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March 06, 2006

Westerns

I've seen a number of westerns, and although there don't seem to be any sequels in that genre, many actors are cast multiple times in similar movies, creating the impression that there is in fact a series.

Case in point is the Sergio Leone 'series' with Clint Eastwood as 'the man with no name' (although he is given a name in each movie, which combined come to "Joe 'Blondie' Manco").

But, simply watching the movies in order based on when they were made doesn't make sense, since some characters die, only to have the actors who portrayed them reappear in later movies.

So, here is my order on how to watch the classic 'spaghetti westerns':

"Once Upon a Time in the West"
1. None of the characters are cast later, but Leone made this one later, and the context of this one is good as a setting for watching the others.

"The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly"
2. The last of the Leone trilogy, but the one that sets the context of the American southwest at the end of the Civil War; the one where Joe meets Col. Mortimer (presumably under a different name) and where Joe picks up his trademark serape.

"A Fistfull of Dollars"
3. Joe Manco acting alone in a Mexican town ruled by two families, one Mexican and one Anglo. Pretty much everyone dies by the end, but the real villain, Ramón should be assumed to have survived...

"For a Few Dollars More"
4. ...because the same actor plays the bad guy in this movie, "Indio" (presumably a nickname). He doesn't seem to remember Joe Manco, but he is portrayed as being sick and somewhat delirious, so that can be excused.
In this one, Joe meets up with "Colonel 'Angel Eyes' Mortimer" again, who he had killed in Sand Hill cemetery (but let's assume he was only seriously injured - it's hard to tell when death and serious injury are both portrayed by squinting, clutching the gut, and keeling over)
The seem to recognize each other, and though mutually suspicious, come to warily trust each other.
Angel Eyes here doesn't die, but effectively retires as a gunslinger

"The Magnificent Seven"
5. Nowhere near as good as the Kurosawa original "Seven Samurai" and directed by Sturges, not Leone, I include it only because it includes Eli Wallach as a bad guy, whom we can pretend is Tuco after the end of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly", well after he's spent his $100,000.

Posted by mslaybau at March 6, 2006 07:22 AM

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