A Fistful of Dollars
Directed by Sergio Leone. Italy. 1964. R. 99 minutes. MGM. 35mm.
Sun., January 15, 2012
This is it. The story that began the cycle of Italian Spaghetti Westerns, and established the film career (and long-term film persona) of Clint Eastwood, who plays the taciturn, resourceful, deadly Man With No Name. Based upon Akira Kurasawas classic samurai Eastern, Yojimbo, this is the simple story of a savvy gunfighter who plays both sides against the middle in a town riven by two feuding families. Because of his original and often startling variations on Western themes, and his ability to lend wit and surprise to what could have been a cliched story-line, Leone with this movie set a new standard (and rejuvenated the genre) for western films. (Bill Roth)