Sergio Leone

Sergio Leone

Once Upon a Time in Italy

  1. Christopher Frayling
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  • ISBN 9780500287439
  • 26.10 x 21.50 cm
  • Paperback with flaps
  • 240pp
  • With over 200 illustrations
  • First published 2008
‘Outstanding … a plethora of visual memorabilia … a sumptuous book full of the qualities traditionally associated with Thames & Hudson’ – The Times Higher Education Supplement
‘Stunning, thanks not only to the fact-strewn text, but also the inclusion of over 200 immaculate illustrations’ – Film Review
‘Fascinating … this wonderful book brings much of the background of the films to life …’ – Scotland on Sunday

In the mid-1960s, an unknown Italian film director named Sergio Leone was given $200,000 and some leftover film stock, and set out to make a Western. With a script based on a samurai epic, a TV actor named Clint Eastwood, a composer named Ennio Morricone and a cameraman named Massimo Dallamano, Leone was expected to make what was essentially a throwaway film... what he ended up making was A Fistful of Dollars, the first in a trilogy of films that came to define the ‘spaghetti western’.

The films that complete the trilogy, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly are, like, the first film, violent, cynical and visually stunning. With each film, Leone’s visual style, offbeat sense of humour and elliptical way of telling stories became more and more sophisticated. Together they form the backbone of an important film genre that has influenced many contemporary filmmakers.

Sergio Leone is an authoritative, in-depth study of Leone and the Italian Western by film expert and cultural historian Sir Christopher Frayling. It also includes interviews with Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Sergio Leone, Ennio Morricone, production designer Carlo Simi, Lee Van Cleef, Bernardo Bertolucci and Claudia Cardinale, as well as an essay by Sergio Leone on director John Ford.

The book is illustrated with a wealth of visual material, including production stills, lobby cards, pictorial source sketches, costume and set designs, and release posters from Italy, Spain, Belgium, Japan, Great Britain, France and the United States.

Sir Christopher Frayling is Chairman of the Arts Council and has been Rector at the Royal College of Art since 1996. A historian, critic and broadcaster, he has also written over a dozen books on arts and culture, including Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone and Sergio Leone: Something to Do With Death.