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Sergio Leone’s 10 best films

Let’s find out in this article which are the best and unforgettable films, which made director Sergio Leone great

We continue our review of the best films of the most famous directors of all time. After Woody Allen, Vittorio De Sica and Martin Scorsese, this time it’s the turn of one of the greats of cinema, father of the spaghetti western, we are talking about Sergio Leone. Film director, screenwriter and producer, Sergio Leone was born in Rome on January 3, 1929. its production, albeit limited, has allowed it to be recognized internationally. That’s why below we present the 10 most significant titles, which have gradually led him to success. Given the limited number of films that have seen him directing, we have also decided to include in this guide also some feature films that he has worked on as a screenwriter.

10. The last days of Pompeii | The best movies of Sergio Leone

Let’s start with one of the very first films that saw the participation of Sergio Leone. It is about The last days of Pompeiifilm of the 1959 which sees him in the guise of director, albeit uncredited. It is in fact a project that he saw behind the camera Mario Bonnard, however, forced to abandon the set due to illness. Leone, who also collaborated on the screenplay, therefore finds himself concluding the feature film, finding himself savoring what will become the profession for which everyone still remembers him today.

The last days of Pompeii is a transposition of the novel The last days of Pompeii Of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, dated 1934. As the title suggests, the story is set at the foot of Vesuvius, in Pompeii, where the centurion Glaucus returns. When he arrives home, however, he finds his house burned down and his father murdered. Full of anger and with the desire to do justice, he goes to the mayor Ascanio, a man who is indebted to him after Glauco saved his daughter, Elena. In the cast Steve Reeves, Leto
Christine Kaufmann, Fernando Rey e Barbara Carroll.

9. The Colossus of Rhodes | The best movies of Sergio Leone

Now let’s move on to the first film, which officially leads him to direct a project entirely. We are talking about The Colossus of Rhodesof the 1961. It is a film capable of making the most of the talent and skills that Leone has collected, after a long apprenticeship, alongside other directors. In those years, the means available to him were still meagre, yet he was able to create an enjoyable film, which will allow him to start a long climb to success.

In The Colossus of Rhodes we follow the exploits of the Athenian hero Darius, who arrived on the island of Rhodes with the intention of recovering his strength after an exhausting battle against the Persian army. Once in the city, he finds the majestic colossus, dedicated to the god Apollo to guard the port, built by King Xerxes. Soon, Dario realizes that the population has a deep discontent with the decisions of the sovereign. In the cast Rory Calhoun, Lea Massari, Georges Marchal e Conrad San Martin.

8. A Fistful of Dollars | The best movies of Sergio Leone

A few years later, Sergio Leone returns to the cinema with a film that will remain forever in the collective imagination thanks to the extraordinary success achieved upon its release. We are talking about For a bunch of dollarsof the 1964. The film gives new light to a genre that was losing its edge in those years: the western. Leone offers a fresh perspective on this genre, using iconic long shots e close-up shotsstill unforgettable today. It can be said that the director’s career towards this genre took off precisely from this film.

For a fistful of dollars is considered the first feature film that makes up the famous dollar trilogywhich continues with the films For a Few Dollars More (1965) e the good, the bad and the ugly (1966). From here also starts the prolific collaboration between the director and the great master Ennio Morricone, who will sign unforgettable soundtracks and contribute to the success of Leone’s filmography. The first chapter of this trilogy focuses on the story of Joe, a gunslinger who arrived in San Miguel, a town on the border between the United States and Mexico, dominated by two families at odds with each other. The success of the film is also given by its interpreters, first of all Clint Eastwood, in the role of the protagonist; by his side Marianne Koch, Gian Maria Will e Wolfgang Lukschy.

7. For a Few Dollars More | The best movies of Sergio Leone

The extraordinary success of A Fistful of Dollars allows Sergio Leone to waste no time and immediately get back behind the camera to shoot, in the 1965, For a Few Dollars More. Despite the director’s uncertainty and the weight of creating a product that could compete with the previous one, this second chapter of the trilogy was another huge success with the public, which will lead many producers to reflect on how much this genre can still give.

For a few dollars more tell the deeds de the Monkallied with the Colonel Douglas Mortimer to hunt down, each with their own motivations, a ruthless criminal, the Indian, escaped from prison and now on the loose, ready to get back into action. The cast of the film sees among the protagonists Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonté, Mario Brega, Rosemarie Dexter e Louis Pistilli.

6. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly | The best movies of Sergio Leone

The director’s trilogy concludes with the feature film of 1966, the good, the bad and the ugly. A film which, as the director himself has declared, frees him from budget constraints which have partially hindered his previous projects. By now his talent is recognized by the public, allowing him to create an immortal film even for some scenes, which will be imprinted in the collective imagination, up to the present day.

In this last chapter, which makes up the trilogy of the dollar, we are in the midst of the Civil War. Three men, thirsty for money and with a dark past, try everything to take possession of a treasure hidden in a cemetery. For the occasion, some of the actors who made the previous films great, return to play iconic characters, first of all Clint Eastwoodwho will take on the role of il Biondo, at his side Lee Van Cleef, which will lend its face to Sentenza. Also in the cast Eli Wallach, as Tuco Ramírez. Also in the cast Aldo Giuffre, Mario Brega e Louis Pistilli.

5. Once Upon a Time in the West | The best movies of Sergio Leone

We continue our guide with a film released when Sergio Leone had already been consecrated to the world of western cinema. In the 1968 it’s the turn of Once Upon a Time in the West. This is not just a western, but a breakthrough film, which will kick off what is called Time Trilogycomposed of this film, from down the head e Once upon a time in America. With a choice against the genre, Leone decides to include a woman as the protagonist, in a context of strong historical change.

Once upon a time in the West tells the events that revolve around the only source of water, the town of Sweetwater. The land on which it stands was purchased by Brett McBain, eager to build a steam railway, capable of crossing the continent. However, the man will be hindered by Morton, its competitor. It will be the beginning of a long feud, which will worsen even more with the arrival of the former prostitute in the city Jill. The film is masterfully performed by Frank Wolff, Claudia Cardinale, Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards e Gabriel Ferzetti.

4. Head down | The best movies of Sergio Leone

Let’s now move on to the second film of the Time Trilogy, we are talking about Giù la testa, a film from 1971. It is a film that hides a very troubled production phase, due to several clashes between the production and the director himself. This leads to the creation of a feature film that is very different from the previous ones. Here Sergio Leone abandons what was his natural setting, to bring the story to Mexicoin 1913.

Giù la testa tells a story set in the middle of the Mexican revolution. Shady bank robber Juan Miranda tries his best to persuade IRA explosives expert John Mallory to help him rob the Mesa Verde Bank he has dreamed of since he was a child. However, the two will find themselves, in spite of themselves, involved in the ferocious revolutionary events. The cast consists of Rod Steiger, James Coburn, Romolo Valli e Rick Battle.

3. Once Upon a Time in America | The best movies of Sergio Leone

We now come to the film that puts an end to the brief, albeit intense, directed by Sergio Leone. We are talking about a feature film released in 1984, but which needed a fairly long period of study and work, almost 10 years. We are talking about Once upon a time in America. Defined by many as Leone’s masterpiece par excellence, this film breaks away from what the public was used to seeing in a film by the director, who this time decides to revolutionize the whole context of the story, which is set in New York, in 1933 .

We are in the era of prohibition, here Leone decides to set 40 years of life of the gangster David “Noodles” Aaronson. It is a tale of love, but also of death, told by showing the rise of organized crime in the USA, through a group of gangsters. The cast includes Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams, Tuesday Weld, Burt Young, Joe Pesci e Danny Aiello.

2. White, Red and Dark Green | The best movies of Sergio Leone

Sergio Leone’s filmography as a director ends with Once Upon a Time in America, but his career is not completely over after the 1984 title. In fact, in the following years, he decides to assist his friend Carlo Verdone in the creation of his first films, also signing the screenplay. This is why we have decided to include this guide as well White, Red and Dark Greenof the 1981 e Too strongof the 1986; the latest films born under the protective wing of the director.

Bianco, Rosso e Verdone is one of the most loved and appreciated road movies on the Italian scene, capable of giving life to characters still loved by the Italian public today. Here the director Carlo Verdone takes on the role of three different characters, Mimmo, Furio and Pasquale, three completely different personalities, whose stories do not intertwine, but have the same goal: to reach their polling station. Beyond Charles Verdonethe cast of the film consists of Irina Sanpiter,…