"I didn't let them kill him, and that's not the same thing": the peculiar moral codes of Sergio Leone's heroes

Parker, Lily (2008) "I didn't let them kill him, and that's not the same thing": the peculiar moral codes of Sergio Leone's heroes. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This dissertation adopts a structuralist approach to examine Sergio Leone's revision of classical Hollywood western character types. It operates via the close textual analysis of four films: A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). While providing a very brief history of the American Western genre (in its cinematic form) up to its supposed demise in the 1960s, my main focus is on Leone's revision of the classical western hero and the other stock characters which populate his cinematic West. This discussion is focussed through an analysis of Leone's trichotomous narrative structures, and the four character types - Avaricious Hero, Avenger, Histrionic Villain, and Professional Villain - which can be identified as replacing Hollywood's original stock characters. The diegetic actions of these character types are then examined, to illustrate the ways in which they are used by Leone to subvert traditional Hollywood depictions of frontier society. The most significant of these actions involve Leone's principal characters and signifiers of the community, namely authority figures and female characters. While partly utilising the conventional comparative approach to the Leonean Western, i.e. Leonean/Spaghetti vs. Classical/Hollywood, the main focus of this dissertation is on Leone's subversion of the Hollywood genre through his own moral framework, and how this developed from his rejection of specific themes previously identified as core to the Western.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/548

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