The Last Western You Watched? ver.2.0

I think most of the US Westerns which were made at the same time of the Spags are not different in regard of dirtyness or pessimism. The US western was always progressing from 1939 to 1976, and so was the depiction of violence and a generally darker atmosphere.
The assumption that US Westerns were always clean and nice with the white dressed hero fighting the black dressed baddie was not even really true for the 40s and 50s and surely not anymore in the 60s, long before the SW arrived.
So you can actually watch most of the better known US Westerns of the late 60 and 70 without risking to end with a clean cut cowboy movie.

But here are some with which you can’t do that much wrong:

The Wild Bunch
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
Little Big Man
Hombre
Major Dundee
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid
One Eyed Jacks
Ulzana’s Raid
True Grit (1968)
Ride the High Country
The Professionals
The Shooting
Rio Conchos
Bad Company
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
Dirty Little Billy

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Other than Doc, here’s a few non-spaghetti favourites of mine from the late 50s - 70s:

Ulzana’s Raid
The Wild Bunch
The Culpepper Cattle Company
Duel at Diablo
Mr Horn
The Bravados
Ride Lonesome
Chato’s Land
Lawman
El Condor
Eagle’s Wing
Day of the Evil Gun
The Missouri Breaks
Heaven With a Gun
McCabe and Mrs Miller
Hombre
Man in the Wilderness
Monte Walsh
Cry for Me, Billy
Rio Conchos
Little Big Man
The Revengers
Shoot Out
Arrowhead
Billy Two Hats
Outlaw Josey Wales
The Stalking Moon
Bad Company
The Hunting Party
Shalako
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

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’A PISTOL FOR RINGO’, 1965

Starring the incomparable Giuliano Gemma, I’ve been waiting all year to watch this - the only Christmas SW I know…and it’s a diamond. It is also in my top ten SW’s of all-time.

Another Giuliano gem was to follow, ‘The Return of Ringo’…and both are shining examples of Spaghetti at its best and most influential.

I can watch Giuliano in any SW, but the two 'Ringo’s have a special place in my gun-belt.
A cool anti-hero, cool music, beautiful senoritas, sneering baddies…what’s not to love?

There is something very satisfying about seeing one of the genre’s best, and most revered, gunning down bad guys during the season of goodwill…
Happy Christmas, everyone…

The theme songs to both ‘Pistol’, and ‘Return’, were sung by the late, great, Maurizio (Attansio) Graf, who contributed so much to the genre.

R.IP. Giuliano Gemma, Maurizio Graf, Ennio Morricone, Duccio Tessari, Fernando Sancho, Jose Manuel Martin…and so many more, too numerous to mention.

The LP, pictured above, was one of my first purchases, (when I was only about 15 or 16), and the superlative Maurizio Graf/Ennio collaboration made me a life-long fan of this unique and wonderful genre…

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Thanks for the suggestions @stanton & @The_Man_With_a_Name I will make my way through those. Some of them I have already seen and didn’t like much. Will probably give them another shot. A couple I have seen and did like were Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, and Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid

I guess maybe we have different ideas about what constitutes clean and dirty… as mentioned I had jus re-watched Hour Of The Gun and one of my main problems with it is how clean cut the “good guys” are…Its not really about a hero in white, but just the overall impression of the character

I also very much liked Peckinpah’s The Ballad of Cable Hogue but haven’t managed to get on with The Wild Bunch despite repeated attempts

Hour of the Gun is a good example.

Of course the protagonists are well dressed, but HotG is a “town” film, the main protagonists are not fighting in the desert, they are as much law-man as they are part of a political game. The film is set in a time in which the civilization of the west has progressed, yet the view on it is pessimistic, not optimistic as in many older westerns. And it makes a lot of sense that in this film the protagonists wear suits instead of worn-out cowboy costumes.
The view of the Wyatt Earp legend is a revisionist one, not as ugly as in Doc (a film which is a bit overdoing the revisionist elements), but Earp is here a guy who uses his badge to fulfill a personal mission, and this includes that towards the end he is an avenger who murders by misusing his position as Marshal. And it is clearly murder what he does.
This comes close to the revision of the hero in the SW, but still HotG is as most US Westerns very different from the Italian ones.

But on the other hand despite the SWs have the reputation of a total dirtyness, there are still enough Spags which look as clean as the older westerns often do.Just take Sabata, the hero also wears always a clean suit, but check the costumes and look of the baddies. Not much dirt there either,

The SW and the US Western were going in the 60s and 70s 2 different paths, more or less unaffected of the other, but the difference lies not in pessimism or a general uglyness, but in the way how the classic elements of the genre were developed, altered or even reversed. .

The good thing for me is, that by this the genre could reach a creative diversity like never before, and of course never after.

Alias Jesse James (1959), directed by Norman Z. McLeod

Bob Hope plays Milford Farnsworth, an inefficient New York insurance agent who foolishly sells Jesse James, of all people, a large life insurance policy. Dismayed, Milford’s unpleasant boss orders him to travel west and act as James’s guardian angel. Comic mayhem ensues.

Alias Jesse James is a fairly entertaining Western comedy that makes good use of the well-known plot variant putting a greenhorn in a Wild West setting, similar to films like James W. Horne’s Way Out West (1937), Raoul Walsh’s The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958), and Enzo Barboni’s … e poi lo chiamarono il Magnifico (1972). Among its more remarkable features are a breastplate that the Hope character dons for protection against vicious revolver bullets; guest appearances by numerous Wild West movie legends, most notably a cameo by Gary Cooper; and, last but not least, some fantastic negligees worn by Rhonda Fleming’s character, Cora Lee Collins.

Alias_Rhonda_Fleming

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pure Bob Hope gold, lots of fun.

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Seen this beauty so many times, but this time, it blew me away, and I felt totally connected with it, in a way that has never happened before.

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Maybe it was because of my personal intimacy with the subject of loss, abandonment…I don’t know.

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Perhaps it was because it was on BD, and the snowy landscapes, the blood, the bleakness, and the superlative score by Ennio Morricone, shone through even more brightly in a world of perpetual darkness.

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Whatever…I have always loved this Sergio Corbucci masterpiece…this time, I felt every moment of every scene…

A pessimistic work of genius…, that ultimately touches even those who are optimistic.

Good does prevail, even though it appears not to.
To do right, even against impossible odds, is to make a stand against what is right and wrong.
No-one can do right, without there being casualties. Silence wins…because he does what is right…

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Long live Sergio Corbucci…

A film director who had the cajones to portray life as it so often is…

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I listened to all 3 commentaries in 2 nights.
What times we live in.

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Never thought of it that way before, very interesting; that also implies, at least to me anyway, that one day Tigrero aka Loco will one day indeed meet the man who is indeed deadlier than he is, and might even be more sadistic than him. Gonna have to check out my Eureka! copy at some point in the New Year

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Watched THE GREAT SILENCE today. It was great. Klaus Kinski was surreal in that film, and I loved the Film Movement release that I watched. Followed it up with THE BIG GUNDOWN today. Both are vicious as hell, and I loved every second of them. The latter was fantastic especially because of Lee Van Cleef – I could always watch something he’s in.

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Some references to the movie:


In the first comic book of Durango (which is inspired by TGS) we see a tombstone of silence at boot hill.


In part 3 Durango buys a Mauser which “belonged to a mute pistolero, who was shot last winter in small place in Utah. His killer was shot by the rangers”
One picture, 2 references: TGS and GBU (weapon dealer who sells Tuco the gun)

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I have been saving the Eureka release of The Great Silence for our first big snow of the year to set the mood. Today’s the day!

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I’m guessing The Great Silence is the movie of the week. Ha!

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A first time watch for me, (unless I saw it as a kid, decades ago!) Very enjoyable, spectacular vistas, though a little overly wrought in the emotional department - Strong cast in good form, but some of the dialogue does make you wince, especially coming from deadpan one note Cooper - He looks great, but like Clint Eastwood, does a lot better when he doesn’t speak.

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Just watched Gentleman Killer with Anthony Steffen and Eduardo Fajardo…
Wierd to see Steffen without his customary stubble, but he was super cool in this great flik

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Alright, it’s time for an update:
Viva Buddy (1934) - 5/10
The Power of the Dog - 8/10
The Sisters Brothers - 7/10
Buddy’s Pony Express (1935) - 5/10
News of the World - 6/10

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Had a Corbucci day, Companeros in Italian without subtitles on blu-ray
Then Sonny and Jed, an odd but underrated movie with Susan George looking so fresh

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3:10 To Yuma (1957 version) - first time of viewing (unless I saw it as a kid) and enjoyed very much.

Great B/W cinematography, well preserved on Criterion’s Blu Ray, and benefiting greatly from Elmore Leonard’s finely-honed dialogue. The Frankie Laine theme song, and prominent underscoring of action by melodies from it, reminded me where this technique, adopted and developed so brilliantly by the Italians, came from.

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Interesting SW screenings for my SW compadres here in the States. I was just browsing around the XFinity on Demand of me and my folks’ place, and I saw on ScreenPix’s Westerns section that they’re showing The Big Gundown. Now it lists on the On Demand section that it’s the restored 90 minute original US dub, but it’s actually the totally uncut 115 minute Italian original, presented in Italian with English subtitles.

One interesting thing I would like mention is that the majority of the English subtitles seem to be dubtitles, going by the 90 minute US cut, only the sequences that never made it to the US cut have properly translated subtitles.

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