Fistful of Dollars
|Key Cast||Clint Eastwood, Marianne Koch, Gian Maria Volonte|
|Genre(s)||Western, Spaghetti Western|
“A Fistful of Dollars” Establishes Clint Eastwood as the Grim and Deadly “Man With No Name”
In the first of Sergio Leone’s famous spaghetti westerns trilogy, Clint Eastwood plays the poncho-clad, cigar-smoking “Man With No Name,” a sere-faced stranger who arrives in a Mexican border town locked in struggle between two dueling gangs, the Rojos and the Baxters.
In a storyline mirroring that of Akira Kurosawa’s samurai masterpiece “Yojimbo,” “A Fistful of Dollars” depicts the stranger’s steely opportunism in the face of this violent conflict. He variously renders deals with each side to benefit himself—selling information and swapping prisoners—and, along the way, outwitting both of them with his craftiness and prowess with the gun.
All this gritty drama is set against a rugged, arid landscape—the tawny wilds of Spain standing in for the desert border country of the U.S.-Mexico line—and a distinctive score by famed composer Ennio Morricone.
Eastwood’s iconic character found further bloody adventure in Leone’s follow-ups, “For a Few Dollars More” and “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”
• “Fistful of Dollars” is the movie that is credited with launching the spaghetti western craze. In some ways, you could say that “Fistful of Dollars” is the father of spaghetti westerns. The idea for this western actually comes from a Japanese film named Yojimbo (1961) which was made by famous Japanese film director Akiro Kurosawa. The storyline for Yojimbo is basically the same as the screenplay for “Fistful of Dollars” – A stranger comes into town and finds two families brutally feuding with each other and he (the stranger) decides to use it for his personal advantage. Sergio Leone got financing specifically to make a German-Italian-Spanish update to Yojimbo. This later comes back to haunt Leone because the makers of Yojimbo sued him for copyright infringement. The matter was eventually settled, but this resulted in “Fistful of Dollars” not being released until 1967, nearly three years after the spaghetti western was first made.
• Clint Eastwood was not Sergio Leone’s first choice to star in “Fistful of Dollars.” Leone wanted actor Richard Harrison. Most likely, this was because Harrison was already living in Italy and successfully playing in movies. Harrison turned down Leone’s offer because he was already involved in another movie project. Instead, Harrison suggested that Leone consider Clint Eastwood for the part since he was familiar with Eastwood from the popular television western Rawhide. Leone took Harrison’s suggestion, cast Eastwood as Joe “The Man with No Name” in “Fistful of Dollars” and a new spaghetti western movie star was born.
• “Fistful of Dollars” was the first of three films that Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood made together. These spaghetti westerns have famously become known as “The Man With No Name” trilogy. The other two westerns in this trilogy are “For a Few Dollars More” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”
• “Fistful of Dollars” was 1) Shot in Spain 2) Used mostly European actors to play the American pioneers and 3) Was dubbed into English after it was filmed.
Fistful of Dollars DVD
“Fistful of Dollars” is the spaghetti western most credited for starting the spaghetti western craze in the United States. This Clint Eastwood / Sergio Leone western was the first of three famous movies that they made together that became known as “The Man with No Name Trilogy.”
Fistful of Dollars Blu-Ray DiscWatch this famous Clint Eastwood & Sergio Leone spaghetti western in the super high quality of Blu-ray.
This Blu-ray disc is loaded with extra bonus material which will add to your enjoyment of this film. Some of the more noteworthy additions are:
• A Few Weeks In Spain: Clint Eastwood on the Experience of Making the Film
• Fistful Of Dollars Feature Commentary by Noted Film Historian Sir Christopher Frayling
• Not Ready For Primetime: Renowned Filmmaker Monte Hellman Discusses the Television Broadcast of A Fistful Of Dollars
• and more!
This Blu-ray will make a great addition to your home theatre collection.
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