La Conquista Vs Spaghetti Western

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La Conquista del West While the American Western portrays the west as a rough and rugged part of America’s cultural identity, it is in fact the Italians, by contrasting many facets of the standard western formula, who were more capable of conveying the atmosphere for which Hollywood tried to attain. Through the use of effective setting, and complex characters, the Spaghetti western improved upon their American predecessor's formula. The obvious glaring difference between the two versions of the genre is that Spaghetti Westerns were made in Europe. These films were usually produced and directed by Italians. The popularity of these films spanned from the 1960s and into the 70s, and spawned over 400 films. The films that received the…show more content…
Such as, Ethan in The Searchers. Ethan shows extreme racism towards Native Americans. He even goes as far as learning their culture so he can prevent their dead from entering the afterlife. However, one can’t mistake the fact that the Native Americans in the film were still the ones portrayed as the bad guys. Just as the villains of other westerns there is no explanations for why they would kill a family of ranchers. There is no explanation as to why one tribe of Natives is willing to trade with the good characters and the others are only out for blood. It is just given as a matter of fact, they hate us and we must send John Wayne out to kill the whole lot of them. The villains of the American westerns were mostly used as a plot device, a foil to the Hero’s’ righteousness, and it’s only hindsight that allows us to imagine Ethan as the barbaric racist that he was. Rooster Cogburn, of True Grit is also the shoot first, ask questions later drunk of a bounty hunter, who however still has a heart of gold. The good guy, regardless of the fact that he may be an intolerant loner, is still willing to do what he can to help protect the civilization, even though it might not agree with him. In however detestable Cogburn’s character may be, he still lives among society. Not like the villainous societal outcast he…show more content…
These westerns opted for characters that looked as if they lived a very rough life. Considering most Spaghetti westerns featured bounty hunters, this made sense. The characters backstories were painted onto their rugged faces. These were not godlike men, and while John Wayne’s characters were above the dirt of this earth, Clint Eastwood’s character’s looks as if they came from the dirt, which made them appear more organic, as well as vulnerable in a way. They were, in fact, men, easily corrupted by worldly pleasures and still at the mercy of the laws of nature. Even the extras in the film’s settings were rough around the edges. They showed the hardy faces of people that would choose to stay in such a harsh and barren landscape. Roger Ebert (2003) in his review of The Good the Bad and the Ugly states, “Instead of tame Hollywood extras from central casting, we get locals who must have been hired near the Spanish locations--men who look long-weathered by work and the sun. Consider the legless beggar who uses his arms to propel himself into a saloon, shouting, "Hand me down a whiskey!" (par.

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