Once Upon A Time In The West

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What techniques and methods does Sergio Leone use within 'Once upon a time in the West' to maintain the interest of the viewer? Between 1960 and 1975, 600 westerns were produced. Critics ignored these films, and because Italian companies financed most of them, they called them Spaghetti Westerns. Fans loved this term, which is now fondly used to label any Western made and financed by foreign filmmakers.

Europeans have always loved Westerns and have always made them. As early as 1901, European directors tried to produce their own westerns. Very few of the Euro-westerns made by 1960 made it and remained largely unknown, especially by the Americans. People on the Continent relied on the American Western for their entertainment.

By 1960, very few American Westerns were produced, and distribution problems made them extremely hard to get hold off in Europe. As a result, European producers began experimenting with homegrown materials, mostly poorly dubbed copies of American Westerns.

But still, Westerns could be made on foreign soil and the bulk of these films were not very good, gaining only a small audience.

Then in 1962 a director named Sergio Leone was given $200,000 and a load of leftover film equipment and told to make a Western. He made one that was basically supposed to be a throwaway film, Per un Pugno di Dollari -- A Fistful of Dollars. Leone's unique style, artistic camera angles, extension of time, explosive violence presented a twisted view of the West, making his film different from any Western that had come before. Critics put it down for its brutal interpretation of an unromantic West, but audiences loved it, and the Spaghetti Western took off like a bullet! Sergio Leone was born in 1921 in Rome to the film director Vincenzo Leone. Sergio Leone...