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The Italians started making Westerns of their own, only their Westerns broke all the rules. The good, the bad and the ugly is a prime example of this.

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Introduction

The western film genre was first introduced in 1910 and remained popular throughout the years to the present day. Western film genres generally attempt to portray the struggle of man trying to conquer the wilderness of the west, to triumph over nature, in the name of civilization, or the fights to take back the land from the 'savage' Indians. Over time the Western film genre has evolved from being stories about stereotypical heroes fighting the baddies in the name of 'Law and justice' to completely the opposite and centering on baddie vs. baddie. That's where 'spaghetti westerns' come in. in the 1960s America began to tire of Westerns and Europe became more interested in it, Italy especially. The Italians started making Westerns of their own, only their Westerns broke all the rules. The good, the bad and the ugly is a prime example of this. In the opening sequence of the movie there is man waiting in a secluded town in the middle of a desert, after a few moments two other men arrive. They begin slowly walking towards each other until they reach each other outside of the saloon. This is where the audience is misled. At first you think that the first man you saw was the hero of the story and that he is about to fight the two other 'baddies'. ...read more.

Middle

This creates tension for the audience as it is built into the viewer to believe that there are always heroes and baddies and that the hero will be pretty easy on the eyes, Leone throws off the audience with his characters all being ugly. The main part about the setting of this sequence creating tension is the desolation that is shown in almost every shot. Like for instance the fist shot you see is an extreme long shot of the desert and mountains that surround the scene, also when the town is shown to the viewer there seems to be no one about, the entire place seems to have been abandoned. This creates tension as the audience feels slightly nervous due to the lack of life. Throughout the start we are given subtle clues to the fact that there are more than three men in the town. In the third shot of the town we can see outside of the town's saloon is a tied up horse that belongs to none of the three men. Also in the shot where we see the men facing each other outside the bar, just behind the man's head on the wall is a ripped wanted poster; this is a clue that maybe the bounty in said poster was the one who ripped it up. ...read more.

Conclusion

The stark contrast between shots creates tension as well as the feeling like an invasion of privacy you get when you see the man's face that close up to you. Another series of shots that create tension is the shot-reverse-shot of the three men walking to wards each other. The shots of them make it seem as though their tense faces are caused by the other men they appear to be staring at. This creates tension for the audience as they are made to believe that they are about to kill each other. Also nearer to the end of the staring sequence the men burst into the saloon, the shot is then with held from the audience and all they can hear is the furniture being broken and loud shots from their guns, but as the audience can't see this it's causes tension for them because they are not fully aware of what is happing to the men. In conclusion, it seems to me the best way that a director can create tension for their audience is by keeping the audience slightly in dark in parts, and using iconography and the settings to give almost eerie feelings to the throwing them off guard with the plot, this last point leaves the viewer with greater expectations for what the plot will develop out into and who the new characters will be. ...read more.

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