Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Leone influence.

From: National Catholic Office For Motion Pictures Films '69/70
Film Education The Western: A Genre in Transition prepared by Frank Frost USC

The disillusionment we see in THE WILD BUNCH is not exactly new, nor is the public unprepared for its degree of violence. The unabashed violence of the Sergio Leone Westerns (A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, and so on) was no hindrance to their very popular success. To a public saturated with the saccharine goodness of men who shoot only when they have to, and then only to wound, in the defense of delicate women (whether they be devoted wives or pretty prostitutes), Leone's films offered a cynical and textured real world in which men are ugly, unshaven, sweaty, and irritated by horse flies. Likewise women are plain, earthy, and as hard, calculating, and self-seeking as anyone else. Peckinpah also creates such a texture, tempered, however, with characters who have some human feelings

1 comment:

  1. My take on the Spaghetti Westerns were they were super heroes (ie James Bond clones) in a comic book world. The Spaghetti western sets looked more like what I believed the real west looked like not white washed neatly constructed homes and towns in the middle of the wilderness. The people used as extras also looked like what I think you would see in the real west. Hardened natives burned to a deep brown from years exposed to the sun on a daily basis and European anglos owning ranches and shops. The gunmen were ex-Civil war veterans North and South wandering the West with no ties to their former homes. They also carried heavy mental burdens from the violence they had participated in during the war. Violence was now a daily way of life for most of these survivors and many couldn't cope.