In the 1960s, from the depths of Italian exploitation cinema, which had long reworked American genres, came a new way of appreciating that most American of films : the western. In the late 1960s, almost half of the films produced in Italy were westerns. Despite a ‘western’ setting, these movies were never shot in America, and often featured dubbed European or English-speaking stars, and showcased a greater sense of stylish operatic violence, edgy political commentary and a twisted sense of humour than their American cousins. The cycle of spaghetti westerns lasted just a few years, but before hanging up its spurs in the 70s, it completely rewrote the genre, and introduced back to Americans a new way of experiencing a class of film that they had previously thought they owned. Sergio Leone’s 1964 A Fistful of Dollars (1964) defined the spaghetti style: from the vast desert vistas (filmed in Spain!) to the moody micro-close ups, the dance-of-death shootouts and the majestic and exotic Ennio Morricone score. It made star Clint Eastwood such an iconic gunslinging figure that he now arguably defines the image of the western over John Wayne. This summer at Deptford Cinema, ride back with us to the Italian West!
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY: Sergio Leone's third 'Dollar' western appropriately showcased even greater style and ambition than before, with Ennio Morricone delivering another memorable score. Set against the background of the American Civil War, it completes the Leone/Clint Eastwood trilogy in epic fashion. The cast line-up now includes Eli Wallach, unforgettable as the ‘ugly’ bandido Tuco, and Van Cleef this time plays the ‘bad’ gunslinger Angel Eyes/Sentenza,with both going up against Eastwood's laconic but deadly The Man With No Name for the prize of a hoard of lost Union army gold. The film’s final shootout in a deserted cemetery is one of the greatest in any western – spaghetti or otherwise. This film frequently appears on 'greatest western of all time' lists.
- dir: Sergio Leone
- Year: 1966
- country: Italy|Spain|German|USA
- run-time: 128m.
- rating: 18
£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)
Doors 19:00 - Film 19:30