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Sergio Leone

Italia, 1971 Regia: Sergio Leone  Sog.: Sergio Leone, Sergio Donati; Scen.: Luciano Vincenzoni, Sergio Donati, Sergio Leone; F. (Techniscope, Technicolor): Giuseppe Ruzzolini; Mo.: Nino Baragli; Mu.: Ennio Morricone; Effetti speciali: Antonio Margheriti; Scgf.: Andrea Crisanti; Co.: Franco Carretti; Int.: Rod Steiger (Juan Miranda), James Coburn (John/Sean Mallory), Romolo Valli (Dottor Villega), Rick Battaglia (Santerna), Maria Monti (Adelita), Franco Graziosi (Don Jaime il governatore), Domingo Antoine (Colonnello Günther Reza/Gutiérrez), David Warbeck (amico di Sean nel flashback), Giulio Battiferri (Miguel), Renato Pontecchi (Pepe), Goffredo Pistoni (Nino), Corrado Solari (Sebastian), Biagio La Rocca (Benito), Vincenzo Norvese (Pancho), Poldo Bendandi (rivoluzionario giustiziato), Omar Bonaro, Roy Bosier (proprietario terriero), Vivienne Chandler, John Frederick (l’americano), Amato Gerbini, Biagio La Rocca (“Benito”), Furio Meniconi (rivoluzionario giustiziato),Nazzareno Natale, Vincenzo Novese (Pancho), Memè Perlini (un peone), Jean Rougeul (il monsignore nella diligenza), Anthony Vernon, Stefano Oppedisano, Michael Harvey (uno yankee); Prod.: Fulvio Morsella per Rafran Cinematografica, San Marco Films, Miura Cinematografica, Euro International Films; Pri. pro.: 29 ottobre 1971. 35mm. D.: 153’. Col.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

I used a historical context and a genre, the Western, as a pretext for talking about something else. The corpses in the cave, the ditch shooting and the governor’s escape by train refer to specific events (which the Italian audience knows) that occurred during the fight against fascism in Italy, namely, the discovery of 350 Jewish bodies in a quarry near Rome and Mussolini’s escape.
It is the lesson of Chaplin all over again: with his comedies he said and did more for socialism than any politician. The bank scene with Steiger leading the freed prisoners comes directly from Modern Times when Charlie waves his red flag in the crowd.
Because of the key role played by Morricone’s music in my films, they have often been associated with opera. I feel closer to the great melodrama and to Homer, or the picaresque novel, where there are no heroes, no good or bad men. I love close-ups because they express the soul. Usually cinema employs them to stress a particularly important event, whereas it is life itself: when we talk to one another or look at one another it’s a close-up. In the stagecoach, the camera getting closer and closer intends to turn the bourgeois faces into asses. While in colonel Gutiérrez’ case it is the expression of violence advancing. In the past, no one got closer than Ford in grasping the truth of the Western world. But Ford is an optimist: in his films when one of his characters opens a window he looks at the horizon with hope. I am a pessimist: it is the fear of being killed that inspires that very same action…

Sergio Leone, Entretien avec Sergio Leone, “Ecran 72”, n. 5, may 1972, interview by Guy Braucourt

Copy From

Restored by

The restoration is based on the original camera negative and on the magnetic soundtracks provided by the Leone Estate. The copy corresponds with the complete version of Sergio Leone’s approved edit from 1971. The Techniscope camera negative was scanned at 2K resolution and digitally restored; color correction was made using a positive print from 1971 as reference. The film was restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata in 2009, under the auspices of Sergio Leone Estate.