Saturday, 7 May 2011

Title sequence from a Czech "western"

My sister asked me to, and I gladly do, share this YouTube video... it has nothing to do with dresses and everything with my other love, westerns.
It's from Cesta na jihozápad (The Journey South-West), a Czechoslovak film made in the 1980s, based on a story by Jack London, filmed in the then USSR. You cannot judge it by American westerns. It's decidedly Northern and Eastern, at least me and my sister think so, and that's what we love about it.
Although, as the YouTube poster of the video noted, and I had noticed before I saw his comment, the whistle in the tune is also decidedly similar to the main theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.


  1. No wonder you like westerns! This looks more like Lord of the Rings to me! :) Gorgeous countryside, very like New Zealand's really. Perhaps our respective gorgeous locations is why our countries are so often used in fantasy and period movies and TV series.

  2. Sorry, you're confused - this film was shot somewhere in Altai (I hope that's how it's transcribed). Somewhere in the USSR, I'm not sure where it is located nowadays. Our mountains are nowhere near as high - just hills in comparison to this!

    So many fantasy and period films are shot here in the Czech Republic because we have an abundance of castles, chateaus and old towns. :-) And I mean really an abundance... my country's long and rich history has left a huge mark on the landscape!

  3. So, is this suppose to be taking place in the US southwest? the one dude looks like an American Indian, but I don't want to presume.

    Yeah, I think "the Good, the Bad and the Ugly" is the spaghetti western that coiled the whistle in the tune bit.

    At least your various historical buildings have survived history!

  4. Rachael, it's Jack London, so it's supposed to be US North, AKA Alaska. :-)

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - the tune itself, in fact - got me started on Sergio Leone (and westerns in general, although I harboured a love for the thing before). And because after watching this video the GBU theme started playing in my head, I think the theft, or homage, whichever it is, is quite obvious. :D

    And your comment on the survival of our historical buildings very much reminds me of a 1944 article on American cities by Jean Paul Sartre we read for American Geographies... I have no idea whether it's readily available somewhere, but if ever you chance on it, read it - it offers a good insight into the differences between Europe (especially France, that is) and the US, in my opinion (and apparently in our teacher's, too - he's an American living in Europe, so he's got to know).

  5. Thanks so much for posting this, Sis! Altai is in southern Siberia. I love Siberian landscapes, they're so vast and untouched by civilization, like this one. And the guy who looks like an American Indian is really supposed to be an American Indian, but the actor is Czech.