Monday, August 7, 2017

A Fistful Of Dollars

Yeah, The Dark Tower got me on a western binge.

So A Fistful Of Dollars was the first spaghetti western released outside of Italy and has gotten quite the reputation in 50 years, it introduced an entire sub genre of westerns to the world, was Clint Eastwood's first major starring role, and combined the efforts of Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone for the rest of their careers. The plot is more or less a more heavily western version of the Akira Kurosawa film Yojimbo, centered around a stranger who wanders in a small town controlled by two rival families and decides he can make a bit of profit out of it. But of course, not all goes to plan and needless to say none of these people are leaving quietly. It's not all shootouts and double crosses though, there's surprisingly some decent drama and good character in our lead. You don't know much about him, I don't even think they mention his name in the movie, but you get glimpses of who he is. A stone cold killer, but deep down has a heart and Clint Eastwood does it incredibly well. He can play the gunslinger, the manipulator, the fool, and the hero damn near flawlessly, and in a multi-cultural and multi-language production where hardly anybody spoke every language of the people who worked on the movie that must be highly commended! You get a good story, good characters, really decent action, and a conclusion that has been done countless times. And you know what I noticed? This film could almost be done as a pure silent film, you can follow the story from beginning to end without any dialogue spoken. And I really love when movies do that, because it knows that films are a VISUAL medium, show don't tell! When movies are told cinematically, visually, with no exposition or excess dialogue it's a sight to behold. Who would have thought a spaghetti western could work as a silent film? Not me, that's for sure. And while we're at it, the score by Ennio Morricone though minimal is still highly memorable and suits the film just right. True, westerns aren't everybody's cup of tea so I don't expect everyone to see this movie, but for those that do want to see it or have seen it, then you can take my word for it when I say it's good.

So hell, why not? Let's do the other two films. Check back tomorrow for, in my opinion the best of the bunch, For A Few Dollars More.

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