In the 1960s the popularity of the western was in decline. The classic American model had run out of steam and seemed out of touch, old fashioned. The genre became revisited, re-styled and re-immagined by Italian filmmakers. At first, derided and panned by critics, the films found an audience and have since become recognised as classics of the genre and take their place in cinema and film history...
1. The western hero - American style
White hat, clean cut, stands for American Chivalry
Henry Fonda in 'My Darling Clementine'
|John Wayne in Stagecoach|
2. The western hero - Italian style
Rugged individualism, a mercenary - can out bad the bad guys
Unshaven, smokes cigar and wears a poncho
|Clint Eastwood in The Good the Bad and The Ugly|
3. The Music - American Style
Classic orchestral symphony - evokes the great wide outdoors, the frontier, American hope and chivalry
4. The Music - Italian style
Howls, whips, whistles, grunts and electric guitars. heralds a new kind of 'Rock n' roll Western'
5. The Landscape - American style
Monument valley is the most famous western landscape, as popularised by director John Ford in films like 'Stagecoach', 'My Darling Clementine' and 'The Searchers'.
6. The Faces - Italian Style
Extreme close ups were an innovation of 60s cinema, in the Italian western they bordered on fetishistic, becoming their own kind of the landscape and production design, as popularised by director Sergio Leone in films like 'A Fistful Of Dollars', 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' and 'Once Upon A time In The West'
7. Links and research