Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spaghetti Westerns

Both The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly and Navajo Joe sharply contrast traditional domestically produced westerns. Both films track foreigners as main characters, so "the other" doesn't necessarily exist. In fact, the white men in both films are portrayed as brutish criminals, while Tuco and Joe often are the protagonists. In the The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly, Tuco is initially Blondie's partner before Blondie betrays him. In Navajo Joe, Joe is the one seeking revenge for wrongs done to his people by white men, which is pretty much the exact opposite plot as The Searchers.

The violent nature of white Americans shown in both films is based on the U.S. involvement in Vietnam in 1966. Because the films were produced by Italian directors, it is clear that Europeans had viewed Americans as overstepping their boundaries, as reflected through Duncan and Angel Face's violent nature. The Civil War playing out in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly again symbolizes Americans' violent nature.

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