Sergio Leone

..and why not?
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Jeemo
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Sergio Leone

Postby Jeemo » 24 Aug 2019, 01:52

I've always loved his films from the first time I saw the Spaghetti Western trilogy on tv when I was 14 or so. The only one I saw in real time of release was Once Apon A Time In America which apart from the plot holes I loved seeing it on the big screen 3 or 4 times in the first month of release.

In the last year I've watched The Good The Bad and The Ugly and in the last two weeks, Once Upon A Time in The West and Duck, You Sucker!

I'd forgotten how brilliant Duck, You Sucker is, the close ups, the pace, the wide space and shite accents. The ambiguity of the ending was James Coburn a hero or traitor?

Was there ever a better match in cinema than Leone and Morricone?

A few days ago I was watching the Metallica film, Some Kind of Monster and hadn't known that they have used The Ecstasy of Gold from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly as their intro tape since the mid '80's. It sounded phenomenal playing through their P.A. In the film. So that's been my Earworm the last few days.

The annoying thing is that Leone made so few films and the ones he did make were cut to shreds even when he was a major director. Or is part of the appeal the flawed artist struggling against the studio like Welles and the like.

I thought I would start this to stimulate some traffic on this part of the board, which has in the past had some great writing.

So, your thoughts on Leone, or start a thread on a favourite director of yours.
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GoogaMooga
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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby GoogaMooga » 24 Aug 2019, 03:15

His canvas is so broad, his sweep so epic, his few westerns are almost a genre unto themselves. In Hollywood, we had the traditional oaters, the psychological westerns, the revisionist westerns, and then in Europe, or more precisely Italy, we got the spaghetti westerns and the Leone films. I think the Leone films are a cut above the exploitation nature of spaghetti westerns, they operate on a more mythical level. The only flaw to me in his films is that he at times resorts to visual hyperbole. Like an extreme close-up of Eastwood's or Lee Van Cleef's eyes, or maybe the heel of a boot, to show menace. "Once Upon a Time in America" shows more restraint, and that is my favorite of his.
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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby trans-chigley express » 24 Aug 2019, 04:14

They had a Sergio Leone season on at a cinema in Kowloon a few years ago and I took the opportunity to see that trilogy of Clint Eastwood on the big screen. An absolute perfect marriage of visuals and film score. I've never been a fan of the Western genre but there is something about those movies that sets them apart. The small dusty villages, the baking sun on desert environment, minimalist dialogue and the almost comical use of close up of facial features. Clint Eastwood is just so utterly cool in these movies, every kid wanted to be him. The soundtracks would be in your brain for days after seeing them, in fact we had some soundtrack LPs when I was a kid that I played over and over. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly soundtrack was one of the first records I ever obsessed over.


To my shame I have completely forgotten all about Duck, You Sucker! I hadn't realised until I checked on Wiki that is was the second in the Once Upon a Time Trilogy. I really must watch that as I can't recall if I've ever even seen it.

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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby trans-chigley express » 24 Aug 2019, 04:20

GoogaMooga wrote:. The only flaw to me in his films is that he at times resorts to visual hyperbole. Like an extreme close-up of Eastwood's or Lee Van Cleef's eyes, or maybe the heel of a boot, to show menace.


Not a flaw to me, I love that :)

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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby Jeemo » 24 Aug 2019, 08:51

trans-chigley express wrote:
GoogaMooga wrote:. The only flaw to me in his films is that he at times resorts to visual hyperbole. Like an extreme close-up of Eastwood's or Lee Van Cleef's eyes, or maybe the heel of a boot, to show menace.


Not a flaw to me, I love that :)


I'm a fan of them as well.
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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby Jeemo » 24 Aug 2019, 11:38

trans-chigley express wrote:To my shame I have completely forgotten all about Duck, You Sucker! I hadn't realised until I checked on Wiki that is was the second in the Once Upon a Time Trilogy. I really must watch that as I can't recall if I've ever even seen it.


Make sure you see the restored version
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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby Sneelock » 24 Aug 2019, 15:40

It’s true that he just made a few films but he kept upping the ante each time out. Every film has a broader scope and grander concerns than the last. I saw “Duck..” at the Gene Autrey museum a year or two back. I’ve enjoyed it before but it was splendid on the big screen. he really did fill up the frame as meticulously as David Lean.

Fellini and Nino Rota were a match made in heaven and many would mention John Williams’ work with Spielberg. But, I’m pretty sure the answer to the question “was there ever a greater pairing than Leone & Morricone” would have to be “no”

I see people narrow their eyes to ocarina music in ads, children’s cartoons and parodies of all manner of things. I saw (I think) a few dollars more in the movies when I was very young. I went to work with my Dad who was a projectionist. It made a profound impression on me. All the melodramatic flourishes of the actors, the psychedelic emphasis on the sounds in the scenes. My dad would rail against “spaghetti westerns” for years. I eventually told him they were the first westerns I loved and that he was pretty much the reason.

My Dad seemed to think that westerns had an obligation to a certain “moral code”. Also, I’m pretty sure he had a problem with the ponchos. He thought the protagonists were scumbags. Well, he grew up with Randolph Scott movies so it’s easy to see why he felt that way.

I’m glad I grew up with Sergio Leone movies.
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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby GoogaMooga » 24 Aug 2019, 15:47

Yes, the Leone-Morricone collaboration is cinema's perfect pairing.
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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby Jeemo » 24 Aug 2019, 15:53

Sneelock wrote:It’s true that he just made a few films but he kept upping the ante each time out. Every film has a broader scope and grander concerns than the last. I saw “Duck..” at the Gene Autrey museum a year or two back. I’ve enjoyed it before but it was splendid on the big screen. he really did fill up the frame as meticulously as David Lean.

Fellini and Nino Rota were a match made in heaven and many would mention John Williams’ work with Spielberg. But, I’m pretty sure the answer to the question “was there ever a greater pairing than Leone & Morricone” would have to be “no”

I see people narrow their eyes to ocarina music in ads, children’s cartoons and parodies of all manner of things. I saw (I think) a few dollars more in the movies when I was very young. I went to work with my Dad who was a projectionist. It made a profound impression on me. All the melodramatic flourishes of the actors, the psychedelic emphasis on the sounds in the scenes. My dad would rail against “spaghetti westerns” for years. I eventually told him they were the first westerns I loved and that he was pretty much the reason.

My Dad seemed to think that westerns had an obligation to a certain “moral code”. Also, I’m pretty sure he had a problem with the ponchos. He thought the protagonists were scumbags. Well, he grew up with Randolph Scott movies so it’s easy to see why he felt that way.

I’m glad I grew up with Sergio Leone movies.


Bows head.....Randolph Scott.

great post, thanks.
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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby Matt Wilson » 25 Aug 2019, 01:05

Godhead.

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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby Jeemo » 25 Aug 2019, 09:27

I watched Fistful of Dollars last night. Although it's a bit budget restricted. All the parts are there. The close ups, the minimal dialogue and the music. Well done Bob Robertson.
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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby Matt Wilson » 25 Aug 2019, 16:15

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
Once Upon a Time in America
Once Upon a Time in the West
For a Few Dollars More
A Fistful of Dollars
Duck, You Sucker

In that order

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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby GoogaMooga » 25 Aug 2019, 16:59

I thought he may have ghosted My Name is Nobody, but wiki says he was just the idea man.
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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby Jeemo » 25 Aug 2019, 19:40

GoogaMooga wrote:I thought he may have ghosted My Name is Nobody, but wiki says he was just the idea man.


Funny, I thought that as well but IMDB said no.
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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby Jeemo » 25 Aug 2019, 19:41

Matt Wilson wrote:The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
Once Upon a Time in America
Once Upon a Time in the West
For a Few Dollars More
A Fistful of Dollars
Duck, You Sucker

In that order


I can't separate the first three but would have Duck, You Sucker before Fistful of Dollars.
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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby Jeemo » 27 Aug 2019, 16:33

For a Few Dollars More last night, the man was a genius.

Manco was awesome.

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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby Sneelock » 27 Aug 2019, 16:40

I am very fond of For a Few Dollars more. I guess I'm a sucker for Lee Van Cleef - he's my favorite actor in those movies in a lot of ways.
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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby Matt Wilson » 27 Aug 2019, 18:27

The real question is: who made more quality films, Leone or Peckinpah?

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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby Sneelock » 27 Aug 2019, 18:35

Oh, that’s bound to be subjective. I doubt Leone wanted to strangle the people who put his films out nearly as much.

It’s easier to lean towards Sergio because there’s a “big vision” or something that binds the films together like Ford or George Stevens.

Stupidly, I’m very fond of most of Sam’s films.
(Wow, “stupidly” was a spell check mistake but I think I’ll leave it. Maybe that’s the right word after all)
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Re: Sergio Leone

Postby Matt Wilson » 27 Aug 2019, 20:33

Both directors were kinda the saviors of the western during the late '60s. Not that the genre's glory days weren't already numbered.