Re: Are Spaghetti Westerns Exploitation Movies?

I was wondering if Spaghetti Westerns, like other Italian genre films of the sixties, were exploitation films. After all, don’t they “exploit” the fact that they are violant (the trailer for Cuts Throat Nine says that critics have called it the most violant film ever made)? Were they not made because young people, during the sixties and seventies, fed up with the sanitised movies being made by the Americans, wanted more excitment and blood in their films? I have not quite decided whether they are or are not, so I do welcome your opinions.

Nah, most of 'em not. Some blaxploitation and sexploitation titles among, but most are just b movies with few exploitative elements. Some mith more too of course like Blindman or God’s Gun.

It depends on how you define an exploitation flick.
Some say an exploitation movie means that the audience is being exploited, for they spend their precious time and money on cheap entertainment that deals with their lowest insincts.

According to that definition many SWs are exploitation movies.

If you just rate an exploitaion flick by the mere degree of sex and violence, less SWs are to be counted.

You can also see exploitation element in the whole growing of the genre, everybody wanted to exploit the huge succes of Fistful of Dollars.

It may be that only the SW’s that intentionally copy the Leone films would be considered exploitation. But than again, exploitation may not even have to exploit anything. Any SW that is played in “grindhouses” or drive ins back in the day can be considered exploitation maybe.

I define an “exploitation” movie as one that is a film that is there just to “exploit” one single thing. With a Spaghetti Western, that would be violance, with a Blaxploitation film, the growing audieance of Blacks who wanted black heroes.

I would consider spaghettis exploitation more in the sense that the filmmakers are exploiting the genre and the popularity as an excuse to make a (hopefully) successful film, without really caring about the genre as an art

Never thought about whether Spaghetti westerns are exploitation films, as I am just to much of a fan of them to start thinking whether they are or not :smiley: .

It’s all about terminology and definition, don’t now what is exactly meant with the term exploitation movie

I read the term numerous times of course, and know more or less what kind of movies are classified as such, but never spent serious attention to it. Spaghetti westerns usually aren’t classified as exploitation flicks, so as far as my expertise goes, I’d say no.

yes it seems to be a tricky term.

as to what people mean when they say exploitation in the current days, I would also agree that spaghettis do not qualify

they simply are not offensive enough :smiley:

Yes, they are. At least Euro Cult.

Joking aside it’s clear that the term relates, one way or another, to offensive content, and I don’t think spaghetti westerns are thought of (at least not today) as being offensive.

I agree. There’s obviously some offensive material in some spaghettis, but nothing exceptional.

I think the word offensive is subjective. I don’t see any cannibals hacking apart living animals or excessive nudity or graphic violence.

I never once thought SW’s were exploitation cinema. They’re realistic westerns but not exploiting one aspect to make up for another.


Is there a “Sometimes” option?

I have just added this option for your pleasure.

But at the time when they came out, this was as violant as films got. So, in one way, they were exploitation movies, as they basically offered to cinema goers to see a movie that was violant as can be at the time, irrespective of how good the actual film was.

Yes but not all violent films are exploitation films either

SWs have a lot of other stuff besides violence, even if some of them were very violent for 1960s standards

They are genre movies, European westerns

And the US westerns became more violent as well in the late 60s/ early 70s

Besides exploitation films doesn’t have to be offensive all the time, but they need to exploit some single thing I guess

For example sexploitation movies exploited sex, but I’m not sure they were considered particularly offensive back in the 60s and 70s, daring perhaps but not offensive

Which for Spaghetti Westerns is violance.