21 August 2009

Spaghetti Westerns

Spaghetti Westerns
This is the third edition of Christopher Frayling's classic study of Italian westerns, subtitled Cowboys & Europeans From Karl May To Sergio Leone. Though Frayling did not coin the term 'spaghetti western', his book did popularise and destigmatise it.

Although the original Spaghetti Westerns was written almost thirty years ago, neither subsequent edition has revised or expanded the text, with the only additions being new prefaces and a brief introduction by the editor, film historian Jeffrey Richards. Even the errata and typographical errors remain uncorrected, though they are at least listed in the prefaces.

The book is essential as the first substantial, academic analysis of spaghetti westerns. It's also vital for anyone interested in the western genre, or in genre cinema in general. Frayling has since written two books with production designer Ken Adam: an extended interview, and a design monograph. He also wrote a biography of Sergio Leone (Something To Do With Death) and a monograph on Leone's films (Once Upon A Time In Italy).

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