in about 100 words or less
Italy/Spain 100m, Colour
Director: Sergio Leone; Cast: Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, Marianne Koch, Wolfgang Lukschy, Sieghardt Rupp, José Calvo, Antonio Prieto, Joseph Egger
As the first of three “Spaghetti Western” films collectively known as the Dollars Trilogy, A Fistful of Dollars helped re-popularize the western as well as establish Clint Eastwood as “The Man With No Name” – a modern anti-hero who broke all previous stereotypes for a leading man in western genre film. Although essentially a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Samurai adventure Yojimbo (1961), Leone’s work on this production can be credited for developing an entirely new look and feel for the well-worn western. His contributions include the use of extreme close-ups, casting of well-worn, dirty tough looking characters, and careful editing/integration of the musical score and sound effects – all of which helped lay the groundwork for the modern western (Klaus Ming July 2011).