He began writing screenplays in the 1950s and made his solo directoral debut in 1960. He did not invent the Spaghetti Western genre but he created some of its most memorable films, overblown CinemaScope excesses that pushed the relative unknown Clint Eastwood into stardom.
Using the leverage of his successes he directed what he hoped would be his masterwork, C'Era una Volta il West, in 1967 for Paramount. Cruelly edited down the film flopped. He directed a quick, money-making project starring James Coburn and turned down the opportunity to direct The Godfather, building up instead to another epic work, this time centred on American gangsters. At his death he was part way through planning yet another epic, this time on the WW II battle for Leningrad.
Partial filmography: Il Colosso di Rodi (1960), A Fistful of Dollars or Per un Pugno di Dollari (1964), For a Few Dollars More or Per Qualche Dollaro in Piu (1965), The Good, the Bad and he Ugly or Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Caltivo (1966), Once Upon a Time in the West or C'Era una Volta il West (1968), A Fistful of Dynamite or Giu' la Testa (1971), Once Upon a Time in America (1984).
Sergio Leone Facts
|Birthday||January 3, 1929|
|Date of death||April 30, 1989 (age 60)|