A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964) C widescreen 100m dir: Sergio Leone
w/Clint Eastwood, Marianne Koch, Gian Maria Volonte, Jose Calvo, Wolfgang Lukschy, Sieghardt Rupp, Antonio Prieto, Margarita Lozano, Daniel Martin, Bruno Carotenuto
This movie was to Italian westerns what THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY was to the western genre in general. It also made Eastwood an international star. The story is based on Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece YOJIMBO: Eastwood plays the mercenary, "The Man With No Name," who hires himself out to various factions in the town.
From The Movie Guide: "The plot is simple and the Italian performances verge on the operatic, but Leone revitalizes the Western through a unique and complex visual style. The film is full of brilliant spatial relationships (extreme close-ups in the foreground, with detailed compositions visible in the background) combined with Ennio Morricone's vastly creative musical score full of grunts, wails, groans, and bizarre-sounding instruments. Aural and visual elements together give a wholly original perspective on the West and its myths.
"Eastwood had a heavy hand in the interpretation of his role, , stripping his part of most of its dialogue. His character is wholly amoral, a mystery man with no past who relies on his skill with a gun and his cleverness. This image, which he would hone to perfection in the subsequent Leone movies (and one the actor continues to examine and sometimes criticize, especially in the films in which he directs himself) transformed Eastwood into a cultural icon of almost mythic proportions. Though far from perfected in this film, Leone's style would mature through his next two films and peak with his masterpiece ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST."
A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS is the first film of Leone's "Dollars" trilogy, which is completed by FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE and THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY.