Friday, June 01, 2012

168 - A Fistful Of Dollars (1964)

DVD Box
A traveller ends a Wild West dispute - by starting it.

At a small Mexican border town two families have been waging a mostly cold war against each other for decades. While the Baxter's show obvious disdain for their rivals, it is the Rojo family that appear to be taking the upper hand in the duel having massacred a passing troop who are guarding gold.

This action is witnessed by a passing pistol-handy traveller (Clint Eastwood). From his lodgings in the centre of the town he is able to see all of the action and he regularly takes on jobs for both the Baxter's and Rojo's in exchange for money.

When the families start dragging in the town's innocents, The Man With No Name hatches a plan to free the town from its civil war.

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
In the late 1950's someone thought it a grand idea to merge together the traditional American Western film with the traditional Italian gangster film. These Italio-Westerns would later go on to be derogatorily referred to as Spaghetti Westerns. Although they weren't the first in this genre, arguably the most famous of these films are contained in Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy - beginning with A Fistful of Dollars.

As well as boosting the ailing Western genre, A Fistful of Dollars boosted Clint Eastwood's career with critics immediately listing him alongside John Wayne as one of the greatest cowboy actors to have graced the silver screen. Impressively, Eastwood managed to later shake this image to become one of the 80's cop icons, which shows a lot about his impressive versatility.

A Fistful of Dollars' success lies mostly in its simple storyline. Two warring factions split by the neutral mysterious man is certainly compelling viewing - especially with the knowledge that quick showdowns and violent gun battles are just around the corner

An unmissable classic of the genre.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this Sergio Leone trilogy and watched these movies over and over. I especially lived for the exaggerated gunshot sounds that echoed on forever. I may need to watch this again soon.

    ReplyDelete