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Any Gun Can Play: The Essential Guide to Euro-westerns [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Kevin Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: 24.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 May 2011
THE EURO-WESTERN BEYOND LEONE The success of Sergio Leone's 'Dollars' trilogy in the '60s sparked a gold rush, as a legion of European film-makers - many of them sharing the get-rich-quick mentality of Leone's mercenary anti-heroes - followed the master's lead to create some of the wildest Westerns ever made. Cynical and stylish, bloody and baroque, Euro-westerns replaced straight-shooting sheriffs and courageous cowboys with amoral adventurers, whose murderous methods would shock the heroes of Hollywood Westerns. These films became box-office sensations around the world, and their influence can still be felt today. Any Gun Can Play puts the phenomenon into perspective, exploring the films' wider reaches, their recurrent themes, characters, quirks and motifs. It examines Euro-westerns in relation to their American ancestors and the mechanics of the Italian popular film industry, and spotlights the unsung actors, directors and other artists who subverted the 'code' of the Western and dragged it into the modern age. Based on years of research backed up by interviews with many of the genre's leading lights, including actors Franco Nero, Giuliano Gemma and Gianni Garko, writer Sergio Donati, and directors Sergio Sollima and Giuliano Carnimeo, Any Gun Can Play will satisfy both connoisseurs and the curious. Complete with a foreword by Euro-Western legend Franco Nero, this stunningly illustrated reference guide takes aim at the lingering notion that the genre has little to offer beyond the 'Dollars' films and a fistful of others, exposing the full, vibrant history of the Euro-western.

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Any Gun Can Play: The Essential Guide to Euro-westerns + Cinema Italiano: The Complete Guide from Classics to Cult + Swedish Sensationsfilms
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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: FAB Press; First edition (30 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903254612
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903254615
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 19.3 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is genuinely one of the very best I have read on the subject and it has taken pride of place on my shelf amongst some very worthy company. --Spaghetti-Western.net

A major new work on the genre. --The Irish Times

An essential purchase. --Cinema Retro

About the Author

Kevin Grant is a freelance journalist and film writer with a passion for perfectly crafted genre pieces, particularly Continental and Oriental productions. A fan of American westerns since childhood, he was led astray at an early age by the irreverent interpretations of Sergio Leone, whose radical visions placed him - and certain of his European contemporaries - alongside the likes of Peckinpah and Mann in the pantheon of maverick directors of westerns. He has contributed reviews and articles to a range of film publications including the Euro-western journal Blood, Money and Vengeance, European Trash Cinema, Delirium, Flesh & Blood and Hotdog. Any Gun Can Play is his first book. ********** Foreword by Franco Nero As the alter ego of Django and Keoma, Franco Nero's iconic status among Euro-western aficionados is second to none. He gave vigorous performances in more than a dozen westerns in all, and he remains an impassioned ambassador for the genre. One of relatively few Italian actors to make an impact on a global scale, he has appeared in more than 120 films since his breakthrough in the mid-Sixties, alternating starring roles in popular movies with character turns in more prestigious productions. A frequent collaborator of Sergio Corbucci and Enzo Castellari, he has also worked with Luis Bunuel, Claude Chabrol, Elio Petri and John Huston, and has written, produced and directed for the screen.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The title of the book is an affectionate nod to the 1967 film of that name - regarding the sub title I could also use invaluable as an adjective because this veritable encyclopedia is an exhaustive study of a fascinating genre. The film that inspired the catch phrase of Spaghetti Western was Fistful of Dollars (1964) but it was not the first Italian Western - this can be traced back to 1955 which saw the release of The Coyote. The audience appeal can be assessed on many levels - firstly appearance of the characters. These fellows were invariably stubbly or had ragged beards & tatty unkempt hair - exactly how you would have imagined guys of that era to have looked because bathing facilities would not have been that sophisticated & probably deemed unnecessary while chasing after someone else's gold or tracking down & killing an outlaw in order to claim a bounty! The leading characters were usually the anti hero type with whom the audience could relate as personified by Clint Eastwood - for example in For a few dollars more he piles up a heap of dead outlaws onto a cart but rather than tick their names off he merely adds up the amount of bounty he's planning to collect! Another important appeal was Ennio Morricone's superb music - usually characterized by twanging guitars, soaring trumpet playing & soulful whistling of the theme song during the opening credits. Many titles followed on by cashing in on the dollar word - one of my favorites being Barrelful of Dollars (1971. Later on religion, horror & even martial arts were blended into the Western mix - The wrath of God (1968), Clumsy hands (1970) & The dragon strikes back (1973) are good examples. Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fistful Of Cool Films 25 Sep 2011
Exhaustively researched and very well written this is an excellent guide to the world of the Euro-Western - think stubbly and normally taciturn anti-hero types who let their Colts and Winchesters do the talking, mostly dry desert landscapes and extreme cinematography. Really only using the Leone movies as a stylistic blueprint this book is a thorough introduction to those wonderful movies from the 60s and early 70s. Useful as a history and as a reference book afterwards too, you will spend money tracking down some of the titles just like I did and probably everybody else who has bought a copy. Not too expensive either unless like me you wanted one of the (Franco Nero) signed hardback editions. And should fit snugly on your bookshelf next to Christopher Frayling's 'Spaghetti Westerns - from Karl May to Sergio Leone' tome. Now repeat after me '......if you've got to shoot, shoot, dont't talk.....'
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book 18 Nov 2012
The best book on the subject I have ever read (and re-read many times). Perfect mix of information and photos. Fascinating and informative, with very few if any errors I could spot. The index of actors towards the end is a real bonus too. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. A treasured part of my collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars spectacular book about the euro-westerns 27 May 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hello wild west fans,

Under youtube, the essential guide to euro westerns Äny gun can play" you can really watch in the book.
With a foreword by franco nero, this English book about the euro westerns is the best book written about the subject so far.
Any gun can play puts the phenomenon into perspective, showing its themes, characters and motifs. The actors, the musicians, the directors and the films relation witch their american ancestors are brought in the spotlight. Interviews with the main actors, directors and musicians makes this book of Kevin Grant a beauty into your bookshell.
With 64 pages in colour, the book is nice in combination with books like "the screen greats Clint eastwood" (exeter), Clint a retrospective (sterling) or Christopher Frayling's Sergio Leone once upon a time in Italy or "spagetti western buch (german language).

M Ritzen
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