Really? That’s never really been my experience with the genre. Films like The Great Silence (my favourite western) and Cut Throats Nine, for instance, stand out as films that end in ways that would not have been attempted in (that period of) America cinema. And when Italian westerns do end well, it tends to be more bittersweet because there is less of a gap between the protagonist and antagonist. Lots of films even subtextually reference this aspect of the genre (for instance, in TGS, both Loco and Silence charge the same amount of money to kill, highlighting the fact that, at some fundamental level, they are no different). In addition, while lots of spaghettis deal with the traditional good vs evil paradigm, they tend to do it in a less black and white way. Usually, characters are some shade of grey in the Italian western, which (appears to me to be) is less common in their American counterparts. In The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, for instance, even though Blondie is clearly the “protagonist”, we percieve the conflict as a rivalry between the characters who are on similar moral ground rather than a clash between good and evil. This is the case even despite the fact that good and evil are in the very title of the film(“The Good, The Bad…”).
This is something of an interesting topic for me, and I don’t want to derail the intro thread, so perhaps a new topix should be started if one doesn’t already exist?