Spaghetti Western is a nickname for a broad sub-genre of Western film that emerged in the mid-1960s, so named because most were produced by Italian studios. Originally they had in common the Italian language, low budgets, and a recognizable highly fluid, violent, and minimalist cinematography that eschewed (some said "demythologized") many of the conventions of earlier Westerns — partly intentionally, partly as a result of the work being done in a different cultural background and with limited funds. The term was originally used disparagingly, but by the 1980s many of these films came to be held in high regard, particularly because it was hard to ignore the influence they had in redefining the entire idea of a western.
The best-known and perhaps archetypal Spaghetti Westerns were the Man With No Name trilogy (or the Dollars Trilogy) directed by Sergio Leone, starring the American then-TV actor Clint Eastwood and with musical scores composed by Ennio Morricone (all of whom are now synonymous with the genre): A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). Atypically for the genre, the last had a relatively high budget in excess of one million USD. His following film after the so-called "trilogy" was Once Upon a Time in the West, which is often lumped in with the previous three for its extremely similar style and accompanying score by Morricone, only differing by the absence of Clint Eastwood in the starring role.
The films were primarily shot in the Andalucia region of Spain, and in particular the Tabernas Desert of Almería, because it greatly resembles the landscape of the American Southwest. (A few were shot on Sardinia.) 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 region shared by Mexico and the US.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaghetti_Western
One of the most prolific of Italian exploitation genres, the spaghetti western is an essential part of 60s and 70s cinema. Here are some of my favourite flicks:
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (1966, Sergio Leone)
Once Upon A Time In The West (1969, sergio Leone)
A Fistful Of Dynamite (1971, Sergio Leone)
Keoma (1977, Enzo G Castellari)
Django (1966, Sergio Corbucci)
Navajo Joe (1966, Sergio Corbucci)
The Mercenary (1968, Sergio Corbucci)
Companeros! (1970, Sergio Corbucci)
White, Yellow & Black (1975, Sergio Corbucci)
Django Kill! (1967, Guilio Questi)