What Are Your Top Five Spaghetti Western Directors?


(John Welles) #1

Who are your top five favourite Spaghetti Western directors and why? I’m looking at directors who made significant Spaghetti’s, rather than great directors who may have only worked briefly in the genre. And please tell us why! The reasons behind choices are a lot more interesting to read than just a boring old list!

My Top Five:

  1. Sergio Leone. It’s impossible to overstate not just how influential and important he is in the genre but how great he. His five Spaghetti Westerns are the cornerstones of the genre and are some of the finest Westerns ever made.

  2. Sergio Sollima. He made only three Spaghetti Westerns, less than other two big “Sergio’s”, but he brought a new-found political sophistication to his films. They are lucid examinations of the myth of revolution as well as on how Fascism rose to power in Europe. Consistently great, even the perhaps lesser Run, Man, Run is rightly in the SWDB Top Twenty.

  3. Sergio Corbucci. The most erratic quality-wise of the now near-legendary three “Sergio’s”, he nevertheless made the best non-Leone Spaghetti Western with The Great Silence and was capable of outstanding directorial flair and invention. Its sad then that in later years his power and ability and waned when compared to his glory years of the late sixties.

  4. Giulio Petroni. Director of now only one of the archetypical films of the genre with Death Rides a Horse, the outspoken filmmaker also contributed with the Orson Welles and Tomas Milian-starring Tepepa (how’s that for notoriously awkward thespians?) and the splendidly and evocatively titled A Sky Full of Stars for a Roof.

  5. Tonino Valerii. A former protégée of Sergio Leone (he co-directed For a Few Dollars More), he made his mark on the genre with the Lee Van Cleef-starring Day of Anger and followed it up with the excellent The Price of Power, inspired by the JFK assassination. He later made the underrated A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die and was the “credited” director of My Name is Nobody.


(ENNIOO) #2

Not sure on a top five, but my top one is without a doubt is Sergio Corbucci.


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #3
  1. Sergio Leone
  2. Giuliano Carnimeo (Sartana sequels, They Call Him Cemetery)
  3. Tonino Valerii (Day of Anger, My Name is Nobody)
  4. Gianfranco Paralini (Sabata, Sartana)
  5. Sergio Sollima (Big Gundown, Face to Face)

(Bill san Antonio) #4

The first 3 would be the Three Sergios but after them… I can’t really choose them from all the candidates: Carnimeo, Castellari, Valerii, Vari, Petroni, Marchent…


(Mickey13) #5
  1. Sergio Leone (Everything is great: Dollar Trilogy, Once Upon a Time, A Fistful Of Dynamite)
  2. Sergio Corbucci (Django, The Great Silence, Companeros)
  3. Sergio Sollima (The Big Gundown, Face to Face)
  4. Giulio Petroni (Tepepa, Death Rides A Horse, Nest Of Vipers)
  5. Giuseppe Vari (Shoot The Living)

(Stanton) #6

Only directors with at least 3 contributions to the genre.

  1. S. Leone - No doubt about that. One of the greatest directors ever.

  2. S. Corbucci - The only one who could really rival Leone. Made like Leone some of the central works of the SW (Django, Silenzio, Mercenario)

  3. G. Colizzi - The visually most talented director behind the 2 above. Too bad he made only 3.

Now it becomes difficult, but …

  1. S. Sollima - A good director with some structural problems and some pretentious stuff in his films. but always enjoyable.

  2. E. Mulargia and G. Vari - Their inspired western directing is despite mini budgets still visible even in most of their lesser SWs, but their good films show how capable they could be.

Edit: forgot to include R. Guerrieri, who should be also at #5, or # 4, or at least at #6.

Some more:

  1. Vanzi
  2. Tessari
  3. Carnimeo
  4. Parolini
  5. Merino

(John Welles) #7

No Giulio Petroni or Tonino Valerii? Controversial as always Stanton ;D. And no Enzo G. Castellari in your Top Ten? Or Baldi or Margheriti or Guerrieri? Ah well…


(Stanton) #8

Oh shit, yes I forgot Guerrieri. Who actually should be at # 5 together with Vari, Mulargia and Vanzi.
I’ll include him.

Well, I’m pretty famous in the SW circle for thinking that Valerii was a weak director. Wouldn’t make my top 20 despite 2 good films (not his fault that these 2 are ok)
Petroni is solid, but unimaginative.
Castellari has made too much turkeys. Only Keoma and Johnny Hamlet are showing directing skills, but have thei share of weak scenes too. Generally he wasn’t good with western directing.
Baldi I should probably include for Blindman alone, but his other films are often in parts badly directed.
Margheriti, maybe, he would be the next to name.


(Spaghetti Monkey) #9

[quote=“Stanton, post:8, topic:3152”]Well, I’m pretty famous in the SW circle for thinking that Valerii was a weak director. Wouldn’t make my top 20 despite 2 good films (not his fault that these 2 are ok)
Petroni is solid, but unimaginative.[/quote]

Couldn’t agree more on these two points. As for my picks…

  1. Leone - but of course
  2. Corbucci - actually manages to pack more fun into most of his movies than anyone else (for me anyway)
  3. Margheriti - probably my all time favorite Italian director, and i love all three of his westerns i’ve seen (don’t have WHISKEY AND GHOSTS)
  4. Colizzi - made three of my favorites. Damn… agreeing with Stanton three times in one post can’t be good
  5. Castellari - i actually care less about directing skills and more about just having fun with a movie, which would probably explain why i like Margheriti so much.

…and now for some runners-up. Sollima - If i could just pretend RUN, MAN, RUN never happened, he would probably be up above. Vari, Parolini and Carnimeo nearly made the cut. I suspect i would be quite fond of Mulargia, but i haven’t gotten around to any of his films yet. And not to forget… FIDANI.


(Novecento) #10

No love for Robert Hossein? Or does he not qualify cos he only made two of which one isn’t considered an SW by some people anyway?

In my opinion, “The Taste of Violence” and “Cemetery without Crosses” are two of the very best.

Sollima only made three SWs so Hossein’s already two thirds of the way there in terms of output ::slight_smile:


(I love you M.E. Kay) #11

Hell no! ;D Run, Man, Run is one of the most fun SW out there, a picaresque gem!

For me :

  1. Sergio Leone
  2. Sergio Corbucci
  3. Sergio Sollima
  4. Giuseppe Vari
  5. Robert Hossein - just to make Novecento happy! :wink: But Cemetery without Crosses is actually my highest ranked non-the3sergio SW, so why not?

(chameleon) #12

Well let’s start with the three AMIGOS first.

  1. SERGIO LEONE
  2. SERGIO CORBUCCI
  3. SERGIO SOLLIMA
  4. FERDINANDO BALDI
  5. ENZO G. CASTELLARI

(scherpschutter) #13
  1. Leone
    .
    .
    .
  2. Corbucci
    .
    .
  3. Sollima
  4. Petroni
  5. Tessari

(chuck connors brother) #14
  1. Sergio Leone
  2. Sergio Corbucci (just too many classics)
  3. Giulio Petroni (close in style to Leone)
  4. Lucio Fulci (nailed any genre he attempted before the late 80s, imo)
  5. Edoardo Mulargia (pretty consistent, nice action scenes and use of music… like them all, apart from Pray to God and Dig Your Grave, which he possibly wasn’t involved with)

(Dorado) #15
  1. Sergio Leone
  2. Sergio Corbucci
  3. Sergio Sollima
  4. Giuliano Carnimeo
  5. Joaquin Romero Marchent/Eduardo Mulargia

(Stanton) #16

[quote=“Novecento, post:10, topic:3152”]No love for Robert Hossein? Or does he not qualify cos he only made two of which one isn’t considered an SW by some people anyway?

In my opinion, “The Taste of Violence” and “Cemetery without Crosses” are two of the very best.

Sollima only made three SWs so Hossein’s already two thirds of the way there in terms of output ::)[/quote]

Lots of love for Robert, but a director should have made at least 3 films in a genre to be recognized as a “genre” director. (And The Taste of Violence is at best a half-western imo)

And just read the first sentence of the first post of this thread in which the rules of this game are explained.


(Stanton) #17

Then you probably haven’t seen Brother Outlaw. Very bad Crea-like IW, this hopeless one could be the one directed by Fid. This is the one in Mulargia’s output which doesn’t look like directed by him. 2/10


(John Welles) #18

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:13, topic:3152”]1. Leone
.
.
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2. Corbucci
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3. Sollima[/quote]
Do you think Corbucci is that far above Sollima? They’re both great directors, but it can’t be denied that Corbucci is annoyingly inconsistent and of his 63(!) films, only about 8 are highly regarded, in contrast to Sollima and Leone, where much of their output is considered to be excellent or at least very good.

Indeed, I wrote it so directors like Lucio Fulci, Giulio Questi and Sergio Martino weren’t listed (you can keep Fulci though chuck connors brother!).


(scherpschutter) #19

[quote=“John Welles, post:18, topic:3152”]Do you think Corbucci is that far above Sollima? They’re both great directors, but it can’t be denied that Corbucci is annoyingly inconsistent and of his 63(!) films, only about 8 are highly regarded, in contrast to Sollima and Leone, where much of their output is considered to be excellent or at least very good.
Indeed, I wrote it so directors like Lucio Fulci, Giulio Questi and Sergio Martino weren’t listed (you can keep Fulci though chuck connors brother!).[/quote]

No, they’re much closer, still I like Corbucci a lot more. I admire Sollima, the way I like Leone (but Leone is much, much better), but I love Corbucci. I love the man and his movies. The only thing I don’t like, are his political views, but he was born and raised in a specific era, within a specific social & political context, so they’re forgivable. And they’re interesting to write about. I would also mention Corbucci among my favoute directors, always. I’d never think of Sollima when drawing such a list.


(ENNIOO) #20

Corbucci is better than Sollima in my view re westerns. I have always said the Sollima crime films are better than his westerns, and thats coming from someone who prefers westerns.