In the 1960s and ’70s, a new style of film began to emerge in Europe: the spaghetti Western. On the surface, these films mirror classic American Westerns like “3:10 to Yuma” and “High Noon.” However, a closer look reveals that they are actually quite different. Aside from the language element, many of these foreign-born films have more action and less dialogue than their U.S. counterparts. An expressive musical score—come to be epitomized by Ennio Morricone’s orchestrations—and an abundance of violence also characterize the genre.
However, low budgets—and as a result, low production values—meant that American audiences weren’t particularly drawn to the genre, at least at first. The films’ popularity grew as more established actors and directors became involved in the project. Today, many of these movies have well-established cult followings and have influenced movies and filmmakers far outside of Westerns.
To provide a closer look at this subgenre of film, Stacker compiled data on the top Westerns of all time, narrowed the scope to spaghetti Westerns (Italian-produced Westerns from 1964-1978), and ranked them by IMDb user ratings, with ties broken by votes. To qualify, the film had to have at least 1,000 votes on IMDb.
Whether or not you believe Westerns are your thing, read on to see our list of the best spaghetti Westerns. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite!
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