Howard Hughes' Top 20
A Spaghetti Western Database Exclusive
Anyone who has spent any time browsing the shelves in the film section of their local book shop will be very familiar with the name Howard Hughes. With a plethora of titles on genre cinema ranging from Westerns to Crime, Horror and War films emanating from his pen, Hughes’ output is prolific and varied but he has made a particular contribution in the area of Italian genre films from the 60s and 70s. It is not surprising then that the Spaghetti Western is close to his heart and features prominently in his work. Once Upon a Time in the Italian West and The Kamera Guide to Spaghetti Westerns are excellent introductions to the filone while his wider study of Italy’s golden cinematic age, Cinema Italiano: The Complete Guide From Classic to Cult also features a significant section on the Italian version of the American frontier. Add to this his regular contributions to Cinema Retro magazine and DVD release liner notes and it is safe to say most of us have some of Howard’s work in our collections.
It seemed only fitting then, and long overdue, that Howard should succumb to the tradition of our site and submit his very own Top 20 for the rest of us to peruse. As always there are some predictable and some not so predictable choices and Howard has been kind enough to include a note on each film to give us an idea as to what he values in each film as well as an ‘Alternative 20’ of titles which narrowly missed the cut but which he rates highly.
Our thanks go out to Howard for taking the time to share his picks with us and wish him well with his latest release, his first e-book. Mario Bava: Destination Terror is a guide to the great director’s films (including the westerns The Road to Fort Alamo, Savage Gringo and Roy Colt & Winchester Jack) and is available through Amazon. Read more about it at the Filmgoers’ Guide Blog.
I can watch any of the above films and enjoy them as much as I did the first time I saw them. Many are scored by Ennio Morricone (my favourite composer) and are filmed in Almeria (my favourite filming location). I find that I go through phases of liking and disliking certain spaghettis – Leone’s other two westerns (Once Upon a Time in the West and A Fistful of Dynamite/Duck You Sucker) fall into this category, as does Enzo G. Castellari’s Keoma. A further top 20 European westerns – the B team – that I would recommend, in no particular order, are:
1. Adios Sabata G. Parolini, 1970 2. Seven Guns for the MacGregors F. Giraldi, 1966 3. Kill Them All and Come Back Alone E. Castellari, 1968 4. Bandidos M. Dallamano, 1967 5. And God Said to Cain A. Margheriti, 1969 6. Fort Yuma Gold G. Ferroni, 1966 7. I Want Him Dead P. Bianchini, 1968 8. The Treasure of Silver Lake H. Reinl, 1962 9. Winnetou the Warrior H. Reinl, 1963 10. Django the Bastard S. Garrone, 1969 11. Django Prepare a Coffin F. Baldi, 1968 12. Compañeros S. Corbucci, 1970 13. Deaf Smith & Johnny Ears P. Cavara, 1973 14. Django Shoots First A. de Martino, 1966 15. The Price of Power T. Valerii, 1969 16. Find a Place to Die G. Carnimeo, 1968 17. God Forgives, I Don't G. Colizzi, 1967 18. A Man Called Sledge V. Morrow, 1970 19. One Silver Dollar G. Ferroni, 1965 20. Trinity is Still my Name E. Barboni, 1971