YOUR definition of spaghetti western


(alk0) #1

In the past we had numerous discussion trying to find an universal definition of SW. Without luck, as everyone had his own opinion on this subject. So, now let’s hear everyone’s personal definition of what makes a SW. I’ll start:
For me SWs are:
1)All the italian produced and co-produced westerns, including all the Zorro, Jack London and similar movies and borderline westerns [for example not set in wild west, but westernish enough, like ‘man pride and vengeance’], but not including Winnetou movies and stuff like “Dust” and “Mexico in flames”.
2)All the spanish produced and co-produced westerns, except those Spain/USA co-productions that are clearly just the US movies shot in Spain [but i would include movies like “The last rebel”-US/Italy co-production in my opinion indicates some more of SW influence because italians couldn’t just provide landscape for americans and as far as i know no US western was shot in Italy].

That’s my definition, let’s hear yours


(Dillinger) #2

Ok, first of all it has to be a western! This means that some Zorros are no SWs for me, when they are set some time before, let’s say 1840 or so.

A SW for me needs a certain degree of Italian involvement. Just as you said, it has to be produced, directed or at least co-produced by italians or it has to be shot in Italy.
A couple of Italian actors are not enough, thy also appear in Spanish od English Eurowesterns.


(Reverend Danite) #3

I understand your definitions - but I take sw to be an ethos rather than a geographical limitation. My sw list includes El Tunco Maclovio and 3 Bullets for a Long Gun - and the …Lucky one. And these are Mexican and South African efforts without any Italian involvement. They are contempory with the Italian/Spanish product and have a spaghetti heart, and although they cannot be on any official list I suppose, they’ll remain on my personal one. An’ I’ll fight any fucker that says I gotta take 'em off! :wink:


(Bill san Antonio) #4

Zanna Bianca films are borderline case for me. Otherwise I wouldn’t consider them as westerns but as most of them have familiar sw faces, composers and directors I’m willing to count 'em in.


(Dillinger) #5

I would also count them in, as long as there’s enough Italian input in it…


(alk0) #6

The more the merrier :wink:


(Silence) #7

[quote=“alk0, post:1, topic:1645”]In the past we had numerous discussion trying to find an universal definition of SW. Without luck, as everyone had his own opinion on this subject. So, now let’s hear everyone’s personal definition of what makes a SW. I’ll start:
For me SWs are:
1)All the italian produced and co-produced westerns, including all the Zorro, Jack London and similar movies and borderline westerns [for example not set in wild west, but westernish enough, like ‘man pride and vengeance’], but not including Winnetou movies and stuff like “Dust” and “Mexico in flames”.
2)All the spanish produced and co-produced westerns, except those Spain/USA co-productions that are clearly just the US movies shot in Spain [but i would include movies like “The last rebel”-US/Italy co-production in my opinion indicates some more of SW influence because italians couldn’t just provide landscape for americans and as far as i know no US western was shot in Italy].

That’s my definition, let’s hear yours[/quote]
The same but I wouldn’t include Man Pride and Vengeance.


(Dillinger) #8

I still believe, that one is set in Spain…


(alk0) #9

Yes, i never said it isn’t :wink:


(Dillinger) #10

I thought with borderline you meant Mexico.


(alk0) #11

::slight_smile:


(Dillinger) #12

Aha!


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #13

Well this is my criteria for what its worth:

  1. 1964 onwards but preferably before 1980.
  2. Italian or Spanish Director (This is the most important thing for me)
  3. Almeria or Italian locations
  4. Italian and Spanish cast and crew and producers

(Phil H) #14

[quote=“Col. Douglas Mortimer, post:13, topic:1645”]Well this is my criteria for what its worth:

  1. Italian or Spanish Director (This is the most important thing for me)[/quote]

So Cemetery Without Crosses doesn’t qualify?
Or did you mean any of the four criteria equals qualification?


(korano) #15

Beyond the production details, I define a Spaghetti Western.

Short on dialogue
Quick on action
Sadistic
Violent
Brutal
Anti Hero
Cold heartless killer
over the top bad guy
Zooms
Eyes
guns
horses
henchmen
laughing
squinting
music
long pauses before action
great editing
Sergio Leone


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #16

[quote=“Phil H, post:14, topic:1645”]So Cemetery Without Crosses doesn’t qualify?
Or did you mean any of the four criteria equals qualification?[/quote]

Well I think 3 out of the 4 would do. Cemetery without crosses is definitely an SW.

[quote=“korano, post:15, topic:1645”]Beyond the production details, I define a Spaghetti Western.

Short on dialogue
Quick on action
Sadistic
Violent
Brutal
Anti Hero
Cold heartless killer
over the top bad guy
Zooms
Eyes
guns
horses
henchmen
laughing
squinting
music
long pauses before action
great editing
Sergio Leone[/quote]

I agree that those elements you listed are hallmarks of the genre and would serve as a guideline as to what to expect when watching an SW but I don’t think you can define SW’s based on a list of traits as some Hollywood westerns have alot of those traits while some Italian westerns don’t. I believe the overall feel of a western as a whole is probably more pertinent than any individual element.


(I...I...Idiot) #17

Will probably have great music, a western/Mexican setting, one hot chick, lots of ugly & dirty people except one dude (most likely with blue eyes). Stolen Gold .Lots of close ups & creative angles with tension building moments. Women & horses both being treated pretty badly. More Gold. At least one, if not more, family members murdered, raped or both. Shootouts & at least one duel between an extremely evil man, his crew & the ‘good’ guy (who does some pretty shady shit himself). A double cross or two. All to be found on rare/out of print, multi region, multi language, dubbed, re-released dvd’s with confusing cross marketed names (like Django) & multi titled dvd’s.


(korano) #18

Many Spaghetti Westerns deal with emotion. Just think ofall the vengeance spaghettis.


(Silver) #19

I’d probably leave out the Zapata’s. Yes they probably fit most of the above criteria and have lots of familiar faces…but i just can’t see them as “westerns”. Or not in the classic sense anyway.


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #20

I guess pretty much every movie genre deals with emotion.

Yeah I agree about the Zapatas. an early 20th century mexican setting devoid of Ranches, cowboys, sheriffs, and saloons are just not a real westerns to me. I would classify them more as period-war movies.