Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Fistful Of Dollars

Released: 1964
Director: Sergio Leone
Star:Clint Eastwood

This would be Clint Eastwood's first turn as The Man With No Name.
Teamed with director Sergio Leone in this remake of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, Eastwood would create an iconic character that would redefine the western hero and influence many of Eastwood's subsequent movies.

By the time Fistful was released, Johns Ford and Wayne practically owned the western genre.
Ford had defined what a western was, how it looked and played out; and Wayne defined the western hero, how he acted, what moral code he adhered to.

Fistful changed all this.

Here was something new and exciting. Something for the Rock n Roll generation.
From the moment Clint Eastwood's character guns down four hombres for refusing to apologize to his mule, you know you're in for something new and different.

Eastwood's man with no name was more anti-hero than good guy with a white hat.

The plot of Fistful is simple: two families are engaged in a vendetta, and Eastwood's stranger determines to play one against the other to his financial advantage, changing allegiances each time it suits his purpose.

He is, to a great extent, in it for himself.
There is little honor to had from the situation.

It's a rough, raw world.
And Leone's stylized direction, Ennio Morricone's weird, infectious score, and Eastwood's laconic, shoot first and don't bother asking questions attitude are perfectly suited to it.

Though this is not the best of the Dollars Trilogy, it is the beginning, and it only gets better as it develops with each successive film.

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