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Dante's Pick: Director Joe Dante Selects His 13 Favourite Films
Ian Schultz , September 16th, 2016 08:40

To coincide with the release of his cult classic Matinee on Blu-Ray, the director of Gremlins, The Burbs and Explorers, Joe Dante, picks a Baker's Dozen of his favourite films for The Quietus

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Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968)

It’s my favourite Sergio Leone movie and I saw it when it came out numerous times before they cut it. It was not a success, and the studio got cold feet and chopped out like 20 or 30 minutes of it, but it’s an amazing film building on the mythos that he was creating of the so-called spaghetti western - which was basically taking all of the clichés and the imagery from American westerns and putting them together in a completely different way. Of course it’s very difficult to separate a Leone picture from its music score. The music scores often were done before the shooting began, and so there’s an operatic quality to Once Upon a Time in the West that’s really phenomenal. It’s also a really neat movie. It has great performances, it’s poetic, and while it was not judged either a commercial or artistic success when it was new, I think that the years have proven that was an erroneous judgment. I wouldn't say that it’s “the last great Western,” but it’s certainly in the tradition of last Westerns.


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