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Between the worldwide box-office success of his Dollars films - A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For A Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966) - and his untimely death in April 1989 at the age of sixty, Sergio Leone gave interviews to selected film journalists, at first in Italy, then France, then the United States. He also wrote a series of thoughtful essays about his cinematic influences - and loves - such as Charlie Chaplin, Federico Fellini, Henry Fonda, Robert Aldrich and of course John Ford. To accompany his final film Once Upon a Time in America (1984) - fifteen years in gestation - he published several articles about his obsessive quest to make the film, and how it eventually happened.

Most of these interviews/writings have never before appeared in the English language, and as a collection they have never before appeared anywhere. SERGIO LEONE by Himself, compiled by Leone’s acclaimed biographer Christopher Frayling, gathers together all his significant interviews, essays and articles, to create a director’s eye view of a body of work which over the past half century has had a decisive influence on world cinema, especially action cinema. The book is profusely illustrated with previously unseen photographs from the Leone family collection and the Angelo Novi archive, both now housed in the Cineteca in Bologna. It also includes, as a bonus, previously unpublished commentary from Leone’s long-suffering producers.

Much has been written by commentators about the films of Sergio Leone - some of it good, some bad and some ugly. Here at last it is the turn of the man himself - larger-than-life, short-fused, astonishingly cine-literate, and a born storyteller.

SERGIO LEONE by Himself will be published in autumn 2024, coinciding with the sixtieth anniversary of the Italian release of A Fistful of Dollars.

Christopher Frayling is a world-renowned authority on the films of Sergio Leone. He has written Leone’s biography, curated a major world-touring exhibition on his work, published the classic study of the spaghetti western phenomenon and provided commentaries to Leone dvds and television documentaries. Christopher is an award-winning broadcaster and writer on film, design and popular culture. He was Rector of London’s Royal College of Art from 1996 to 2009, and was also Chairman of the Arts Council of England and a Governor of the British Film Institute. He was Professor of Cultural History at the RCA for over 30 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Christopher was knighted in the year 2000 for “services to art and design education”. As Sergio Leone once said to him, “it took an Englishman to take my films seriously...”

ISBN: 978-1-909526-96-9
256pp; Hardback; 275 x 230 mm
Publication date: 26 November 2024