The Spaghetti Western is a particular sub-genre of Western film that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s. Since most of these films were financed by Italian companies, the genre quickly acquired the name "Spaghetti Western". (This term does not refer to a plot that is hard for a viewer to follow and is unrelated to the computing term spaghetti code.) At the time the term was used as one of disparagement, but by the late twentieth century many of these films came to be held in high regard.
Three names are largely regarded as being synonymous with this form, these being the director Sergio Leone, the actor Clint Eastwood, and the composer Ennio Morricone. The quintessential classic of the form is the 1966 movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, in which all three have a hand - although, atypically for the Spaghetti Western genre, the film had a relatively high budget for the time (in excess of 1 million USD).
Many of the films were shot in the Spanish desertic zone of Almerķa. Because of the desert setting and the readily available Southern Spanish extras, a usual theme in Spaghetti Westerns is the Mexican Revolution, Mexican bandits and the border zone between Mexico and the USA.
Sometimes the name Chorizo Western is used for similar films financed by Spanish capital. Publicity for the Japanese comedy film Tampopo coined the phrase "noodle western" to describe the parody made about a noodle restaurant.
Spaghetti Westerns include:
- Savage Guns (1961)
- The Treasure of Silver Lake (1962)
- A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
- For a Few Dollars More (1965)
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
- Django (1966)
- Ace High (1968)
- Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
- High Plains Drifter (1972)
- 800 balas (2002) is set among former actors and stunts in Almerķa.
- Sergio Leone
- Sergio Corbucci
- Sergio Sollima