Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Movie Review #8: A Fistful of Dollars

Up to this point, my only experience with Westerns has been spoofs like Blazing Saddles, modern takes like Django, and the things I'd find my dad watching at six in the morning before I went to school. I'd never had anything specifically against the western genre, but the setting never appealed to me that much.

Still, Sergio Leone's classic Dollars Trilogy was as likely as anything to pull me in. So, I gave it a shot.


Don't let the 60s-era effects and dubbing fool you: the story and acting are solid.


A western retelling of Akira Korusawa and Ryuzo Kikushima's Yojimbo, in which a lone wanderer arrives at a small town in Mexico run by a pair of rival gangs and contrives a plan to get rich by hiring himself out to each family and playing them off of one another.

The wanderer is skilled and smart, but eventually the plan backfires...


I had never seen Yojimbo, but I quickly recognized the plot as being similar to a PS2 game called Way of the Samurai which, I assume, was largely inspired by the Kurosawa film.

Regardless, it was genuinely fun to watch Clint Eastwood stay two steps ahead of each of the families for most of the film. It reminded me a bit of the beginning of the movie Drive: watching a pro at work, calmly working the system.

The surprising part was how quickly it all fell apart: although Eastwood and his friends made it out alive and richer, I don't think Eastwood's character ever intended to leave the town devastated the way he did.

In the end, my only criticism of the movie is the the horse chase scene was a little too long and cartoony.

I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the trilogy.


Having never really watched previous westerns, I'm not sure in what way A Fistful of Dollars changed the Western genre. Still, I can definitely appreciate the movie for what it is, and I can definitely see its influence in popular culture since then.

Also, it was nice to see where that scene in Back to the Future Part 3 came from.

No comments:

Post a Comment