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A Fistful of Dollars


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Clint Eastwood's legendary "Man With No Name" makes his powerful debut in this thrilling, action-packed "new breed of western" (Motion Picture Herald) from the acclaimed director of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and For a Few Dollars More. Exploding with blistering shootouts, dynamic performances and atmospheric cinematography, it's an undisputed classic of the genre. A mysterious gunman (Eastwood) has just arrived in San Miguel, a grim, dusty border town where two rival bands of smugglers are terrorizing the impoverished citizens. A master of the "quick-draw,"the stranger soon receives offers of employment from each gang. But his loyalty cannot be bought; he accepts both jobs...and sets in motion a plan to destroy both groups of criminals, pitting one against the other in a series of brilliantly orchestrated setups, showdowns and deadly confrontations.

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A Fistful of Dollars launched the spaghetti Western and catapulted Clint Eastwood to stardom. Based on Akira Kurosawa's 1961 samurai picture Yojimbo, it scored a resounding success (in Italy in 1964 and the U.S. in 1967), as did its sequels, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The advertising campaign promoted Eastwood's character--laconic, amoral, dangerous--as the Man with No Name (though in the film he's clearly referred to as Joe), and audiences loved the movie's refreshing new take on the Western genre. Gone are the pieties about making the streets safe for women and children. Instead it's every man for himself. Striking, too, was a new emphasis on violence, with stylized, almost balletic gunfights and baroque touches such as Eastwood's armored breastplate. The Dollars films had a marked influence on the Hollywood Western--for example, Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch--but their most enduring legacy is Clint Eastwood himself. --Edward Buscombe

Special Features

  • Behind-the-Scenes Booklet

Product Details

  • Actors: Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, Marianne Koch, Wolfgang Lukschy, Sieghardt Rupp
  • Directors: Sergio Leone
  • Writers: Sergio Leone, Adriano Bolzoni, Duccio Tessari, Fernando Di Leo, Jaime Comas Gil
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 1999
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000K0DM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,195 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Fistful of Dollars" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

One of the best westerns made.
Michael H Nolder
The DVD is relatively cheap but still offers fullscreen and widescreen, great theatrical trailer, and a booklet full of interesting information.
T O'Brien
The point seems to be that there are no good guys that aren't just as bad as the bad guys.
blockhed

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Jaewoo Kim VINE VOICE on September 13, 2005
Format: DVD
I think people are missing the point of this film when they focus on the action sequence. The underlying theme of the entire movie is one of self sacrifice for what is right and just. It is wrong to conclude that main the character (clint eastwood) pits the two gangs against each other for the money. If that is the case, then why does he give it ALL away to Marisol, to whom he owes NO obligation or favors, at the risk of his own life? Fortunately for the viewers, Marisol does ask why. His answer is "..because...I used to know someone like you..and there was no one to help.." (probably referring to his own mother whom he was powerless to rescue from the raping bandits). That one line says EVERYTHING about his past, his motivation, and the theme of the movie. The director goes to great length to convince the viewer the "man with no name" has no morals. In fact, he seems downright evil and greedy, as he constantly says "I don't work for cheap" and seems to be ready for hire for any sordid duties asked of him for the right price. Only in the very brief and defining moment of the movie (when he rescues Marisol, her son, and her husband) we see him as he truly is. Unlike most westerns, the man does not waste words preaching righteousness, he lets his actions speak for themselves. It is the moral subtlety of this movie which makes it great.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jordan M. Poss VINE VOICE on June 10, 2007
Format: DVD
(This review refers to the new 2-disc "collector's edition" released in 2007.)

A Fistful of Dollars kicked off a new era for the western, a tried and true--and, by 1964, almost exhausted--cinematic genre that needed a fresh start. Audiences had grown cynical and tired of the white-hat/black-hat simplicity of most western classics and, as with the waning war-film genre, were looking for something different.

Enter Sergio Leone and A Fistful of Dollars, a gritty "Italian western" shot in Spain on a shoestring budget and starring an up-and-coming--but still virtually unknown--television actor named Clint Eastwood. The movie was a huge international hit, launched Eastwood into stardom, and spawned two subsequent "Man With No Name" westerns and dozens of imitations.

MGM's new release of this classic "new western" is outstanding. In recent years, I've been pleased every time MGM has issued a new release of a classic from its library, as every new edition has improved vastly upon those previous.

Picture quality: Excellent anamorphic transfer, diligently tidied up and restored. Outstanding.

Sound quality: Includes the requisite original mono track and an excellent new surround-sound mix.

Special features: Very good. An informative commentary track by film historian Sir Christopher Frayling is accompanied by a second disc including several nice featurettes, none of which are boring and none of which are so long that they wear out their welcome. I watched most of them while getting ready in the morning.

If you've been waiting for a good edition of A Fistful of Dollars, this is it.

Highly recommended.
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41 of 50 people found the following review helpful By K. Wyatt on March 14, 2003
Format: DVD
A Fistful of Dollars is truly one of the big classics in the western genre and one that began a newer, better style of western films. First in a string of Clint Eastwood's "spaghetti" westerns, it has a style and cinematic class all to itself. This is where Clint Eastwood began his style of western hero who doesn't say much, but gets his point across through his facial expressions and of course his actions, more specifically with his six shooter at his side.
The premise:
Clint Eastwood plays "the man with no name" other than the name given to him by one of the characters in the film, Joe. In what is now a classic style, he rides into town on a mule and witnesses the brutality of the town bullies. Without saying a word to them, they harass him and he calmly goes into one of the town bars, has some food and listens to what the bar owner has to tell him about the town's situation. He casually decides to stay and do something about the entire situation, walks out and takes out four of the bad guys. What follows from there is such an outstanding film that is fraught with a certain degree of humor as he deftly plays both sides against his middle and walks away with "A Fistful of Dollars."
If you're a fan of the western genre and haven't seen this classic, I highly suggest you pick this DVD up. Some might be put off by the age of this movie, that is simply not the case though as this movie is timeless. Despite the fact that it was made in Spain, with many European actors and in a foreign language, it's just pure fun!
The DVD:
Given today's almighty DVD's where there is every sort of special/extra feature that a fan can imagine, this one is your meat and potato's kind. It has the movie, a great theatrical trailer and a booklet. It is nice and simple, with not too much to get wrapped around other than the outstanding movie within. The booklet is an extremely interesting read, giving some facts for the movie I wasn't aware of. {ssintrepid}
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 9, 2001
Format: DVD
It is difficult now to realize what a very, very unusual movie this is. It is hard to remember that before this film, Clint Eastwood was merely a well-known and well-liked television personality (Rowdy Yates on RAWHIDE), but not a major star and very definitely not a movie star. His casting in this film was, at the time, surprising. On RAWHIDE, he had played a hotheaded young Turk, full of emotion and with a tendency to say too much rather than too little. The idea of having him star in any movie was somewhat unusual, but especially one in which he had to play a close-mouthed, mysterious, and almost emotionless stranger. And the idea of an Italian director filming a Western in Spain with a largely European cast with most of the voices dubbed was unheard of. And the soundtrack sounded as if it had somehow seeped into our universe from some parallel but much stranger galaxy. But the movie was not only a success, it managed to create a new genre of Western (the spaghetti Western), made Sergei Leone an internationally successful director, and made Clint Eastwood one of the movies greatest stars.
A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS was based on the Akira Kurosawa's YOJIMBO, with Toshiro Mifune playing the Clint Eastwood role. I am a huge fan of Kurosawa, but I have to confess that I like the Western much more. YOJIMBO was in turned based on the Dashiell Hammett novel RED HARVEST, in which the Continental Op (who was himself a man with no name, in that in the few dozen stories and the two novels in which the operative from the Continental Detective agency stars, we never learn his name). In that novel, the Op goes to the town of Personville (which one wag in the book pronounces "Poisonville") and turns the two rival criminal organizations against each other.
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