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Book Review: 'Sergio Leone: Something to Do With Death'

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Sergio Leone: Something to Do With Death

Current Status:
In Season
Christopher Frayling
Faber & Faber
Movies, Biography

We gave it a B-

The flamboyant career of the Italian film director who made the spaghetti Western (A Fistful of Dollars, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) respectable and turned Clint Eastwood into a superstar is painstakingly detailed in Christopher Frayling’s excessively reverent biography Sergio Leone: Something to Do With Death. From Leone’s starstruck youth apprenticing for Vittorio De Sica and Fred Zinnemann — as well as on several Steve Reeves muscleman flicks — to his glory days as the darling of film critics in the 1960s, his regrettable refusal to direct The Godfather, and his death from heart failure at age 60 (while watching I Want to Live! on TV), this exhaustive production tally never focuses on the man long enough to make you care. B-