A Fistful of Dollars
A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (15)
D: Sergio Leone
United Artists/Jolly (Arrigo Colombo & Giorgio Papi)
Italy/Spain/West Germany 🇮🇹 🇪🇸 🇩🇪 1964
W: Sergio Leone, Duccio Tessari, Victor A. Catena & G. Schlock [based on the screenplay "Yojimbo" by Ryuzô Kikushima & Akira Kurosawa]
DP: Massimo Dallamano
Ed: Roberto Cinquini
Mus: Ennio Morricone
Clint Eastwood (The Man With No Name), Marianne Koch (Marisol), Gian Maria Volonte (Ramon Rojo), Jose Calvo (Silvanito)
A landmark Western and first of Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Trilogy, it also follows The Magnificent Seven as an excellent example of a plot from a Kurosawa samurai movie crossing over into the western genre, this time with 1961's Yojimbo.
Clint Eastwood is The Man With No Name, a drifter who rides into a small Mexican town where two rival gangs are embroiled in a power struggle. Eastwood makes himself a mercenary for hire, first to the Mexican family, The Rojo's, who control the town's liquor, but then switches to the other side, The Baxter's, who control the town's firearms.
Eastwood is superb as the mystery man with little to no honour or morality, a man who can speak entire sentences without having any dialogue through his facial expressions alone.
Though A Fistful Of Dollars is nowhere near as good as The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, it does make a great first installment to a classic trilogy of films.
It's also worth catching the original Japanese film, Yojimbo (qv).