Up until Leone, women in westerns had been featured prominently. Grace Kelly, Natalie Wood, Vera Miles, Claire Trevor and Marlene Dietrich, to name a few, all played key elements in western classics. Even Debbie Reynolds was reserved a major portion of How the West was Won. But along came The Magnificent Seven, and suddenly the western had become a “boys only” club. Leone stepped it up a notch by making women almost non-existent in his films. and when they were present, they were abused badly by the lowest of characters, or totally ignored. In Fistful of Dollars, the mother has her son taken away from her, repeatedly. The matriarchal leader of the Baxter gang is portrayed as a shrew, until ultimately, she is gunned down. In For a Few Dollars More, the hotel managers wife is belittled by her husband, and Mortimer’s sister is raped before she kills herself. In GBU and Duck, You Sucker, Leone takes male-bonding to extremes, and save for an excised rape scene in DYS, there are no female characters. Jill(Claudia Cardinale) in OUTIW, is the only majorly featured female character in a Leone western. She is slapped around by Bronson, sexually assaulted by Fonda, and admired as a mother figure by Robards. Was Leone telling the viewers about his sexual preferences, in a round about way? Were his films a precursor to Brokeback Mountain? What’s your opinion?