A pastiche halfway between a collage of photos, Hollywood kitsch, and true cinematic creation, Lardani’s credits are worthy of recognition, even if only for representing the quintessence of the Spaghetti Western.
– Gemma Solana and Antonio Boneu in “Uncredited”
A legendary film with a legendary title sequence. Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo, also know as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is the final film in Sergio Leone’s legendary “Dollars” trilogy. This is the original, Italian title sequence.
Iginio Lardani was a self-taught motion designer with a background in graphic design. He created this iconic title sequence on virtually no budget. Lardani never revealed what methods or processes he used to create these images. Since he mostly worked from his home studio, we can only assume that he taught himself how to create visual effects on film by closely examining the work of other artists and filmmakers and through literature. He most likely used a system for optical printing on 16mm film. He might have even built a setup in his studio. But this is all speculation, grounded in the understanding that optical printing was the technique most commonly used for creating the kind of transitions, dissolves, blurs and superimposed images that Lardani uses in this title sequence.
Il Buono, Il Bruto, Il Cattivo (stills)
Numerous uses numerous traditional serif and sans-serif typefaces. A hodge-podge perhaps, but Lardani makes it work. Most typefaces are of the “Wanted” variety that we have come to associate with Western movies.
The gritty monochromatic photos of the main characters and of archetypal “wild west” subjects are processed to look like the “most-wanted” photos as reproduced on pamphlets and in 19th Century newspapers. To create the naturalistic motion of the animated horses galloping, Lardani might have used the rotoscoping technique.
Topping it all off, Ennio Morricone’s enigmatic score contributes greatly to the iconic status of Lardani’s title sequences for the “dollars” trilogy.
Article: Remco Vlaanderen, © Submarine Channel, 9 May 2007.
Year of production
About Iginio Lardani
Not so much is known about Iginio ‘Gigi’ Lardani, the designer of iconic title sequences such as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and A Fistful of Dollars. After a long search, I managed to get in touch with Iginio’s son Alberto, a film editor, who has worked with his father for more than twelve years. In the email interview, Alberto tells me that his father didn’t attend any kind of graphic design school. “He was an autodidact with a great interest in painting. He entered the film world as a film poster designer and created the Italian poster of ‘High Noon’, among others.”