Spaghetti Westerns

Posted: April 10, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’ve casually mentioned before that my favorite movie of all-time is The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Any movie title that can fit two commas into it has my respect. I love commas. I even love comas. It’d be so cool to be in a coma. If I ever end up in one, make sure I get enough nutrients to get really thin. That way when I wake up I can stuff my face. But there’s more to TGTBTU (I know, that sounds like some sort of annoying liberal organization’s abbreviation) than it’s punctuation that I enjoy. Today I would like to share with you not only my love of spaghetti westerns, but the history of them.

The name spaghetti western comes from the fact that Americans are racists towards Italians. Read this next sentence slowly because the first time I found this out I was confused. Spaghetti westerns were made by Italian directors in the 1960s and they were about the American west and starred mostly Spanish actors from Spain. What’s shocking to me about this is that there is an entire genre based around that. That’d be like if the Japanese made a lot of romantic comedies based around 1980s Americans. We’d call them Sushi Romances. Leave it to Americans to assume that the only redeeming quality of a group of people is food that they are known for. I heard Israel is opening up a film studio specializing in detective films. Hebrew National Thrillers anybody? Things are different in places like Darfur. They don’t have any food. Their movies would be called the same thing as they are here. Where would their characters even go on dates to? The famous orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally would have taken places on a rock. A cheetah would have to “have what she was having.” I wonder whatever happened to the woman who had that line. I hope that pervert’s doing well.

(I didn’t realize how old she was. Eek! She’s probably dead)

The most famous of the spaghetti westerns were done by a guy by the name of Sergio Leone. That’s actually not true. He’s just the only guy I know of. This isn’t so much about spaghetti westerns as it is about the three movies of his I know. You see, this is the Internet. It’s easy to lie and get away with things. He was an Italian man with big poofy hair. Or maybe I’m thinking of Stanley Kubrick. I think all film directors with any talent have big poofy hair. Look at Michael Bay. He looks like he goes into the barbershop once a week. Stop making movies and start going around telling people you care more about your hair than storylines.

(There’s less wind here than there is on the moon yet somehow he managed to look like he’s been working hard)

Sergio’s first movie that I know of (remember, I never do any research for this blog, I wait until some ass-hat like you corrects me in the comments section) was called A Fistful of Dollars. I read that this is a near rip-off of a Japanese movie. I didn’t like this movie. It made no sense. The storyline was great, Clint Eastwood (more on him later) comes into a town and turns two gangs against each other playing both sides. The execution was kind of boring. All I remember were a bunch of Italian men pretending to be Mexicans diving out of a house while on fire. I know that sounds cool, but it isn’t.

The second in the franchise was called For A Few Dollars More. I guess it was a sequel yet it really had nothing to do with the original. This one was really good. It’s about Clint Eastwood (I swear I’ll get to him) teaming up with a good-guy bounty hunter and infiltrating a gang of bandits who have recently helped their leader escape from prison. The way they helped him escape was by throwing dynamite at his prison cell. One of the bad guys has a really bad hunchback and I’m pretty sure the main bad guy had a waxed mustache. If you don’t want to see it after this endorsement you have no taste. Hunchbacks and Captain Hook Mustaches? It’s like two Disney movies in one.

(Ugh Fan Fiction. Like a Mermaid would like to move to a place filled with dry heat)

Finally came TGTBTU. The basic story about this one is searching for buried gold. Clint Eastwood (next paragraph, pinky promise) has to decide which is better, teaming up with the bad or the ugly. Or maybe not. He doesn’t really team up with either unless he has to. The first hour of the film is all character development. The second hour is all about the journey to try to find the gold. And the final hour is figuring out how to get the gold. It’s very simple yet an epic movie. There’s only one boring part when a drunk Union soldier rambles about politics. Ugh, allegory!

The amazing thing about all of these films was that (I know, I promised to mention Clint Eastwood here, I’ll save that for last, sorry!) all of them were filmed in Italian. Or Spanish. I don’t remember and don’t feel like watching the DVD feature that I learned this. They would have to go back and overdub the lines of most of the actors because very few spoke any English. It’s somewhat noticeable, but most older movies are poor quality. This was the 1960s these came out in. There were bigger problems like getting to the moon and smoking in hospitals.

These films made Clint Eastwood’s career (there!). He went on to do a lot more and has been a great influence to someone, probably. I guess that’s all I wanted to say about him. Bummer. But he’s a complete badass in all of these movies and makes me wish I was a cowboy. I’d recommend these films to any guy I meet. Girls may or may not like them. They’re very “manly” films with cowboys farting and shooting guns and not making love like they do in today’s cowboy films. Didn’t a Japanese person direct Brokeback Mountain? That’s what you get for allowing more than one Axis of Evil country to depict your history.

(The only phallic shaped thing that should ever enter a cowboy’s mouth is a cigarette. Possibly the barrel a gun before being executed)

“I wanna be a cowboy baby.” – A guy whose most well-known song lyric is “bada ba bang da bang diggy diggy” and now rips off Lynyrd Skynyrd beats which had already been stolen

Comments
  1. That’s director Rob Reiner’s mom that gives that line. Just a little factoid for ya.

  2. Addie says:

    Yeah. She’s as well known for that line as he is for those films. *finger snap*

  3. Lily says:

    Yeah I’m pretty sure Ang Lee did Brokeback Mountain. He’s so random. I think he did Sense and Sensibility and then Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Like none of those films are similar at all. The only Cowboy movies I’ve really seen are ones with John Wayne. I also watched Shanghi Noon which is kind of cowboyish?
    I like that picture of Aladdin and Ariel. My friends and I played a game on a road trip once where tried to match up the perfect pair of Disney characters. I think we ended up with Pocahontas and Jafar.

    • Mooselicker says:

      Shanghai Noon still gives you more credibility than if you said Shanghai Knights. Remember that.

      What is it with road trip games and how embarrassing they are years later? My friend and I ranked the Arthur “And Now Let’s Talk to Some Kids” in a Top 10 list. What 17 year old boys do that?

  4. I had always heard the term “spagetti westerns” but never knew what it meant nor bothered enough to look it up. Now I sort of know. Like with all your blog posts, I have to read them twice to get a clear understanding for what you’re trying to say. Sometimes you go way off track. This one was particularly hard for me.

    Like when you mentioned comas, I thought about this morning and how much I had wanted to be in one rather than go to work. And then you mentioned Clint Eastwood and all I can think about is The Bridges of Madison County which is probably not a movie you’re too proud that your hero is in.

    And I can totally believe Mermaid swimming off with Aladdin. He has the whole exotic thing going for him.

    • Mooselicker says:

      So wearing a fez makes a man exotic now? Aladdin seemed like a poor man’s Robin Hood to me. Yeah, they were both poor but Aladdin was even more poor. At least he was friends with a friar. Aladdin had a monkey and a carpet.

      I’m glad you learned enough to seek further knowledge. Isn’t that the mark of a good teacher? You scare the kids into wanting to know more.

      Worse than the Bridges of Madison County, Paint Your Wagon.

      • But it was a potty trained monkey and MAGIC carpet!! How many fez-wearing poor people do you know have magic carpets? Or monkeys? Well maybe some have monkeys.

        Exotic is the new sexy apparently. Anyone in North America with a slighty dark skin than white is deemed “exotic”. I don’t make or understand these societal rules. I just gladly take advantage of them in bars. Works for me better in 2012 than it probably did for my female ancestors.

      • Mooselicker says:

        I’m glad you take advantage of it at least. Not only are you darker but you actually are from a foreign land. You’re a 2 for 1 special! Or a 1 for 2 special! I’m not sure but special fits in there somewhere and that should make you feel great! Us white Americans aren’t very unique when it comes to the bar scene. We blend in too much with the tiling.

  5. robpixaday says:

    Estelle Reiner died in 2008.

    That’s not as non sequitur-y as it sounds. I was peeking at the other comments.

    Gosh you explained Spaghetti Westerns better anyone I’ve ever heard!. I never saw one. And I spent so many years as a kid watching the westerns on tv that by the time these movies came out I didn’t ever want to see horses or dust or six-shooters again. The only first-hand knowledge I have of Spaghetti Westerns came from Mad Magazine’s parodies.

    TGTBTU? That had good music, I think. The theme song, or something.
    Thank you for this post. Now it all makes sense!
    And I want some pasta.
    🙂

    • Mooselicker says:

      Thank you! It had great music. If I had an iPod I would download it. Instead I occassionally YouTube the music I like.

      It’s always a good time for pasta. Cowboy talk is extra.

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