A top ten, deliberately limiting myself to one film per director to avoid the dominance of Leone and Corbucci and omitting Once Upon a Time in the West as being more a classic western than an Italian western, as signalled by Leone's desire to say farewell to the Dollars films by having the three gunmen who meet Harmonica essayed by Eastwood, Van Cleef and Wallach.
1. The Good the Bad and the Ugly – a great film, period.
2. The Big Gundown – Morricone, Sollima, Van Cleef and Milian all at the top of their game, plus some of the most impassioned singing I've heard courtesy of Christy.
3. The Great Silence – the logical extension of the laconic Man of no Name, the baddest of the bad and the bleakest of the bleak - landscapes and endings - make for an unbeatable package.
4. Death Rides a Horse – another dark, complex and satisfying revenge tale; another great Morricone score.
5. Companeros – the best of the political spaghettis, successfully combining its message with solid entertainment, the latter half of the equation being the one that all too many “committed” filmmakers forgot about.
6. The Return of Ringo – the Odyssey as spaghetti western #1 and a beautiful reinterpretation of the classic American western style and mythology.
7. Cemetery without Crosses – what could easily have been nothing more than formulaic Leone pastiche becomes a genuine tribute from filmmakers who really understood what he was doing.
8. Keoma – yes, even with the singing, no worse than Leonard Cohen in McCabe and Mrs Miller; Castellari's post-Leone, post-Peckinpah action sequences bring it all back home once more.
9. Django the Bastard - the supernatural western, with Anthony Steffen's impassive acting style being to the benefit of the whole and another of Luciano Rossi's delightful wackos.
10. My Name is Nobody – the Odyssey as spaghetti western #2 and a fitting farewell to and summation of the spaghetti form.
Let's hear yours...