Music Score For The Good The Bad And The Ugly "A Fistful of Dollars" Started Sergio Leone’s Masterpiece Trilogy of Spaghetti Westerns

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"A Fistful of Dollars" Started Sergio Leone’s Masterpiece Trilogy of Spaghetti Westerns

Chest of Dollars (Italian Per un pugno di dollari) – 4 stars (Excellent)

Can an award show ignore a great, brand new film in a particular genre? Of course, the perfect example is A Fistful of Dollars, which spawned what we would call a “spaghetti western” today.

Dead Dollar was the first in director Sergio Leone’s trilogy of films, which would be followed by For a Few Dollars and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Leone realized that the American-made Western of the 1950s had become something more or less than an old-fashioned cookie-cutter apartment building.

Leone replied that he should shoot the film as if he were directing an opera. The result would become a model for many westerns, featuring his trademark muted characters, delicate framing, extreme close-ups, and Ennio Morricone’s haunting music.

All of this leads to the creation of The Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood), who was originally called “Joe” in Fistful of Dollars but became The Man With No Name in later episodes.

I really dislike this movie, and for good reason. With music by Morricone, cinematography by Massimo Dallamano and Federico Larraia, cinematography by Roberto Cinchini and Alfonso Santacana, and music by Elio Pacella, Leone’s direction is excellent. A fistful of dollars was shot in the Spanish province of Almeria.

Despite its credentials, “The Resting Dollar” will win just one award — the Silver Ribbon for Best Ennio Morricone Score from Italy’s National Syndicate of Film Journalists. You’ve seen this film only with the music and you’re impressed.

Released in 1964, The Resting Dollar was not released in America until 1967. The film’s arrival here was delayed when Yojimbo writers Akira Kurosawa and Ryuzo Kikushima sued for copyright infringement and won 15% of the film’s worldwide grosses. Exclusive distribution rights in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Kurosawa later said that the project made more money than Yojimbo, released three years earlier. The screenplay was written by A. Bonzzoni, Victor Andres Catena and Sergio Leone.

The story follows a gunfighter (Clint Eastwood) who arrives in a small border town and offers his services to two rival gangs, Rojos and Baxter.

Rojo includes the dangerous Ramon (Gian Maria Volonte), Esteban (Sigardt Rupp), Don Benito (Antonio Prieto), Ramon’s girlfriend Marisol (Marianne Koch), Rubio (Benito Stefanelli), and Chico (Mario Brega). Baxter includes John (Wolfgang Lucchi), his wife Consuelo (Margarita Lozano) and a few light thugs on both sides.

“You’re going to get rich here or you’re going to get killed,” the film’s bellhop Juan De Dios (Raf Baldasarre) warns the gunfighter. The gunfighter later admits that “the crazy bell was right, there’s money to be made in a place like this.”

Neither faction is aware of the ploy that the Nameless One uses against each other, and each thinks they are using him against their rival, but the gunfighter defeats them both.

Along the way, he kills at least 14 of them, prompts Rojos to completely wipe out the rest of Baxter’s gang, save the kidnapped wife and return her to her family, so they can escape safely and rescue the innkeeper, Silvanito (Jose Calvo). , and drop Ramon Rojo in a classic fight worthy of any Western movie too good to share here.

Another actor to watch in this film is Piripero (Joseph Egger), the role player who allows The Man With No Name to escape on his own.

Sergio Leone’s genius is evident in one of the film’s earliest scenes. As the gunfighter rode slowly into town, 3 of Baxter’s gang fired shots to scare off the mule he was riding. After some food and whiskey, the gunfighter confronts his tormentors with the following dialogue:

“I don’t feel good, you’re laughing. You see my mule doesn’t like people laughing. He gets the crazy idea that you’re making fun of him. If you apologize now, it’s like I’m going to laugh at you” “You really didn’t.” I might convince him.”

Appropriately enraged and challenged, the 4 main members of Baxter’s gang are drawn into the fire and destroy The Man With No Name in the blink of an eye.

The dialogue and action in this scene are great, but Leone’s direction is even better, and here’s why: In American movies, when a cowboy is shot, one camera ALWAYS focuses on the shooter, and a second later, another camera on the victim. Leone filmed the scene with a camera placed over Eastwood’s shoulder so the moviegoers could witness the shooting as if it were actually being shot.

Leone’s genius is as powerful today, 44 years later, as the interactive Web site on the Internet, which neither existed in 1964. No wonder today’s moviegoers find it so easy to appreciate his genius.

A chest of dollars is too good to pass up. Like so many movies in movie history that are expected to be nothing but classics, The Man With No Name is filled with big names who didn’t appear while playing an unknown like Clint Eastwood.

This list includes Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Charles Bronson and Richard Harrison. Harrison later admitted, “Perhaps my greatest contribution to the film industry was in “Sleeping Dollar,” and Clint was not offered the role.”

Before being cast in this role, Eastwood starred in the TV series Rawhide. He helped create his “Man With No Name” character by purchasing black jeans at a sports store on Hollywood Boulevard, a hat he wore at a Santa Monica wardrobe firm, and his trademark black cigars at a Beverly Hills store. He cut the cigars into thirds to make them stand out more.

Leon is credited with Eastwood’s unique style, saying in Italian, “I like Clint Eastwood because he only has a hat and the other one without a hat.”

Like another wildly successful actor, Tom Hanks, Eastwood instinctively knew how to bring out the immense charisma that his understated style never revealed. Any real American man would be proud to wear The Man With No Name’s gun belt and pistol. Is A Fistful of Dollars a guy’s movie? Of course.

Leone didn’t direct the first spaghetti western, but he was the first to have a major international release, not to mention launch Clint Eastwood into a wildly successful career as one of Hollywood’s most famous, profitable and moneyed actors. and never directors.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

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