From The Spaghetti Western Database
I watched Once Upon a Time in the West more than ten times when shown in the theatres in the late sixties and early seventies. For forty years I avoided the non-Leone spaghetti westerns, out of pietism. However, sometime in 2012 I started wondering; as Leone made five great films all by himself, maybe his other Italian film-maker colleagues achieved five decent films all of them together.
I ended up watching about 150 spags in the next 15 months, using the SWDB as a roadmap, everything from Greek tragedy to slapstick comedy. I found a number of perfectly good anti-oppressive films, and an even larger number of maybe not so perfect, even far from perfect, but perfectly amoral, bleak, noirish westerns, different from Leone’s films. This, I think, is where spaghetti western gets real interesting.