Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fistful of Dollars (1964)

 Fistful of Dollars, the first spaghetti-western movie to be internationally distributed, was filmed in Italy in 1964. This entertaining film began a long and successful career for Clint Eastwood, the Man with No Name, as an actor and director. The film is about a clever sharpshooter known as Joe who deceives two rival families, the Baxters and the Rojos. "Baxter's over there, Rojo's there, me right smack in the middle."

My favorite part out of all the three Dollar movies is at the beginning of Fistful of Dollars, when he approaches the cowboys and says, "Adios amigos."
"Look stranger, we don't like bad boys like you around town. Why don't you go get your mule? Did you let him get away from you?"
"You see, that's what I wanted to talk to you about. He's feeling really bad."
"My mule, you see he got all riled up when you men were firing those shots at his feet. Of course, if you were all to apologize..." (laughter)
Joe, his hat concealing his face, flips his poncho over his shoulder to reveal his holster. He glares back at them, squinting.
"I don't think its nice, you laughing. My mule don't like people laughing. He gets the crazy idea you're laughing at him. Now if you'd apologize, like I know you would, I might be able to convince him that you really didn't mean it."
Their hands hover over their holsters as they tensely stand in silence for a long suspenseful moment until one man reaches for his weapon and Joe fires five subsequent bullets, swift and accurate, as they drop to the ground, defeated.

Clint's superb acting, the intriguing plot, exceptional directing by Sergio Leone, and the soundtracks by Ennio Morricone are factors that make this a classic!

In the sequel, A Few Dollars More, the Man with No Name, now known as Monco, meets Colonel Douglas Mortimer, played by Lee Van Cleef who tracks down criminals. These two bounty hunters collaborate to track down a western outlaw. In my opinion, Fistful of Dollars is better than A Few Dollars More because scenes in which the characters draw drag on and on to the point that you loose interest and become bored with anticipation. Furthermore, they repeat the same process several times throughout the film. In spite of that, the movie is action-packed and still enjoyable.

However, it is the third movie that outshines the first two. Blondie (Clint) and Tuco team up at first then become enemies until rumor spreads of the location of gold being buried in a certain cemetery. As they make their way to the cemetery, they run into Colonel Douglas Mortimer who is heading towards the same destination. They soon embark on a tight race to the gold. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly has an engrossing plot that keeps the audience glued to their seats until the conclusion. It may be 20 minutes too long but for some people, time flies by.


  1. This is the best spaghetti westerns! It's sad the western film lost its popularity now.
    As a young filmmaker- what do you think?

  2. Well, Lord of the Rings was written a long time ago and Peter Jackson came and made the movie so you never know when another filmmaker will come along and will make another classic western film!

    Thank you!