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Spaghetti Westerns at the CrossroadsStudies in Relocation, Transition and Appropriation$
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Austin Fisher

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748695454

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748695454.001.0001

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Transit to East Germany: The Distribution and Reception of Once Upon a Time in the West in the German Democratic Republic

Transit to East Germany: The Distribution and Reception of Once Upon a Time in the West in the German Democratic Republic

Chapter:
(p.239) Chapter 11 Transit to East Germany: The Distribution and Reception of Once Upon a Time in the West in the German Democratic Republic
Source:
Spaghetti Westerns at the Crossroads
Author(s):

Rosemary Stott

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748695454.003.0012

This chapter examines the relocation, transition, and appropriation of the Spaghetti Western in a hitherto under-researched context: the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), prior to its unification with the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) in 1990. It explores the selection, distribution and reception of Once Upon a Time in the West (C'era una volta il West, Sergio Leone, 1968) in the German Democratic Republic as a case study of how international cultural transfer causes objects of cultural production to be repositioned as they enter a new reception context. It also examines the ideological, economic, and sociological concerns underpinning the decisions of those who facilitated the movement of film across the political, cultural, and linguistic boundaries of nation states. In East Germany, the facilitators involved in the selection, censorship, dubbing, and promotion of films were mainly government administrators rather than film business professionals, because film was a state-controlled industry. The chapter focuses on the ‘official’ reception of the film on the basis of available censorship protocols and government policy papers, as well as print media sources.

Keywords:   Spaghetti Western, East Germany, German Democratic Republic, film industry, international cultural transfer, cultural production

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