Spaghetti Western Podcast

Alternative Top 20

From The Spaghetti Western Database

Revision as of 11:53, 3 January 2015 by Phil H (talk | contribs) (The Insider's Top 20 (Tip 20))

The Insider's Top 20 (Tip 20)

So you've been a fan for a while, you've seen most of the well known and more famous Spaghetti Westerns and you're looking for some recommendations for films that maybe fall outside the obvious canon. Well, this list is for you. Selected by our forum members, this Alternative Top 20 is derived from individual lists of favourite films which do not already sit in our Official Top 20. The idea is to highlight some of the titles which often get crowded out of lists of favourites by the films of the 3 Sergios but which are excellent and worthy of note for anyone interested in delving a little deeper into what this genre has to offer. (That said, Mr Corbucci gets a few mentions here too). Besides, in a genre that boasts literally hundreds of films, and on a site full of people who love making lists, limiting our recommendations to only 20 just didn't seem right.

The criteria for compiling the list is simply that it must not contain any film already included in the official Top 20 as of 01 January 2015 and the rating is based on a purely one point per vote system. This list will be updated regularly to ensure that no film appears at any time of both lists but that a film which drops out of the Official list can be recognised here without a complete recount. Where films gain the same number of votes I will simply enter them alphabetically.

Finally, if you want to add your say to this list, just stroll over to our forum and add your own list. We'll update this one as the votes build. (Here's the link).

1 $10.000 BLOOD MONEY, Romolo Guerrieri (1967)

Guerrieri's masterpiece and crammed full of more murder, sexual tension and eye make up than you can shake a stick at.

Check out a full review of the film here.

$10.000 Blood Money
2 AND GOD SAID TO CAIN, Antonio Margheriti (1969)

Margheriti uses all his horror expertise to create possibly the Spaghetti Western's most gothic example and a lead role for Klaus Kinski to boot.

Check out a full review of the film here.

And God said to Cain
3 NAVAJO JOE, Sergio Corbucci (1966)

Not even Burt Reynolds' hair piece can spoil this action packed bonanza. And worth seeing if only for an all too rare major role for Aldo Sanbrell and the stunning beauty of Nicoletta Machiaveli.

Check out a full review of the film here.

Navajo Joe
4 JOHNNY HAMLET, Enzo G. Castellari (1967)

Less well known than Keoma, this film is considered Castellari's best by many. A retelling of Shakespeare's play which includes some genuinely beautiful images from a man better known for his bang crash kablooey approach to film making.

Check out a full review of the film here.

Johnny Hamlet
5 BLINDMAN, Ferdinando Baldi (1971)

A reworking of the Zatoichi character transplanted to the old west in which Tony Anthony goes in search of his 50 women.

Check out a full review of the film here.

6 THE SPECIALISTS, Sergio Corbucci (1970)

It's Corbucci. And this time complete with hippies and an entire town's population stripped naked!

Check out a full review of the film here.

The Specialists
7 CALIFORNIA, Michele Lupo (1977)

One of the latest entries into the Italian Western cycle but well worth waiting for. This film is built on decay but affords Giuliano Gemma one of his very best performances.

Check out a full review of the film here.

8 VENGEANCE IS MINE, Giovanni Fago (1967)

Gianni Garko and Claudio Camaso are feuding brothers in this terrific tale of family drama and revenge.

Check out a full review of the film here

Vengeance is Mine
9 DEATH SENTENCE, Mario Lanfranchi (1968)

Unique as a portmanteau film made up of four short stories this was Lanfranchi's only western but its visual style and intriguing stories make it a winner. Fine performances from Enrico Maria Salerno and Adolfo Celi and a bizarre over the top turn from Tomas Milian as an albino epileptic just add to the fun.

Check out a full review of the film here.

SentenzaDiMorte DatabasePage.jpg
10 GOD FORGIVES, I DON'T!, Giuseppe Colizzi (1968)

The first pairing of Hill and Spencer in a western but don't be fooled, this is no Trinity film. A much grittier dish indeed and one which was the first in what became the 'Cat Stevens' trilogy from director Colizzi.

Check out a full review of the film here

God forgives...I don't!
11 LIGHT THE FUSE...SARTANA IS COMING, Giuliano Carnimeo (1970)

The last of Garko's outings as Sartana. And despite, or maybe because of the heightened outrageousness of the gadgetry, this is often cited as the most popular of the series.

Check out a full review of the film here.

Light the Fuse...Sartana is Coming
12 MASSACRE TIME, Lucio Fulci (1966)

Fulci wasn’t as active in the western genre as much as in some others but his contributions were significant and Massacre Time was his first, and many believe his best, effort in this area. With Franco Nero in the lead and with George Hilton and a whip wielding psychotic Nino Castelnuovo in support there is certainly plenty for any Spaghetti fan to enjoy.

Check out a full review of the film here.

Massacre Time
13 TEPEPA, Giulio Petroni (1968)

Possibly one of the most thought provoking of the Zapata Westerns, with its unreliable narrators and its morally ambiguous characters, this film certainly splits opinion. What is not in doubt is that Milian is in great form and that this is by far Petroni’s most serious Spaghetti. A complete English language version has never been available but don’t let that put you off. It’s a must see.

Check out a full review of the film here.

Tepepa Poster.jpg
14 A STRANGER IN TOWN, Luigi Vanzi (1966)

Opinion is often split as to which is the better of Tony Anthony's 'Stranger' films but according to our poll this, the first of the series, is the one most recommended.

Check out a full review of the film here.

A Stranger in Town
15 EL PURO, Edoardo Mulargia (1969)

A film which the term 'hidden gem' could have been created for. A drunken hero, a gay snog and Mario Brega doing a kamikaze death scene. What more could you want from an existential western?

Check out a full review of the film here.

El Puro
16 SABATA, Gianfranco Parolini (1969)

A rifle in a banjo, a multi-barreled pistol, a comb over the size of a small family car and a theme tune as catchy as a bag full of velcro. Throw in Lee Van Cleef, William Berger and Franco Ressel and you have all the ingredients you need for a session of pure Spaghetti fun. Carnimeo handles this light hearted stuff perfectly and Sabata remains one of the most enjoyable Italian westerns of all.

Check out a full review of the film here.

Sab ItP.jpg

A slow paced, house bound story doesn’t sound so good on paper but Kinski’s tight wound performance and the slow release nature of the narrative make for a film high in tension and well worth the patience of the viewer. Vari’s westerns are on the whole less celebrated than some others but they seldom disappoint.

Check out a full review of the film here.

ShootTheLiving DatabasePage.jpg
18 TODAY IT'S ME, TOMORROW IT'S YOU!, Tonino Cervi (1968)

An excellent nuts and bolts revenge western mixed with a 'Five Man Army' element and shot in a distinctively 'unspaghetti' location. The forest of Silver Birch trees and gloomy light conditions make this a stark, memorable and highly enjoyable cinematic ride.

Check out a full review of the film here.

Today It's Me... Tomorrow It's You!
19 THE BOUNTY KILLER, Eugenio Martin (1966)

Tomas Milian's first western and one in which he exhibits one of his most understated performances along with one of the all time great dust eating death scenes. Eugenio Martin only made one great western and this is it.

Check out a full review of the film here.

The Bounty Killer

More Carnimeo! This time his second Sartana film, complete with all the trick shooting, double crossing and plot twists you'd expect from our black clad, James Bond-like hero. Opinion is split as to which is the best Sartana flick but this one gets plenty of support from the faithful.

Check out a couple of full reviews of the film here and here.


Information on this list:

  • Newsletter
  • Giallo
  • Spaghetti Western books
  • Arrow Video