Spaghetti Western

Spaghetti Western

Spaghetti Western, also known as Italo-western, is a nickname for a broad sub-genre of Western film that emerged in the mid-1960s, so named because most were produced and directed by Italians. The typical team was made up of an Italian director, Italo-Spanish technical staff, and a cast of Italian and Spanish actors, sometimes a fading Hollywood star and sometimes a rising one like the young Clint Eastwood in three of Sergio Leone’s films. The films were typically shot in inexpensive locales resembling the American Southwest, primarily the Andalusia region of Spain, Almería, Sardinia, and Abruzzo.

Because of the desert setting and the readily available low-cost southern Spanish or southern Italian extras, typical themes in spaghetti westerns include the Mexican Revolution, Mexican bandits, and the border region shared by Mexico and the United States. Originally, spaghetti westerns were characterized by their production in the Italian language, low budgets, and a recognizable highly fluid and minimalist cinematography which eschewed many of the conventions of earlier Westerns. This was partly intentional and partly the context of a different cultural background.

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