Italian westerns, also known as spaghetti westerns, include some of the best and most underrated westerns of all. They took the model of the Hollywood western and turned it on its head, offering killer antiheroes instead of white-hat good guys. They took the image of the American frontier of the 1800s and turned it on its head, as well, turning it from a place that offered infinite promise and hope into one where lawlessness, murder and revenge were commonplace and where nostalgic western towns were often replaced with rugged outposts on a harsh frontier. Where Hollywood looked perpetually west, these films also looked south, offering some of the finest stories that center on the Mexican revolution and the heroes and villains that played a part in that conflict. Spaghetti westerns, despite the disparaging sounding name, are among the best westerns of all, and include among their number classics such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, A Bullet for the General, Navajo Joe and Django. Don’t expect any singing cowboys here. These stories are about hard people who lived hard lives and, when they had to, didn’t hesitate to take what they wanted. Spaghetti Westerns: Essential Films, Essential Actors offers insight into and synopses of some of the best titles of the genre, including modern films that are heavily influenced by these films, such as Django Unchained and The Unforgiven.