The most sentimental spaghetti westerns


(titoli) #1

So the spaghetti westerns are famous for being cynical, ultra-violent, poignant, sometimes even vile counterpart to traditional American westerns, but if someone is looking for sentimentality and tenderness in them where could it be found?

When I thought about it, I’ve realized that the master of sentimentality in SWs, was, well the Master himself. From slaying of the Madonna with a child, through Colonel’s background story, the bridge and the cigarette in dying soldier’s mouth, Tuco’s brother, all the flashbacks with gentles Morricone music (that give even villain like El Indio human side), Jill, the slaughter at the farm, Cheyenne’s farewell, etc. Leone managed to put moments that give us lump in a throat in his movies. And of course sentimentality (not comedy) is a calling card of My Name is Nobody.

Twillight SWs are more interested in this kind of stuff than earlier breed which was more into fun & action, but I very rarely find them emotionally engaging as aforementioned Leone’s stuff.

What do you think?
(and if similar topic already exists, I give up :slight_smile: )


(Bible Joe) #2

The only one that came to my mind immediately is Leone’s films. So when I started reading your post… ;D
Leone is so sentimental, it can even be a bit too much sometimes.


(Marvin W. Bronson) #3

Leone immediately came to mind, too.

The aforementioned cigar scene where Eastwood broods over the dying soldier is very poignant. I love it.


(Bill san Antonio) #4

Leone can be sentimental too even if it’s not a feature he’s well known. I think Duck, You sucker is very sentimental film. The slaughter of the Juan’s family, romantic flashbacks, Sean’s death. Even with the comedic elements the film has a very sad undertone.


(Andy) #5

I found Return of Ringo to be a bit sentimental on some levels. When he sees his daughter for the first time and when he goes to pick her up and says “call me papa”. Also the scene where he confronts his wife revealing who he is for the first time. The ending is happy of course but a lot of it is sad or melancholy as well I find.


(the_ugly) #6

I think the most overly-sentimental Leone film is Once Upon a Time in America. That one takes it a bit TOO far. :’(


(the_ugly) #7

Killer Kid, which I watched last night, is sentimental in a good way.


(titoli) #8

Yes, and I think Duck you sucker was a rehearsal of sorts for the OUTIA, lots of similarities. I mentioned in another thread that OUTIA leaves bad taste in my mouth and that over-sentimental tone which tries to make us feel for the protagonists, while all of them are really just rotten scoundrels including De Niro character, is precisely why.


(Bible Joe) #9

Yes, that’s a fascinating tension between the repulsive characters in OUATIA (and I agre, De Niro is no less terrible than all the others) and the big layers of sentimentality. It seems like Leone got more and more sentimental as he got older, to the point where it becomes very, very strange - or at least he got more and more interested in using sentimentality in his films.


(Stanton) #10

I don’t think that Leone is sentimental, especially not in OUTA. And the negative portrait of the protagonists is intended. So I don’t have any problem with the rape scene. It is not a glorification of rape but the ultimate downfall of our “hero”. We already were invited to identify with a killer in FOD.


(titoli) #11

So far it seems that you are in minority on this subject :wink:

Not sure which killer and which FOD do you mean, Dollars or Dynamite? :slight_smile: Fistfull of Dollars doesn’t ask for the same level of emotional engagement as later day Leone movies.

I don’t mind if the protagonists are negatively portrayed, but I do mind if the movie puts too much emphasis on their supposed tragedy and asks us to identify and sympathize with them. It didn’t appear to me like the OUTA is trying to say that De Niro’s character got what he deserved, but rather tried to present him as some kind of a tragic character.

I must admit it’s been quite a while since I saw the movie and I’m curious to see how I’ll feel about it next time I watch it.


(Stanton) #12

De Niro is some kind of tragic character, but that doesn’t apologize the rape. He is a loser who at the end can’t accept that he got laid.

I meant FoD (the other one is DYS). I t was quite an amoral film too in the year it was released. And our hero is a greedy murderer (even if he only kills those who are worse than him). for that OUTA is less sentimental than Leone’s westerns. The rape scene let me keep distance towards Noodles. But actually OUTA doesn’t have a single likable character save Fat Moe.


(John Welles) #13

Once Upon a Time in America is on a par with Once Upon a Time in the West: absolutely masterful. Noodles is unpleasant and we the audience are never asked to endorse the terrible rape, instead to consider the actions and the type of man he is. So Stanton is not alone titoli ;).


(autephex) #14

Have yet to see OUTA because overlong mobster movies are generally not my bag, but definitely agree that DYS is maybe Leone’s most sentimental work next to OUTITW.

Don’t really see much sentimentality in the Dollars westerns though.

how’s about:
Cemetery Without Crosses


(Bible Joe) #15

I also agree (s, that makes us three, I guess ;)), but I also think the film is terribly sentimental (which isn’t necessarily to its detriment, just how I feel about it, every time I see it).
Has anyone seen the “new” even longer version that premiered at Venice film festival some 2 years ago? I’m not that much of a Leone expert, and was always wondering if it’s worth buying, and if it is closer to the original version as Leone envisioned it, or if it’s just some rights holders wanting to make more money, by releasing yet another “extended” version.