Sergio Leone: Something to Do with Death

Overview

Sergio Leone is a singular figure among Italian filmmakers of the postwar years; his films grow in reputation year after year. Groundbreaking westerns such as his Dollars trilogy and the authoritative Once upon a Time in the West have made Leone one of the most popular and influential directors in world cinema. Christopher Frayling’s remarkable biography of Leone—the first ever—affectionately explores his body of work and casts light on little-known details of his life. A wealth of research, story, and insight, ...

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Overview

Sergio Leone is a singular figure among Italian filmmakers of the postwar years; his films grow in reputation year after year. Groundbreaking westerns such as his Dollars trilogy and the authoritative Once upon a Time in the West have made Leone one of the most popular and influential directors in world cinema. Christopher Frayling’s remarkable biography of Leone—the first ever—affectionately explores his body of work and casts light on little-known details of his life. A wealth of research, story, and insight, Sergio Leone: Something to Do with Death stands as the definitive study of this master filmmaker, crafted by one of our most acclaimed critics and historians.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Sergio Leone is identified with spaghetti Westerns--violent, visually imaginative Sixties and Seventies films that exploded the clich s of the Hollywood Western. Leone brought stardom to TV actor Clint Eastwood, who was cast as an antihero alien to Westerns and who admitted that Leone "really doesn't know anything about the West." Instead, the director's West existed as a sort of fever dream, and his tales, the author notes, were "fairy-tales for grown-ups." In the first detailed study of this original director, Frayling (Spaghetti Westerns) explores Leone's years of apprenticeship on American films shot in Italy, such as Ben Hur and sword-and-sandal epics like Colossus of Rhodes, which refined Leone's distinctive visual storytelling style. His imagination, however, was fired by the classic Westerns of John Ford. Frayling discusses the director's offbeat humor and considers the charges of misogyny and excessive violence without defending him. These features were evident in Leone's last film, Once Upon a Time in America (1984), an all-star gangster saga that confounded critics and admirers. This informative look at an underappreciated director should spark reappraisals of his work. Recommended for all film collections.--Stephen Rees, Levittown Regional Lib., PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
A. Tayler
Frayling's fair-minded, clearly structured and entertaining book makes it clear that Leone was certainly a major director. It is, in addition, a fitting monument to his cinema "of recognition and surprise"—a cinema which retains something of its original impact, even now that the stand-offs and letterbox close-ups have become clichés in their own right.
Times Literary Supplement
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816646838
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 1/26/2012
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 938,462
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Sir Christopher Frayling is a historian, critic, and award-winning broadcaster. He was chairman of Arts Council England from 2003 until 2010. He was knighted in 2001.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Author's Note to 2012 Edition Preface

1. Once Upon a Time in Rome
2. Bob, Son of Robert
3. Hollywood on the Tiber
4. Economic Miracles
5. Fistful of Dollars
6. For a Few Dollars More
7. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
8. Once Upon a Time in the West
9. Keep Your Head Down
10. Entr'acte
11. Once Upon a Time in America
12. A Certain Cinema

Notes Bibliography Filmography Index

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