With Django Unchained set to hit theaters in five months, writer/director Quentin Tarantino revealed his top ten spaghetti westerns on the Django Unchained Facebook page. Tarantino fans know that lists are pretty familiar territory for the opinionated film icon as he annually releases his top ten list of best and worst films of the year.
For those looking to get into spaghetti westerns before Django hits theaters on December 25, take a look at the list of films chosen by Tarantino below. Which ones are your favorites? Which ones would you be interested in checking out? Click the poster image above for a larger version.
1.) The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Featuring one of the most well recognized music scores of all-time, Sergio Leone's classic pit Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach in a race to find a fortune of gold buried in a remote cemetery.
2.) For A Few Dollars More
The second movie in Sergio Leone's collaboration with Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name trilogy, Dollars pits Eastwood with Lee Van Cleef as they hunt down an outlaw known as El Indio (Gian Maria Volonte).
Franco Nero stars as the title character, a coffin-dragging gunslinger who arrives in a town caught between a conflict between a gang of Mexican bandits and the KKK. Written and directed by Sergio Corbucci, the coffin served as a MacGuffin, leading the audience to wonder who or what was inside it.
4.) The Mercenary
Otherwise known as A Professional Gun, Corbucci's western brings out the big guns and we don't mean that literally. Franco Nero stars as the man who will "sell your life to the highest bidder and if you're not willing to pay, get ready to die."
5.) Once Upon a Time in the West
Sergio Leone's sprawling epic story of a mysterious stranger (Charles Bronson) who joins forces with a desperado to protect a beautiful widow (Claudia Cardinale) from a ruthless assassin (Henry Fonda) working for the railroad.
6.) Fistful of Dollars
Sergio Leone's first collaboration with Clint Eastwood finds the Man with No Name playing a wandering gunfighter who plays two rival families against each other in a town torn apart by greed, pride and revenge. The story was adapted from Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo.
7.) Day of Anger
Lee Van Cleef mentors a young Giuliano Gemma who plays the amiable, unassertive Scott Mary, who spends his days as the janitor of the town of Clifton and is generally looked down upon by the town people. When Van Cleef rides into town and kills one of Scott's bullies, he seizes the opportunity to change his life and prove himself as a gunslinger.
8.) Death Rides a Horse
John Phillip Law stars as Bill, a man who fifteen years after witnessing his family being murdered by four robbers, sets out on a journey to exact revenge. Along the way, he spars with and occasionally cooperates with Ryan (Lee Van Cleef), a gunfighter on his own quest for vengeance.
9.) Navajo Joe
Filmed in Spain, Navajo Joe stars Burt Reynolds in his second leading role in a feature film. Reynolds stars as the title character who opposes a group of bandits responsible for killing his tribe. The film features a score by Ennio Morricone who is credited as Leo Nichols.
10.) The Return of Ringo
The sequel to A Pistol for Ringo, Duccio Tessari's film finds a civil war soldier (Montgomery Ward) who returns home to find his family decimated, his home taken over by a family of Mexican bandits and his fiancée about to marry Esteban, the gangster behind everything. The film has an alternate title, Blood at Sundown and was scored by the legendary Morricone.