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A sub-genre of the Western films, so called because they were produced by Italian studios. These movies were typically shot in Spain, since the Tabernas Desert looks similar to Hollywood's idea of the old west. Since Spanish extras were readily available, Spaghetti Westerns often featured "Mexican" characters and themes, often focusing on the Mexican Revolution, border problems, or Mexican banditos. There was a whole sub-genre dedicated to politically-oriented westerns about the Mexican Revolution called the Zapata Western.
Spaghetti Westerns were originally scorned for their low budgets, fading Hollywood stars, and deconstructing nearly every Western trope. However, the conventions found in Spaghetti Westerns later became staples of the genre and it was here that actor Clint Eastwood launched his movie career.
Some well-known Spaghetti Westerns are:
- The Man With No Name Trilogy, also called the Dollars Trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)
- Death Rides a Horse
- Once Upon a Time in the West
- The Great Silence
- Trinity duology.
- A Fistful of Dynamite
- The Sabata Trilogy.
Works influenced by the Spaghetti Western include:
- Fist of the North Star is a classic Japanese Anime that has been deeply influenced by the directorial style of Sergio Leone, right down to the violence-torn desert wasteland setting (albeit a futuristic one) and the mournful musical style of Ennio Morricone in its more thoughtful scenes.
- In what may be the Spaghetti Western tradition coming full circle, the Tabletop Card Game Bang! was created by an Italian designer and set in the Wild West.
- Borderlands features vast desertscapes, dangerous fauna, a band of Anti-heroes, a population of Axe Crazy convicts, the occasional small town and loads and loads of guns, oh and a big fat treasure at the end of the story, either sought or disbelieved by all.
- The 2011 film Rango is practically a love letter to this genre of film, featuring numerous shout outs in its plot to films of days gone past, mimicking the cinematography typical of its genre and even featuring a cameo an animated version of the Man With No Name as the "Spirit of the West".
- Sukiyaki Western Django
See also Western.