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A Fistful of Dollars [1964]

Director:Sergio Leone
Writer:Jaime Comas Gil
Sergio Leone
Víctor Andrés Catena
Composer:Ennio Morricone
Length:99 minutes
(1 hour 39 minutes)
MPAA Rating:R
Sorting Category:Western
IMDB Rating:8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:97%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Synopsis: A wandering gunfighter plays two rival families against each other in a town torn apart by greed, pride, and revenge.

Reaction: Not exactly my kind of thing, but I do recognize that it is well made and executed. A couple scenes are more slow than I might prefer, but it doesn't necessarily detract from the movie.

Personal Rating: 7/10

Sergio Leone => Director / Writer
Jaime Comas Gil => Writer
Víctor Andrés Catena => Writer
Ennio Morricone => Composer
Aldo Sambrell => Rojo gang member (as Aldo Sambreli)
Antonio Prieto => Don Miguel Benito Rojo
Benito Stefanelli => Rubio (as Benny Reeves)
Bruno Carotenuto => Antonio Baxter (as Carol Brown)
Clint Eastwood => Joe
Daniel Martín => Julián
Gian Maria Volonté => Ramón Rojo (as Johnny Wels)
José Calvo => Silvanito (as Jose Calvo)
Joseph Egger => Piripero (as Joe Edger)
Margarita Lozano => Consuelo Baxter (as Margherita Lozano)
Marianne Koch => Marisol
Mario Brega => Chico (as Richard Stuyvesant)
Nino Del Arco => Jesus (uncredited)
Sieghardt Rupp => Esteban Rojo (as S. Rupp)
Wolfgang Lukschy => John Baxter (as W. Lukschy)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • This has been described as the first "spaghetti western", but when this film was made, there had already been about 25 such westerns produced in Italy. This was, however, the first to receive a major international release.
  • Clint Eastwood helped in creating his character's distinctive visual style. He bought the black jeans from a sport shop on Hollywood Boulevard, the hat came from a Santa Monica wardrobe firm and the trademark black cigars came from a Beverly Hills store. Eastwood himself cut the cigars into three pieces to make them shorter. Eastwood himself is a non-smoker.
  • Originally called The Magnificent Stranger, the title wasn't changed to A Fistful of Dollars until almost three days before the movie premiered in theaters. In fact, nobody had bothered to inform its main star, Clint Eastwood, of the change, and as a result Eastwood remained virtually unaware of the positive buzz surrounding the movie until an agent pointed it out to him in a [Variety Magazine article three weeks later.
  • The Man With No Name is actually called Joe in the film's dialog (by the undertaker) and in the closing credits.
  • According to Once Upon a Time in the Italian West by [?] Howard Hughes, Sergio Leone spotted a tree, while on location, that he thought would be perfect for the hanging tree at the beginning of the film, so the tree was dug up and relocated.
  • Clint Eastwood's trademark squint was caused by the combination of the sun and high-wattage arc lamps on the set.
  • After considering [?] Henry Fonda, director Sergio Leone offered the role of the Man With No Name to James Coburn, who proved too expensive. Charles Bronson then turned it down after describing it as the "worst script I have ever seen". Third choice Richard Harrison~ also declined the role but pointed Leone in the direction of Rawhide. Leone then offered the part to Rawhide star [?] Eric Fleming, who turned it down but suggested his co-star Clint Eastwood for the part. The rest, as they say, is history.
  • Prior to this picture, in American films, whenever a person was shot, one camera was focused on the shooter, who fired his weapon, and a split second later, the director quickly cut to the victim who could be seen being hit and falling to the ground or whatever. Clint Eastwood knew this had always been the way such scenes were shot in the States, but didn't bother to tell Sergio Leone. Leone shot the first scene involving any kind of major violence in this picture, with the camera shooting from over Eastwood's shoulder, as though the viewer was right there watching.
  • Mario Brega appears in all 3 of the Dollars Trilogy movies, and in all 3 movies, his character meets an unfortunate demise. In this movie, his character of Chico is crushed by a runaway large barrel.
  • When Clint Eastwood arrived on the set, he was struck by how little the Italian crew and writers knew about the American West they were filming about. For example, he had to point out that coonskin caps were worn by frontiersmen and trappers in the Davy Crockett era, circa the 1820s, not by gunfighters and townsmen in the American West and Mexico of the 1870s, as the scriptwriters had written.