Spaghetti and Macaroni … Westerns?

The spaghetti western refers to the genre of Western movies from the mid 1960s usually with an Italian director (Sergio Leone comes to mind) and often a mixture of Italian and Spanish crew and cast. A well-known example is “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly“, as it is called in the United States, “Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo”, (The good, the ugly, the bad) as it is originally known in Italian, which stars Clint Eastwood.

Now the interesting thing is that the spaghetti western is known as the macaroni western in Japan. The reason behind the difference goes back to the time Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars was released in Japan (the first of the Man With No Name/Dollars trilogy, which was followed by “For a Few Dollars More” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”) around 1964. (Apparently there are claims that the plot to “A Fistful of Dollars” was lifted from Akira Kurosawa’s 1961 “Yojimbo” 1). It was the prominent Japanese film critic Yodogawa Nagaharu who said:

スパゲッティでは細くて貧弱そうだ
spaghettis are thin and meager

and thus he referred to them as macaroni westerns, a name which stuck, at least in Japan. Never mind the fact that macaronis are hollow!

1 For further details, read a BBC comparison of the two movies.

View Comments

Share
Published by
Rio

Recent Posts

Discovering Bangalore

A lady selling flowers in Nagarthpet, Bangalore I’ve always cherished the opportunity to visit India.… Read More

2 years ago

Two days in Niijima and Shikinejima

The view from the deserted Habushiura beach Ever since my failed trip to Oshima 3… Read More

2 years ago

Brydge iPad Pro 2018 Keyboard review

One of the oddest things about writing on a solid, alumnium keyboard attached to the… Read More

3 years ago

Onsen trip report: Haccho-no-yu, 八丁の湯, Okukinu, Nikko

I had the chance to travel to the far corner of Tochigi prefecture in a… Read More

5 years ago

All About Tokyo Taxis – Part 1

In which I discover a minor taxi racket in Akasaka, ogle taxis from the top… Read More

6 years ago

Strange Dreams from Oshima

In which I sleep walk 20km across an island 120km away from Tokyo, while taking… Read More

6 years ago