Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Fistful of Dollars

Per un pugno di dollari (1964)
Staring: Clint Eastwood, Marianne Koch, John Wells (Gian Maria Volontè), Wolfgang Lukschy, Sieghardt Rupp.

The first in the "Man with no name" trilogy, the film is in actuality lifted completely from Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo. In many ways it's just as good.

Some people may not be as impressed with Eastwood's role in this, but I find his understated role a refreshing occurance in a genre (and era) filled with "big" actors that constantly played themselves such as Cooper, Fonda or Wayne. Not that I'm bashing these particular actors - though The Duke's roles are generally less interesting to me after you've seen two or three However he does command the screen, I'll give you that. Anyway, getting away from that tangent... the understated role of "Joe" works to the films advantage, as he's a character with motivations of his own. He has his own way of doing things, and gets the job done.

The acting is standard "Spaghetti Western" fare. Italian filmmakers filming in Spain, with dubbed voices for all but the "main" few cast members who spoke English. Through the 4 main films (the trilogy including "Once Upon a Time in the West") they are pretty consistent, and it's lovely to see the same people show up from time to time in a different role ("the old guy" for instance - if you've seen the movies you know who I'm talking about).


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