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Dirty memories: three time capsules for the Wild West

Mariano Garcia remembers three dirty movies that can take us back to the days old yore... and wish we would never return!

On-screen entertainment has a unique ability to transport us back in time, to a realistic portrayal of an era that played a key role in history. Films set in the Wild West have captured the imaginations of viewers and produced a number of iconic period pieces.

But some movies have done it better than others, here’s a list of the top three movies that serve as perfect time capsules for the Wild West


1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966):

One of the most iconic movies ever made, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is a masterpiece and the perfect representative of Western movies. Set during the American civil war, we follow three gunslingers as they embark on a quest for hidden treasure.

With Oscar-worthy performances from Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach, this movie perfectly portrays the desolate American Southwest. It does an impeccable job of incorporating the lawlessness of the time, with many of the male characters moulded by their experience in the war.

The movie itself had a major cultural influence that to this day is still felt. People fell in love with the genre through this iconic film and as a result created works inspired by it, a great example can be found in the online gambling industry. ‘Desperados Wild’ is just one of many megaway games available to play right now that takes inspiration from the Wild West. The game’s desert backdrop and themed symbols like dynamite and duelling guns are reminiscent of classic Westerns.


2. Unforgiven (Client Eastwood, 1992):

A common theme in highly regarded Westerns is the presence of one man, Clint Eastwood and in ‘Unforgiven’ he stars and directs. But unlike his previous films in the genre, the American actor takes a different approach and focuses on the more realistic and complex elements of a gunslinger.

He plays a man close to retirement as he battles with the remorse he feels for the acts that he committed in his past, as the Wild West era comes to a close. The movie perfectly represents every detail down to costumes and set design.

The period costumes are spot on as is the vocabulary of the characters and their recreational activities like smoking and drinking.


3. A Fistful of Dollars (Sergio Leone, 1964):

One of the greatest movies that perfectly depicts the Wild West era, we yet again, see Clint Eastwood featuring in the starring role. Directed by Sergio Leone, the film was released just two years before his other creation, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

We are introduced to the brutal world of America at the time, as Eastwood beautifully portrays the complex character of an anti-hero. It offers a poignant portrayal of the fickleness of life, resonating with audiences and shedding light on the complexity of the Wild West era. The film would go on to receive international acclaim and although filmed in Italy, would be viewed as a time capsule of old America.

Through masterful storytelling, these movies are able to transcend time and perfectly encapsulated the changing dynamics of the Wild West era.

A Fistful of Dollars is also pictured at the top of this article.

By Mariano Garcia - 12-06-2023

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