Sergio Leone is considered one of the greatest masters of Italian cinema thanks to films such as the trilogy of dollars (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) with Clint Eastwood and Once Upon a Time in America.
His spaghetti westerns, as they were called the Italian western films generally shot in Spain, have influenced countless productions of international cinema, thanks also to the soundtracks written by the composer Ennio Morricone, who passed away on 6 July 2020, who was also a former classmate of Sergio Leone.
Below you will find a selection of the most famous films of Leone, chosen from the director’s filmography (Sergio Leone has shot only 8 films). Following the link, you may also find other useful resources (details, more images, etc.)
A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
A Fistful of Dollars was the first film to show Leone’s distinctive style of visual direction, influenced by John Ford and Akira Kurosawa.
The Man With No Name enters the Mexican village of San Miguel in the midst of a power struggle among the three Rojo brothers and sheriff John Baxter. When a regiment of Mexican soldiers bearing gold intended to pay for new weapons is waylaid by the Rojo brothers, the stranger inserts himself into the middle of the long-simmering battle, selling false information to both sides for his own benefit … more
For a Few Dollars More (1965)
For a Few Dollars More was even more commercially successful than its predecessor. By 1967, the film became the highest-grossing film in Italy. Initially, it was received poorly by the American critics, however, it has since grown in popularity.
Two bounty hunters are in pursuit of “El Indio,” one of the most wanted fugitives in the western territories, and his gang. In the early 1890s, the man many call Manco is a bounty hunter, a profession shared by a former army officer, Colonel Douglas Mortimer … more
The term Spaghetti Western was used by American critics because most of these movies were produced and directed by Italians
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
The film is known for its stylistic gunfights, for its tension, violence, and the use of long shots and close-up cinematography. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was a financial success, grossing over $25 million at the box office, and is credited with having catapulted Eastwood into stardom.
While the Civil War rages between the Union and the Confederacy, three men – a quiet loner, a ruthless hit man, and a Mexican bandit – comb the American Southwest in search of a strongbox containing $200,000 in stolen gold … more
Once Upon a Time in the West 1968
The visual approach of Once Upon a Time in the West is very different from the Dollars Trilogy. The movie is much somber in time and slower in pace.
A widow whose land and life are in danger as the railroad is getting closer and closer to taking them over. A mysterious harmonica player joins forces with a desperado to protect the woman and her land … more
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Once Upon a Time in America was Sergio Leone´s final film before his death five years later. The film is an Italian–American venture and explores themes of love, lust, greed, betrayal, loss, childhood friendships, broken relationships, together with the rise of mobsters in America.
A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life … more