The Spaghetti Western

Lord Dalek

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Reggie W said:
What makes Sacco & Vanzetti qualify as a western? I'm well aware of the history but have not seen the film and can't see the connection.
It has a Ennio Morricone/Cantori Monderni score which sounds like it could have easily been in a Leone movie.
 

Mario Gauci

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R-T-C Tim said:
Amazon UK have it for just £4.98 - I assume they ship to the US but don't know much about postage costs etc.
Unfortunately, Amazon UK no longer offered it at that great price and it seems that the only copies available are second hand.
No matter: I eventually nabbed DEATH SENTENCE (1968) - along with Tinto Brass' YANKEE (1966) - from Amazon.de for a grand total of a little under EUR29. Not too shabby for two blind but intriguing purchases...
 

WadeM

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R-T-C Tim said:
If you really want to get into SWs a region-free player is essential. The Germans and Italians have released a slew of titles over the past few years, a great many with English options of some sort. The quality varies heavily, but there are some real gems with the sort of print quality you would never find on a PD R1 disc.
Unfortunate, but true. I would love a good Death Rides a Horse in R1 !!
 

Eric Ten

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Mario, check out a site called SEXGOREMUTANTS it has an international dvd suppliers listing and you can also price shop, I usually start at Diabolik dvd and xploited and work my way through EZY dvd australian dvd's {where I got ULZANA"S RAID for like 15 bucks U.S.} amazon UK ,CDWOW {where I got DEATH RIDES A HORSE FOR ABOUT 17 BUCKS}I just got it at XPLOITED DVD They are stocked up on spaghetti's
 

R-T-C Tim

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Another Euro-release to tempt you, Man of the East (1972). An imperfect but enjoyable light Terence Hill comedy Western where he plays a English Viscount who has to learn the ways of the west.
It is currently available from AWE in Scandinavia, Suevia in Spain and Homevision in the Netherlands, all with English audio. It is coming in September from Optimum in the UK with a beautiful anamorphic transfer (although no extras). I've got a review of film and disc: E poi lo chiamarono il magnifico.
Optimum are also releasing the solid midcard SW Hills Run Red (1966) although this is already available on a similar MGM R1 disc.
 

M

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Hello. Great thread Reggie. I'm fascinated with spaghetti westerns. If anyone is interested in my opinion on the ones I've seen... please keep reading.

- MASTERPIECES -
1. A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE (1971)
The best spaghetti, but for me also one of the best films of all times.
I still don't own it on DVD, so I'm interested in your suggestions which edition to buy and why. Thanks.
2. THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966)
I like at as much as the first one. A masterpiece among all films, for all times.
I own an MGM 2004 R2 PAL edition - and I'm satisfied with it (although I'm sorry now that I didn't go for NTSC).
3. FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965)
Absolutelly fantastic, but not so special as the first two.
I own an MGM 2005 R2 PAL two-disc special edition - and I'm happy with it.
4. A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964)
Also a masterpiece, but even further below the first two.
I own only a cheap Croatian edition which I bought at the newspapers stand, so I'm interested in your suggestions which edition to buy and why. Thanks.
5. ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (1968)
The last spaghetti which I consider to be a masterpiece. I love it - but not as much as the "big four" mentioned above, although objectively speaking, it's probably superior to some, or even to all of the above four.
I own Paramount 2003 R1 NTSC two-disc special collector's edition - and I'm very happy with it.
- VERY GOOD -
6. A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL (1967)
One of the best non-Leone westerns. It has good story (Mexican revolution), Gian Maria Volonté, Klaus Kinski, and Morricone's soundtrack!
7. THE BIG GUNDOWN (1966)
I love the story, Lee Van Cleef and Morricone's soundtrack in this one. Music is outstanding. Highly recommended!
8. FACE TO FACE (1967)
Very interesting story, the ever-fascinating Gian Maria Volonté and - Morricone's soundtrack!
9. COMPANEROS (1970)
The best Sergio Corbucci's work, in my opinion. Great story, similar to "A fistful of dynamite". Maestro Morricone again, very good actor José Bódalo, and a girl of mesmerizing beauty - Iris Berben.
- OK -
10. DEATH RIDES A HORSE (1967)
It has Lee Van Cleef - all the reason I need to have it in my collection. But it also has Mario Brega, and Morricone's soundtrack.
11. ACE HIGH (1968)
Three aces, actually: Eli Wallach, Bud Spencer and Terence Hill. With that cast, it could have been better. Still, fun to watch.
12. MY NAME IS NOBODY (1973)
Odd, but very nice spaghetti. Terence Hill and Henry Fonda. Morricone did beautiful work.
- DISAPPOINTMENTS -
13. THE GREAT SILENCE (1968)
The idea for the story is fantastic - but it's turned into film in disastrous way. It's sad - because story has so much potential. This was the first non-Leone spaghetti western I saw. I knew only 5 above mentioned masterpieces, so I thought (naively?) that ALL spaghetti westerns must be that good. So, disappoinment with Silence was even greater that way. But I like it for Klaus Kinski, and I recommend it for all Kinski enthusiasts. The music is not amongst Morricone's best, but it's ok. It follows the tragic mood of the film. And I mean tragic in both ways.

I own Eureka 2004 R2 PAL edition.
14. DJANGO (1966)
You have to see it to believe it. So bad that it's perhaps even worth owning it (but don't pay money for it, they should pay you for watching it). The spaghetti western's fascination with machine-guns gone over the top with this one. As did unrealism. But it does have one bright point: José Bódalo.
15. DJANGO KILL! (IF YOU LIVE SHOOT!) (1967)
I can't believe that I've actually spent my time watching this piece of garbage. From 1 to 5 stars, it gets ZERO. Total disaster in every way (except soundtrack which is ok). Avoid it!
16. THE RETURN OF RINGO (1965)
Great soundtrack, Morricone in top form! Unfortunately, music is the only good thing in this movie. Too many flaws to list them all, so I'll just say that although it's not as bad as the two Djangos mentioned above, it still manages to make The Great Silence look like a top classic.
 

Brian Borst

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M said:
Hello. Great thread Reggie. I'm fascinated by films in general, but especially with some of spaghetti westerns. If anyone is interested in my opinion on the ones I've seen... please keep reading.

5. ONCE A UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (1968)
The last spaghetti which I consider to be "a masterpiece". I love it - but not as much as the "big four" mentioned above. Objectively speaking - it's probably superior to some, or even to all of the above "big four". But it doesn't have "that special something" which drives me to watch the final showdown of A fistful of dollars or The good, the bad and the ugly for a hundreds of times (literally). Still - a masterpiece for all times.
I own Paramount 2003 R1 NTSC two-disc special collector's edition - and I'm very happy with it.
The thing about Once Upon A Time In The West is that it has more of an opera-like feeling to it. This obviously makes it very different to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, for instance, which is a more obvious western. I love them both, with OUATITW being my personal favorite. The slow deliberate movements of everything. The wonderful one-liners. The music. The actors. Everything. I didn't like TGTBATU when I first saw it (long after Once Upon A Time... was my favorite) and it took multiple viewings for me to like it. Some things are still jarring, but that has more to do with the so-called Director's Cut on the current Special Edition.
On a side note, does anybody know what happened to the restoration of the Italian cut Martin Scorsese was funding? Even though it's just a few added minutes (and apparently the entire look of the film wasn't correct on the SE) I'm still curious to see it.
 

Reggie W

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I just picked up "A MINUTE TO PRAY, A SECOND TO DIE" and watched it for the first time. Huge warning on this one, the box lists the time as 118 minutes (which I guess is the uncut version of the film) but in fact what you get in the MGM Region 1 release is a 98 minute version. So, some serious false advertising there. I found the film to be a solid spaghetti and stands above many others because of the presence of Robert Ryan and Arthur Kennedy. I also found Nicoletta Machiavelli to be a delicious added attraction. A good cast of Spaghetti regulars fills the rest of the roles and it's a good looking film.

I picked it up for only 3 bucks and it is well worth it if you are a fan of this genre. The warning stands though that the time listed on the box is not correct and the episodic nature of the storytelling seems to indicate there is quite a bit missing.
 

streeter

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Last weekend I picked up a set that I hadn't heard about before. It's a Grindhouse Experience (VideoAsia) set of Spaghetti Westerns (volume 1) with Trinity as its theme. The set is called Grindhouse Experience Presents: Spaghetti Western Bible (Volume I): Cowboys, Crooks and Charmers Named Trinity. It has 10 films in total on 3 discs. Quality is pretty weak from what I've watched. Budd Spencer & Terence Hill are in most of the films. It was $15 at Best Buy and it looks like it came out about a week ago. These are the films:
Tedeum
Revenge of Trinity
Viva Django
Blackie the Pirate
They Call Him Bulldozer
Jesse & Lester
Kid Stuff
Diamond Peddlers
Trinity Goes East
Trinity and Bambino
 

M

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Who cares about what Tarantino likes? Anyway, you should check LUST IN THE DUST from 1985.
 

R-T-C Tim

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Just thought I'd mention that I have just reviewed Matalo.
It is one of a small selection of genre titles that completely shed their American influences and embraced European surreality. Certainly not for the faint hearted, it does come recommended if you think you have seen everything the Western has to offer.
 

Tony J Case

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Has anyone gotten ahold of this: Spaghetti Westerns 20 Movie Pack? It's another Mill Creek public domain extravaganza, so the prints will look like hell - but are the movies any good?
I've got The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe on another Public Domain set, so I know that one's pretty good - but any word on the rest? I imagine if I keep the ratio of 30% crap, 40% so-so and 30% Awesome that I usualy get with these sets, I'm par for the course, but I was hoping for some words of encouragment.
 

R-T-C Tim

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Originally Posted by Reggie W /forum/thread/269630/the-spaghetti-western/30#post_3589909
Tim, speaking of Sartana have you checked out this collection yet and do you have any thoughts?
http://www.amazon.com/Sartana-Saga-Spaghettie-Western-Bible/dp/B001HY3B4K/ref=pd_bxgy_d_text_b
It does look very interesting, but all bootlegs (one print even still has the television channel logo on it) so I'm not sure I will pick it up. There is more information on the Spaghetti Western forum.
 

R-T-C Tim

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I've got more new reviews of the latest two-film pack from Wild East, this time some seriously obscure genre entries:
Kill or be Killed is a very American style Western, but it is well made and certainly worth watching.
Kill the Wickeds was made at the same time, by the same director, but is something very different - a harsh, brutal and distinctly Italian Western it has an amazing ghost town set and some solid scripting. Recommended to genre fans.
 

R-T-C Tim

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Two more reviews, although these are not Spaghetti Westerns, being made a full decade after the Italian Western boom came to a spluttering close.
From infamous exploitation director Bruno Mattei, these films have gained a reputation as mere exploitation pieces and do include a lot more blood and sex than we are used to in the Western, but also have some quite impressive storyline and direction (interestingly, Scalps uses a lot of ideas from the earlier American Western Soldier Blue, but uses them a lot more effectively than that often tiresome production).
Available on some nice looking Spanish DVDs, I have just reviewed Apache Kid and Scalps, venganza india (caution, this review has some gory images from the film). They are certainly of interest to fans of the Italian Westerns.
 

WaveCrest

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I may have looked in this thread before but have just had another look at it after doing a HTF forum search.

Even though I don't agree with some of his opinions in his spaghetti western book Alex Cox's 10,000 Ways to Die book is worth reading. There are a couple of films which were made in the 70's which sound interesting. Have Closed Circuit and California been released on DVD?
 

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