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The Spaghetti Western

From The Spaghetti Western Database

  • Title: The Spaghetti Western: A Thematic Analysis
  • Author: Bert Fridlund
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  • Publisher: Mcfarland & Co Inc Pub
  • ISBN: 0786425075
  • Language: English

This thematic analysis from Swedish academic Fridlund focuses on the construction of the stories presented in spaghetti westerns; examining their content using concepts borrowed from scholars studying pre-industrial narratives. Plot, the constellation of characters, their relationships to each other and their motives are studied while elements such as bounty hunters, the deprived hero, partnerships, betrayal and comedy are also probed. There is also an excellent appendix detailing the top grossing Italian westerns between 1964 and 1975. Academic in nature but very accessible and readable for anyone interested in the genre.


From Amazon: The 1960s and 1970s were the heyday of spaghetti westerns - low-budget films about the early American West mostly filmed in Italy. Though sometimes derided as excessively violent imitations of American-made westerns, they attracted a substantial following that has endured. With its classic elements of gunfights, gambling, heroes, sidekicks, love, and death, the genre is now perceived by critics as an intriguing object of study. This book analyzes the construction of the stories presented in spaghetti westerns. It examines the content of the Italian western, using concepts and constructs borrowed from scholars studying "pre-industrial" narratives. Plot, the constellation of characters, their relationship to each other, and their motives are studied. Films examined in detail include the seminal "A Fistful of Dollars" as well as "Django", "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". The study then probes the elements of bounty hunters, gringo territory, the deprived hero, partnerships, betrayal, and comedy. An appendix details the top grossing Italian westerns between 1964 and 1975, including title, director, lead actor and intake. A second appendix provides a list of films quoted by Italian title and then by English title.

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