Una signora dell’ovest (1942)

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Una signora dell’ovest (1942)

“The Girl of the Golden West”/”The Girl of the West”
Cast
Rossano Brazzi, as William
Carlo Bressen
Valentina Cortese (see Il bravo di Venezia), as the Saloon girl
Carlo Duse
Vittorio Duse (see Redenzione)
Cesare Fantoni
Renzo Merusi
Giovanni Onorato
Isa Pola (see Il ponte di vetro)
Michele Simon (see Tosca), as Butler

Director
Carlo Koch (see Tosca)

Producer
Franco Magli
Scalera Films, Rome

Duration
88 minutes

Story
David Belasco, ” Girl of the Golden West”
Based on “The Girl of the Golden West”, Puccini
Rom di Pierre Benoit

Screenplay
Carlo Koch
Lotte Reiniger
David Belasco

Director of Photography
Ubaldo Arata (b&w, see Il ponte di vetro)

Set Designer
Gustavo Abel (see Il ponte di vetro)

Music
Mario Nascimbene

Background
This film is also referred to as Carovana, and this may have been its earliest title, or merely a production/ pre-release title. Reference to the film was made in his first (and only) published biography:

“Recently he finished filming Carovana (“Carovan”) with Isa Pola and Michel Simon, a film exceptionally researched and realized with ample technical and artistic views, the parish priest particularly. Rossano Brazzi figures in a role suited for his exuberant temperament, as he is physically prepared to take hard risks.”

Rossano Brazzi: Complete Actor, by Pietro Osso, 1942

“The Italian “Spaghetti Western” as we know it today first appeared sometime in the early 1960’s. At first, films like Albert Band (Alfredo Antonini)’s Duello nel Texas (GUNFIGHT AT RED SANDS), or Mario Costa’s BUFFALO BILL, HERO OF THE FAR WEST were released in 1963. Then in 1964, Sergio Leone’s FISTFUL OF DOLLARS became the persona of all following Italian made westerns. But when really was the first Italian western made? Well, research points to 1942 as the year the first one was made. It was a picture called, Una signora dell’ovest, loosely translated as THE GIRL OF THE GOLDEN WEST which itself was an extension of an opera first seen in 1910 called THE GIRL OF THE GOLDEN WEST, which has since been filmed several times. David Belasco wrote the original screenplay.

Courtesy of Earl Hudson and Tom Betts of Westerns … All’Italiana!, P.O. Box 25042, Anaheim,CA 92825. Portions of the text were taken from SPAGHETTI WESTERNS: COWBOYS AND EUROPEANS FROM KARL MAY TO SERGIO LEONE, by Christopher Frayling, Routledge & Kegen Paul, London 1981.

Synopsis/Review

“This film is the first western ever made in Italy. It tells the tale of a young saloon dancer who inadvertently gets romantically involved with the man who killed her husband and framed her recent lover. She accepts his advances until she learns the truth. She then returns to her lover and discovers that he has been married all along.”

From “All-Movie Guide”

“Koch lacks the courage to set his film amongst our own cattlemen, the “buteri”, and thus to transfer the action to a more realistic setting. The most irritating things about this film are the “cardboard” backgrounds, and a general atmosphere of the baroque. However, we cannot ignore Koch’s serious commitment to his work.”

Giuseppe de Santis, CINEMA, February 25,1942

“The story concerns the adventures of an ex-music hall artiste and her lover, Diego, in the golden West; they team up with a rich cattle baron, William (Rossano Brazzi), who leads them to Butler (Michele Simon), a strange old man who gives them the rights to an abandoned mine. Butler kills Diego, making it look as if William is the real killer. The signora believes Butler’s story, “seeks consolation in his arms”; later, when she learns the truth, she rides off in search of William, finds him happily married and asks his forgiveness. The film was filmed amidst wartime cardboard sets.”

Courtesy of Earl Hudson and Tom Betts of Westerns … All’Italiana!, P.O. Box 25042, Anaheim,CA 92825. Portions of the text were taken from SPAGHETTI WESTERNS: COWBOYS AND EUROPEANS FROM KARL MAY TO SERGIO LEONE, by Christopher Frayling, Routledge & Kegen Paul, London 1981.

Photo Gallery
Rossano Brazzi in “Girl of the Golden West”.


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To purchase SPAGHETTI WESTERNS: COWBOYS AND EUROPEANS FROM KARL MAY TO SERGIO LEONE, by Christopher Frayling, Routledge & Kegen Paul, London 1981 from AMAZON.com, , click on the icon. To order Frayling’s other book, SPAGETTI WESTERNS, click here.


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