Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Hero Never Dies Library: Sergio Leone Once Upon A Time In Italy


Sir Christopher Frayling's Sergio Leone Once upon a time in Italy, is a completely different book to his Leone biography Something to do with death. This book is more of a coffee table style book, heavy with graphics but still with plenty of Frayling's wonderfully detailed and insightful writing on Sergio Leone and his films.

The first section of the book is entitled Sergio Leone and the western, before covering each of his westerns in turn.This section also includes a fascinating list of the influence of specific American westerns on Leone's movies. After this are a series of interviews including Leone himself, Ennio Morricone, actors including Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef, crew members and writers including Bernado Bertollucci. We also have an essay written by Leone on John Ford, a look at Leone's legacy and an afterword interview with Martin Scorsese.


Frayling's writing is worth the cost of the book alone, while not as detailed as his Leone biography, this book really packs the facts, insights and anecdotes into it's 240 pages. The main reason to buy the book though, even if you already own Frayling's other books is the incredible wealth of behind the scenes photos, international posters and ads, production sketches etc.


A great read and a book you will return to time and time again to drool at the posters you will never have (or is that just me?). Highly recommended for any spaghetti western fans and certainly for fans of Il Maestro.

5 comments:

Wes M said...

Good stuff Mart, I never managed to pick this up, always a little on the pricey side, but I've leafed thru it in stores and it's pure eye-candy. Frayling's commentaries are highly recommended too...

A hero never dies said...

It's worth it Wes I assure you, and yes there is some serious eye candy featured!

Ty said...

Will have to pick this up soon! Love spaghetti westerns!

A. said...

I've read through a good part of this in a local library. I should really take it out. You aren't kidding when you said it's a wealth of images.

It's a bit upsetting how little written material there really is about Leone and his works. I've always considered him in the upper echelon of filmmakers, but am still surprised how little English written works there are about him.

A hero never dies said...

Ty, The sooner the better, you won't regret it!

A, Frayling pretty much covers everything in his books, I do have another Leone book by Oreste De Fornari which is pretty good but not really in the same league. As you say though Leone was certainly one of the best and as such deserves more print, I'm always interested to read anything about him.

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