In the mid-1960s, Sergio Leone’s celebrated Dollars trilogy starring Clint Eastwood paved the way for a new kind of western. Gone were the days of the romanticised west with stars like Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne – the films were getting darker, savagely violent, and more focused on revenge. Thus gave rise to an explosion of films from a variety of directors, each putting their own unique spin on this new Italian take on the genre.
This beautiful boxset from Arrow Video brings together four examples of this era of filmmaking in stunning restorations and packed with a plethora of brand-new bonus materials. From iconic filmmakers Lucio Fulci, Maurizio Lucidi, Massimo Dallamano and Antonio Margheriti, these films unsurprisingly don’t hit the incredible heights of Leone’s masterworks, but there is a lot to enjoy here for anybody fond of the Man with No Name. With each film focusing on a theme of revenge, this selection sees stars such as Franco Nero (Django) and Klaus Kinski (Fitzcarraldo) seeking vengeance on powerful businessmen, sadistic killers and corrupt law officials with brutal violence and moral cynicism.
Each of the films look and sound beautiful with three of the restorations produced specifically for this set, while the generous helping of special features offer valuable insight into each of the films’ legacy and this era of cinema in general. Long one of the leading purveyors of Euro Westerns with their releases of films like Day of Anger and A Pistol for Ringo, Arrow Video strike gold again with this set that reminds us there is more to the western than The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.
Vengeance Trails: Four Classic Westerns is available on Limited Edition Blu-ray on 26 July from Arrow Video