From the beginning, in the 1960s, Sergio Leone's justly famous "spaghetti Westerns" had about them both a whiff of excitement and an air of folly. Here was an extroverted Italian working in Spain, reinventing American history and American movie mythology with an abandon that bordered on craziness. Leone's style was grandiose, his budgets were tiny, and the moral ambiguity of his unscrupulous, ultra-violent characters was unsettling. For better or worse, his disturbed visions of the frontier -- the bloody views of a bold outsider -- were completely new. The swaggering, upright Western hero of old, John Wayne, had suddenly been sent off to the bunkhouse for a long nap, replaced by a lean, coldhearted executioner with a brown cheroot clamped in his teeth: the Man With No Name, Clint Eastwood. "Beeg blue eyes," Leone demanded, early on. "Give me close-ups of Clint's... More >>>