A look back at this day in film history
April 30
April 30, 1989
Sergio Leone Dies

The master of pore-popping close-ups and grand Western vistas, Sergio Leone, died April 30 1989 at the age of 60. One of the creators of the "spaghetti Western" -- violent Italian produced, often dubbed dramas shot in Spain but set in the American West -- Leone made a star out of Clint Eastwood by casting him as "The Man with No Name" in A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and, finally, one of his great classics, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. And while his collaboration with Eastwood may top many of his remembrances, Leone's bold, expressionist use of music, melodramatic, morally ambiguous storytelling, drawn-out pacing, and his generally operatic sensibility have influenced countless directors since, from Quentin Tarantino to John Woo to Michael Mann. In addition to his Eastwood trilogy, among Leone's other pictures are the masterpiece Once Upon a Time in the West, a tale of frontier retribution set against the birth of the railroad industry, and Once Upon a Time in America, an elegiac chronicle of Jewish gangsters in the first part of the 20th century.

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Lars Von Trier April 30, 1956
Lars von Trier born

Lars von Trier, born April 30, 1956, may be one of our last great filmic wild men — even if his transgressive nature is, these days, expressed more through carefully aimed press conference missives and melancholy musings than sturm and drang on the set.

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