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Monday, December 21, 2015

Per Un Pugno Di Dollari (aka A Fistful Of Dollars) (1964)

A drifter (Clint Eastwood) arrives at a small border town where two feuding families are in a fight for control of the town. The drifter decides a good way to make some easy money is to play the families against each other. But he's too clever for his own good and the body count piles up. If the plot sounds familiar, that's because it's Kurosawa's YOJIMBO in a western setting. Although released in Europe in 1964, it didn't reach American shores until three years later. The film was a hit and its two "sequels" (FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE and THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY which form a trilogy) made an international star out of Eastwood, previously known for the TV series RAWHIDE. Sergio Leone's film coined the phrase spaghetti westerns which became very popular in the 60s and 70s. Leone's trilogy changed the western forever. More violent and audacious than its American counterpart, it wasn't long before American westerns followed suit. A unique western that may not seem as startling as it did in 1967 but a landmark film nonetheless. With a stunning score by Ennio Morricone. Also in the cast are Gian Maria Volonte and Marianne Koch (Sirk's INTERLUDE).  

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