9.25 to 10 stars: Great Cinema.

Which movies are the best Eurowesterns?

I think that the very best films in the genre are defined by the following criteria. They transcend the genre and have influenced the following generations of filmmakers. These movies are part of cinema’s DNA, changing both the content, character, and technique of films around the world.

I believe that there are only two Eurowesterns which meet all three criteria. There is a third film which hasn’t had a huge impact on popular culture, but which does transcend the genre.

10 of 10:

Once Upon A Time In The West (Sergio Leone, 1968)

Once Upon A Time In The West is not only the stunning Eurowestern, but it can be viewed as the culmination of the Western genre across all mediums including film, radio, television, and literature. I won’t say too much about the movie but instead will refer you to Christopher Frayling’s great book about Sergio Leone and his films, Something To Do With Death. Using the sweeping, epic style of John Ford, Leone made a metawestern combining the inverted elements from dozens of classic Hollywood westerns. In the sense, this is a movie about movies, a Western about Westerns, or a myth about the making of myths. Few films have ever woven together music and images so flawlessly. It is a masterpiece of cinematic rhetoric and form.

It is interesting to note that The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (GBU) tends to slightly edge out Once Upon A Time In The West in IMDb’s ratings and in the Spaghetti Western Database’s Top 20. This movie is also #2 on SWDB’s list of the best Eurowesterns as voted for on their forums (voting is ongoing!) Of the two movies, GBU is better loved.

9.5 of 10:

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966)

This movie is also #1 on SWDB’s list of the best Eurowesterns as voted for on their forums (voting is ongoing!)

9.25 of 10:

A Bullet For The General (Damiano Damiani, 1966)

This movie is also #13 on SWDB’s list of the best Eurowesterns as voted for on their forums (voting is ongoing!)

To Rating the Eurowesterns: 8 to 9 stars: Genre Classics.

To Rating the Eurowesterns: What the Ratings Mean

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