T Nation

Spaghetti Westerns To Watch?


So I've finally decided to bite the bullet and dive into a marathon of Westerns, but I'm unsure where to really start. I know that above most other genres, there's likely to be a huge spaghetti western following here, so I thought this would be a great place to ask the question.

My main problem is that I don't want to jump the shark too early by watching the absolute best of the westerns, but rather build up through good films and then into them. I aim to conclude with John Ford's "The Searchers", then to Sergio Leone's "Dollars" trilogy and "Once Upon A Time In The West".

So far I have a rather pitiful (and probably unexpected) resume of only having seen both True Grit films and Unforgiven. If anyone has any suggestions I could run by popular opinion for slotting into a list, or even create a recommended list themselves, I would be deeply grateful.

I thank you in advance for your help!


The Good the Bad the Ugly, then the Outlaw Josey Wales are Eastwood's best

For me it then goes...
Dollars 2
Dollars 1
High plains drifter
Pale rider


The Wild Bunch -not quite a typical western but still great, especially its cinematography and groundbreaking use of slow motion. All action /very violent.

Pat Garret and Billy the Kidd also a good follow up by Peckinpah but have to find the revised edition as the original edit was a screw up


Peckinpah is the Straw Dogs guy right? I've been meaning to see The Wild Bunch especially, I thank you for the recommendation.

How do you see The Ballad Of Cable Hogue? I've heard good things about it before, but plenty have told me it's a big leap away from the type of film The Wild Bunch is.


Duck You Sucker!

My Name is Nobody


Yes Peckinpah did Straw Dogs, as he was a massive alcoholic his output was very hit and miss. Those are the two that really stand out, -only seen bits of Cable Hogue, seemed a bit dull.

Just remebered also Cross of Iron -a WW2 film but has a lot western elements and is well worth checking out.


Maybe you aren't familiar with what a spaghetti western is since half these movies aren't spaghetti westerns. They aren't westerns starring Clint Eastwood, although he did star in three of the most famous spaghetti westerns. A spaghetti western is simply a western movie made by an Italian film maker. They don't have to necessarily be filmed in Italy (the Man With No Name trilogy was filmed in Spain, as were most others) but some of them are filmed there as well. They also don't have to necessarily be about the American West; a popular subgenre of spaghetti westerns took place during the Mexican Revolution at the beginning of the 20th century. "Django Unchained", while taking many of its stylistic cues from spaghetti westerns, is not technically a spaghetti western since Tarantino is American. It is more an ode to that genre than a film within that genre.

As far as spaghetti westerns that I would recommend, you can't go wrong with the following films. Anything other than these are probably not going to interest those who aren't really into the western genre and low budget-type films in general since most spaghetti westerns were made with very little money.

A Fistful of Dollars
For a Few Dollars More
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Once Upon a Time in the West
Duck, You Sucker (also known as A Fistful of Dynamite)
Death Rides a Horse
The Mercenary
Django (not Django Unchained, but the film where Tarantino takes the name from, directed by Sergio Corbucci)

edit: never mind. I didn't realize you were simply listing Eastwood films. Can't argue with that list either.


If you want to watch some decent westerns that aren't spaghetti westerns and want to avoid the films listed above until the end, I recommend the following:

High Noon
3:10 to Yuma (the original)
Gunfight at the OK Corral
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The Magnificent Seven
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
The Assassination of Jesse James
anything starring Clint Eastwood
Rio Bravo


Maybe not a spaghetti western. But I liked "The Quick and the Dead".


John Wayne movies:
El dorado
Sons of Katie Elder
The Searchers
Rio Bravo

All very good IMO.

Clint Eastwood:
The Good ,bad and the ugly
The Outlaw Josey Wales


I don't know or care if its a "spaghetti western" but John Wayne and the cowboy's.


Pretty much this. Outside of the dollars trilogy, Josey Whales is a must see. Unforgiven may be the best western of all but you've already seen that.

The Searchers is fantastic too, but again, you already mentioned it. I'd say that should get you started pretty damn well.


O and chisum another good one with the Duke


Here is a scene from Chisum, it belongs in your other thread of best movies scenes.


Pat Garret and Billy the Kid, love the Dylan soundtrack too, you can pick up the CD cheap.

Second Josey Whales, too, and 3:10 to Yuma. Haven't seen the original but like the recent one well enough.

High Plains Drifter is a slightly trippy Clint Eastwood film.

Also, while you're getting your western hit check out the series Deadwood if you haven't already.

If you use torrents there's a 90GB Western Movie Pack out there...


I'm incredibly grateful for both of your lists, but definitely this one in particular, gives me a few of the perhaps lesser popularised to adjust myself to the genre with.

How do you feel about some of the recent westerns? Like the 3:10 remake and The Proposition? I wonder if I should get some of the better, newer ones out of the way first, so I can rummage backwards into the golden era of Westerns. Or if I should more randomise my choices, and just build in quality regardless of film age.


Thank you for these, I'll keep PG & Billy until a little later on in the rotation I think, so I can take my time searching for the original cut and not the theatrical one.

I'll keep Deadwood in the memory banks for sure, but likely once the films are over that I begin with a TV series.

It seems Josey Wales is also up on that kind of pedestal, so I shall look for that somewhere between the previous two.

That movie pack sounds very interesting, I shall have a gander for that, thank you Diddy!


Not Spaghetti, and not a film.... But The miniseries The Lonesome Dove is a must.

The scene where the cavalry scout horsewhips Newt, and McCall comes a runnin', is a serious goosebump moment.


I've not heard of that one, but I will definitely be on the lookout for it. I'm glad that I've been able to dig a little deeper into the genre and not just be left skirting the surface, thanks to advice like this.


Lonesome Dove was adapted from a novel by Larry McMurtry. He also wrote Brokeback Mountain, and The Last Picture Show.

My top picks:
1. John Wayne and The Cowboys
2. Silverado
3. Big Jake
4. Open Range
5. Lonesome Dove