Sergio Leoen once said that Homer was the best writer of westerns. I believe this to be true. Many Spaghettis have translplanted old stories to western settings. the odyssey, Orestes, the three musketeers hve all been adapted to this style. What are some others and what are your opinions of these films and he formula?
Most of these “classics” were used for SWs in a rather superficial way.
Where is the sense to adopt Romeo And Juliet without using the end?
Hamlet is full of doubts and hesitates, one of the the play’s main elements, but Johnny Hamlet has never any doubts about what he is doing.
And besides removed from Shakespeare’s dialogues the pure stories are rather simple and old-fashioned from a modern point of view, and at least the screenplaywriters adapted them very loosely, in the end so loosely that I always wondered why they actually did it in the first place.
I don’t know very much about Orestes, but it seems In The Forgotten Pistolero also only the bare structure was used, the outward story, and they left all away what the play was about.
At least they used in all these mostly only a few plot elements which didn’t tell them apart from other SWs. Only Johnny Hamlet uses more of the play’s ideas for several parts of the films, sometimes in a rather odd way, sometimes out of the play’s context and also out of the film’s structure (Ophelia in the river).
Don’t missunderstand me, they aren’t bad films, it’s only the fact that they used the classic plays doesn’t made these films better or worser. I think this all is interesting only in a way that justifies not much more than a bare mentioning.
Sorry it’s offtopic but IMO Goethe’s “Goetz von Berlichingen” would have been a good SW!
So if you like German classics, there’s a version of Schiller’s Don Carlos called Carlos. It’s a western by H.W. Geissendörfer and it starrs Gottfried John.
Has anybody else noticed how Ferdinadno Baldi’s 60’s westerns seem to mostly be melodramas and very close to something out of Greek tragedy. After all, he was a professor in Greek Tragedy. A lot of the times, his films are centered around a broken or disturbed family or a grave family tragedy that is righted during the course of the film. Such as Texas Adios and Forgotten Pistolero. Can’t say about Hate Thy Neighbor.
I mean the antique tragedies are achetypical stories, if you want you can “find” them everywhere. You just need love, hate, revenge, jealousy or intrigue and you got your connection to “old stories”.