CiNECiTY – A Fistful of Dollars

This week we screen A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, the classic spaghetti western by Sergio Leone.

A-Fistful-of-Dollars-Poster-antiheroes-21516449-1005-1564Director: Sergio Leone

Cast: Clint Eastwood

Marianne Koch

Gian Maria Volonte

Wolfgang Lukschy

Writers: Victor Andre Catena

Jaime Comas

Sergio Leone

Genre: Spaghetti Western / Action

Duration: 90 min

Colour: Colour

Released: 1964

Countries / Languages: Italy, Spain, West Germany / English, Spanish, Italian

BACKGROUND NOTES:

  • This film was identified as an unlicensed remake of the Akira Kurosawa film Yojimbo which was released 3 years earlier. Leone says Yojimbo was an inspiration, along with other classic Hollywood westerns and Servant of Two Masters, an Italian play by Carlo Goldoni in 1746.
  • Like most Spaghetti Westerns, this film was a lot more violent than American westerns due to Europe’s lack of censorship codes such as were around in Hollywood.
  • Though made on a low budget, Leone ushered in a then-groundbreaking filmmaking style, emphasising long, tense close-ups, widescreen camera compositions, and hauntingly unusual music by his old schoolmate, Ennio Morricone. Leone’s films have been likened to action based operas, and his style was much imitated.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

  • American audiences were shocked by this film on its release in 1967. Why do you think Eastwood’s character caused such a ruckus in the 1960s? Is the Man With No Name truly “amoral,” as many commentators have called him? What are his motives?
  • Can you see the influence of this film’s style on today’s action movies? Think of modern directors like Quentin Tarantino, John Woo and Martin Scorsese…

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