Thursday, Oct 2020
Director: Sergio Leone
Screenwriters: Sergio Leone & Duccio Tessari inspired by Kurosowa's film Yojimba
Length: 100 minutes
Theme Song: A Fistful of Dollars Overture ~ Ennio Morricone
Released: 1964

Italian Title: Per un pugno di dollari

fistful of dollarsThe first of three Man-With-No-Name Westerns made by Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood. Filmed in Spain in 1964, this film is a visual delight. Leone uses authentic costumes and sets to capture the gritty look of the Southwest (Mexico). Only Peckinpah rivals Leone for his grasp of hygiene in the old west. The stains are bountiful and often bloody in A Fistful of Dollars. Graphic violence and splattered blood are at the forefront of this action packed shoot-em-up.

Joe (Clint Eastwood) is a gunslinger who ambles into town on a mule. The town is run by two rival factions; the Rojo's and the Baxter's. Joe alternatively offers his services to both families, all while collecting fees. In between shootings, Joe finds time to rescue the lovely Marisol (Marianne Koch) from the clutches of the evil Ramon Rojo (Gian Maria Volonte).

Dry witted one-liners that became part of Clint's movie persona are uncorked for the first time. From asking the Rojo's to apologize to his mule to requesting coffins for the soon-to-be-deceased, Clint never fails to entertain. He sets out to enrich himself but ends up doing good along the way. And in doing so, he establishes himself as an anti-hero.

Ennio Morricone's score perfectly complements the film. It can be majestic, haunting, and whimsical. It is also a pleasant departure from the corny Western theme songs that had become rote by the mid-sixties (Glenn Campbell's True Grit song, for instance).

Bad dubbing is all that holds A Fistful of Dollars here at the Good Viewers, it probably deserves to be amongst the Must Sees...

Cast:

  • Clint Eastwood....The Man With No Name (Joe)
  • Marianne Koch....Marisol
  • Gian Maria Volonté....Ramón Rojo
  • Wolfgang Lukschy....John Baxter
  • Sieghardt Rupp....Esteban Rojo
  • Joseph Egger....Piripero
  • Antonio Prieto ....Benito Rojo
  • José Calvo ... Silvanito
  • Margarita Lozano....Consuelo Baxter
  • Daniel Martín .... Julián
  • Benito Stefanelli....Rubio
  • Carla Calò....Antonia Baxter
  • Bruno Carotenuto....Antonio Baker
  • Aldo Sambrell
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