Leones Spaghetti Essay

This essay has a total of 789 words and 4 pages.

Leones Spaghetti

Leone's Spaghetti
The "spaghetti" western, Sergio Leone's conscious departure from what had come to be known
as the "classic" western formula, became a modification of the conventions of the
traditional genre. In the film For A Few Dollars More (Per qualque dollaro in piu, 1965),
Leone's formula is developed through a reformed narrative structure, slight changes in the
traditional characters, his unique style, and the simple use of language, which
revolutionized the western.

The American "classic" western formula, according to Peter Bondanella in his essay A
Fistful of Pasta: Sergio Leone and the Spaghetti Western, employed "a combination of
narrative possibilities generated by three central roles: the townspeople (agents of
civilization); savages or outlaws, who threaten the first group; and heroes, men who share
certain characteristics of the second group, but who act ultimately on behalf of the
representatives of civilization" (Bondanella, 255).

Leone's modification of the traditional narrative structure removed the townspeople, and
in doing so eliminated civilization. He kept the outlaws, headed by an evil man with some
sort of psychological scarring. Instead of one hero, there are two, who act not on behalf
of society and order but their own personal gain. For A Few Dollars More revolves around
these three main characters.

The first character introduced by Leone to the audience is Colonel Douglas Mortimer (Lee
Van Cleef), "a retired soldier and bounty hunter motivated not only by profit but also the
thirst for revenge" (Bondanella, 257) of his sister's rape and death. He is a
professional, who stalks his target from a distance with an assortment of rifles rolled up
in his saddlebags; but to contrast with this cold delusion, Mortimer dresses in his black
preacher's costume and is a habitual reader of the Bible. He represents the older, wiser
generation, which is destined to be extinct. Next, Leone introduces Mortimer's competition
and opposite, Manco (Clint Eastwood), a young stranger with his cigars and poncho, who
blends with his surroundings. He is a bounty hunter who kills purely for profit and
approaches his victims directly. Finally, the audience is introduced to a doped-up Mexican
killer, Indio (Gian Maria Volonte), whose degenerate pleasure in violence is linked to the
moment, years before, when the death of Mortimer's sister traumatized him sexually, and is
constantly reminded of the incident by the chiming of the musical watch he carries, which
matches Mortimer's. (Bondanella, 257)

Mortimer and Manco, at first in competition with each other, join forces against Indio and
his gang of criminals in order for each to achieve their goal through a partnership. One
of the elements of Leone's unique style is the use of flashbacks, which in this case he
utilizes to link the emotions of Mortimer and Indio through the chimes of the watches they
both carry. This prepares the audience for the inevitable showdown and settling of
accounts between them that will conclude the film. Furthermore, the initial hostility
between Mortimer and Manco, because of their competition for the same victim, makes the
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