Director Sergio Leone didn’t invent Close-Up shots, but he certainly was influential in their use.This is partly why The Appaloosa is often referred to as the “American Spaghetti Western” – as Director Sidney J. Furie uses close-ups extensively. The movie was also made during the height of Spaghetti Western popularity (1966) and has more than it’s share of Mexican banditos.
Leone’s Eyes … guess who ?
Eastwood, Van Cleef, Wallach, Bronson
Furie’s Eyes … In your face Amigo
“The truth is, whether your film is about the great mythological character you have to do right, or it’s a little movie that nobody ever heard of, you still approach it like it’s the most important thing in the world. But failing goes with the territory. Filmmakers are like gunslingers, and you don’t win every duel.”
When you do a search on Google for ‘Western Movies of 1966′ here is what you will likely find: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Professionals, Nevada Smith, El Dorado, Alvarez Kelly, Duel at Diablo, The Shooting, Navajo Joe,
… and a few others …
A few Western Classics mixed in with a few clunkers. But, all in all, a pretty impressive year for Westerns.
Yet on most of these lists there is one glaring omission: The Appaloosa.
The Appaloosa a a good Western. It is well directed by Sydney J. Furie and has excellent Cinematography, and it has Brando and Saxon.
It also contains one of the most famous and powerful scenes in Western Film:
The famous scorpion arm wrestling scene with the between Saxon and Brando.
I am at a loss to figure out why this movie seems to have been so overlooked? Was there a big ‘hate on’ for Brando at the time?
Or was it a case of merely being overshadowed by two of the Greatest Western Classics of All Time: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and The Professionals? ???
I hope to see it eventually take it’s rightful place.