Spaghetti westerns changed filmmaking for the better, bringing ambiguity to a genre sorely lacking in anti-heroes and dark storylines and these spaghetti western collection essentials are a great start for anyone looking to learn more about the subgenre while enjoying some quality entertainment. Sergio Leone was the king of spaghetti westerns, and many of the spaghetti western essentials were from his lens, but other directors contributed as well. Here is a good start for any collector, the true spaghetti western collection essentials.

  1. "The Man With No Name Trilogy" Sergio Leone's films with Clint Eastwood really started it all. Beginning with "A Fistful of Dollars," his homage to Kurosawa's "Yojimbo," moving through "For a Few Dollars More," adding Lee Van Cleef to the mix as a vengeful bounty hunter, and concluding with the epic "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly," this trilogy covers all the spaghetti western tropes, making it the first stop on any journey to fill up your spaghetti western collection essentials. There are anti-heroes who speak softly but carry big guns, beautiful women, and villainous bandits, all artfully captured with Leone's masterful eye. The trilogy is available as a DVD set.

  2. "Django" This film from Sergio Corbucci, another spaghetti western collection essentials auteur, takes a more surrealistic bent. The titular gunfighter drags his own coffin behind him knowing that one day he'll be done in by one or more of his many enemies. This cult film belongs in any library of spaghetti western collection essentials.

  3. "Once Upon a Time in the West" Sergio Leone's most epic film is also available on DVD. Though it does not feature Clint Eastwood, it features gorgeous cinematography and its own unique tale of vengeance.

  4. "A Bullet for the General" Damiano Damiani's entry on our list of spaghetti western collection essentials is notable for its radical politics. In favor of revolution in all its forms, this bloody film was perfect for the sixties and is an entertaining time capsule today.

  5. "Duck, You Sucker!" Leone's silliest film closes out our list of spaghetti western collection essentials. Think "A Fistful of Dollars" with many more explosions and you have this tale of a Mexican bandit and an IRA munitions expert running amok during the Mexican Revolution.