Monday, April 19, 2010

A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

This is an okay Italian movie. A drifter (Clint Eastwood) wanders into a Mexican border town where two families are fighting to gain power; on one side is the Rojo brothers and the other is the family of the sheriff. The stranger decides he can profit from the feud. He witnesses Mexican soldiers transferring gold, being killed by the Rojo family. He spreads a rumor that two soldiers survived and it causes a gunfight between the families.

This is the first film in director Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy. It was influenced by the 1961 Japanese film Yojimbo. The film was shot in Spain. Leone wanted to capitalize on the popularity of western films in Europe. The director did not speak English and Eastwood had to communicate through a translator. Stephen King was influenced by this film when writing his 1982 novel The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger. The 1996 film Last Man Standing, starring Bruce Willis, was also influenced by this movie.

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