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Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns Made a Fistful of Dollars and Clint Eastwood a Star

Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns Made a Fistful of Dollars and Clint Eastwood a Star

Sergio Leone was born Jan. 3, 1929; he would have been 90 this week. Though he directed only seven films, their impact has been wide and long-lasting, including making Clint Eastwood a star.

On Oct. 11, 1967, Variety carried a guest column by Lee Van Cleef shortly before the U.S. bow of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” The actor countered criticism that Leone’s films are too violent: “What could have more violent sequences than the Bible?” he wrote. Van Cleef added that the films were authentic and heavily researched, saying that on the set the filmmaker “carried a small library of well-illustrated American books devoted to American history of those times.”

In that same issue, Leone said he didn’t invent Westerns all’Italiana. There were two dozen before the 1964 “Fistful of Dollars.” But the film was such a hit, he said, it inspired more than 200 spaghetti Westerns in the following two years,

See full article on Variety