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Tom B.

From The Spaghetti Western Database

Tom Betts
I'm probably the oldest editor as I actually saw A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS on it's opening night at a theater in Woodland Hills, California in 1966. I currently live in Anaheim, California, U.S.A. I've contributed research material to a dozen plus books and DVD releases on Spaghetti Westerns. I am the caretaker of our obituary site CEMETERY WITH CROSSES and I'm also the editor of "Westerns... All'Italiana!" fanzine since 1985.

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I've had a lifelong love affair with Western films and grew up watching many older films on early television in the 1950s. TV westerns, singing cowboys and classic Westerns filled the air. In 1966, while in college getting my BA degree in American History from California State College Northridge. I heard about a new Western that was to appear at a local theater and I was looking foraward to laughing my head off at a so-called Italian western. To my amazement the film was brilliant. From the opening Rotoscope credits, the music, the locations, the characters and most of all "The Man With No Name". I was hooked on this new type of Euro-western. I wanted to see everyone which appeared, which wasn't many in the U.S. I saw A STRANGER IN TOWN with Tony Anthony which completely turned me off as he wasn't the typical anti-hero like Clint. I then only went to see Leone, Eastwood and Van Cleef Westerns. It wasn't until I discovered the music on LP's in 1980 that I was hooked again. By now the genre was over and I had to watch them on late night TV but that was no problem. We also had Mexican TV in Los Angeles and I was able to see many in Spanish. I then became associated with "Westerns... All'Italiana!" a fanzine edited by Tim Ferrante. I became an co-editor in 1984 and took over the zine when Tim decided he wanted to pursue other adventures. I've continued the zine and it is in it's 27th year now. Over this time I've collected hundreds of videos, DVDs and CDs on the genre along with posters, pressbooks, lobby cards and stills. I've helped research many books on the subject and continue to research the genre and it's participants. This genre has brought me in contact with fellow fans from all over the world. Meeting Ennio Morricone, Alessandro Alessandroni, Claudia Cardinale, Aldo Sambrell and others who participated in the genre has been a great thrill. I hope to help The Spaghetti Western Database in anyway I can.

While you are here please stop and pay your respects to some of the many departed people who have been involved with the genre we love so much, enter Cemetery with crosses - legends lost but remembered

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