hat is it about certain Spaghetti Westerns that still fills me with so much strong emotion? Was it the snazzy, comfortable looking outfits? Was it memories of my Dad eliminating the bedtime rule so I could watch the late show with him? Was it was because the dark hero always triumphed in the end?
Maybe it was the desolate locations, sweaty banditos and looming death of the Mexican standoff that made me want to be like The Man With No Name? Why was his life so aspirational? After all, he was usually outnumbered, hunted and almost always ends up alone. Heck, besides those things, he is a trickster, a crook and a remorseless murderer.
To me though, The Man With No Name could do no wrong because he was my hero. Even as a child, I knew I was watching something special and the show always seemed like an event. To this day, when I go home to visit family on holidays, we cue up a spaghetti western and share it together. We all know what’s going to happen. We know all of the lines and I watch everyone in my family satisfyingly mouthing them.
Whenever someone asks me what my favorite movie franchise is, my immediate response is the sacred Sergio Leone’s trilogy: A Fistfull of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good The Bad And The Ugly because it just doesn’t get any better than those. The movies were great, and the posters for them were no less so.
They are a perfect storm of graphic badassery, fantastic typefaces and wonderful color.
If you were in a movie theatre in 1965 and came across these posters for the first time, how could they not sway you to choose them. Here’s the thing though, it was not just posters, the story and characters that stuck with me for decades. It was the epic music.
The Ennio Morricone Anthology – A Fistful Of Film Music” is my stranded on a desert island album of choice. It hits every emotion that I could ever want and I dare you…no…I double dare you to listen to Man With A Harmonica or Navajo Joe and tell me you feel nothing. If I listen to this collection from beginning to end, I still get goosebumps.
As for the answer to why we feel so good watching these movies…maybe it just doesn’t matter and everyone is entitled to their own reasons anyway. For me, it reminds me of my family but I like to think that there is also a lesson buried in there somewhere…the cheesy one could be that even when the chips are way down, all is never lost. But the non-cheesy lesson is that we love to see the flawed good guy defeat the even more flawed bad guy.
It took some time, but I finally got my The Good The Bad And The Ugly poster framed. It really is beautiful and it makes me feel good just working near it. Looking at this picture, I realize that I couldn’t have gotten it any closer to my personal space if I tried.
Of the movies in the trilogy, it’ll always be my favorite and for the record…I still want to be like The Man With No Name…only slightly less murderous.
Check out these beautiful Spaghetti Western Poster reproductions from Fine Art America.
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