was a lot like a drive-in…only with better sound!
A man that worked for a film distributor lived in our town (Ripley, Oklahoma…population approx. 500). On the weekends, he would bring home some prints and a projector that he would set up in order to show films projected onto the huge, blank, white wall of the town’s school bus garage.
This man, Mr. Richardson, didn’t charge anything to do this, either! He just did it for fun and to give the kids in town something to do on Friday and Saturday nights during the Spring and Summer months.
Everyone would bring lawn furniture, or blankets, and sit outside and watch the movies.
Westerns, of all kinds, were very popular in Oklahoma in those days; so, Mr. Richardson always had at least one or two to show (he usually ran double or triple features).
Via this avenue, I saw TONS of Spaghetti Westerns, including the very first SW I ever saw (JOHNNY YUMA).
You see, by this time (the early 1970’s) the Spaghetti Westerns were second, third, and fourth run features; thus, Mr. Richardson was able to “rent” these movies from the company he worked for at a very, very low rate (sometimes as low as FREE!). So, the SW’s were plentiful (as were Hammer Horror films and various AIP productions) at these screenings.
Just a few of the titles I got to see, in addition to JOHNNY YUMA, in this fashion were: GOD FORGIVES–I DON’T!, JOHNNY HAMLET, NAVAJO JOE, THE MERCENARY, RINGO AND HIS GOLDEN PISTOL, A STRANGER IN TOWN, THE STRANGER RETURNS, PAYMENT IN BLOOD, ANY GUN CAN PLAY, THE RUTHLESS FOUR, A BULLET FOR SANDOVAL, and many many more.
Many years later, I was able to catch a Sergio Leone festival at the Varsity Theatre in Austin, TX (circa 1985). There I saw, on a HUGE old-fashioned screen: A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, GBU, and OUATITW.