Mapping Cinematic Norths: International Interpretations in Film and Television. Edited by Julia Dobson and Jonathan Rayner (Bern: Peter Lang AG, 2016).
This edited collection features a diverse selection of chapters that each engage in some way with the representation of the “North” in films and television programmes. Lee Broughton’s chapter titled ‘Fighting the North in the Spaghetti West: Peter Lee Lawrence, Italian Westerns and Italian History’ critically discusses the way that Northern and Southern characters and symbols are coded in three Spaghetti Westerns: Days of Violence (I giorni della violenza, Alfonso Brescia, 1967), A Pistol for a Hundred Coffins (Una pistola per cento bare, Umberto Lenzi, 1968) and Raise Your Hands, Dead Man, You’re Under Arrest (Su le mani, cadavere! Sei in arresto, Leon Klimovsky, 1971). Each film stars Peter Lee Lawrence as a Southern/Confederate protagonist.
By taking into account key episodes from Italian history (primarily the civil war of 1861-65 and the later stages of World War II), the country’s ongoing sectional antipathies and the attendant attitudes that were/still are held by a significant number of Northern and Southern Italians, it is argued that the characters and the conflicts depicted in these Spaghetti Westerns say more about Italy and Italian history than they do about America and American history. In order to highlight the different approaches employed by American and Italian filmmakers when representing the North and South out West, the chapter also critically discusses the Northern and Southern characters and symbols that are found in Andrew V. McLaglen’s Hollywood Western The Undefeated (1969).
The chapter draws upon the wider research that Lee carried out for his Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow’s research project, which ran from September 2013 to August 2016. Further chapters based on this research project, which was titled ‘Interpreting Representations of “North” and “South” in the Spaghetti West’, have been readied for publication and they will be followed by a monograph.