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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Spaghetti Ever, June 9, 2011
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This review is from: The Man with No Name Trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars / For a Few Dollars More / The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The only things that are cheap and cheap-looking in this bundle are the actual case, with holes cut in it to save a penny or 2 and the price, when Amazon offers it as the 'deal of the day' or as a lightning deal. What really counts, the video and audio quality are as good as they can be given the circumstances: old movies originally shot with some cheap technology and the lack of funds for performing the kind of painstaking restoration that the Godfather trilogy or some of the older James Bond movies received for their Blu releases.

And, yes, the picture is grainy here and there and some of the added 5.1 surround sound effects are a little crude but 'surround' beats 'mono' all the time in my book and, compared to what we were getting on the old VHS tapes or even on the DVD edition, the picture is clearly superior. The makers claim that what we see on the Blu edition is better than was shown in the movie theaters way back then but of that I'm not sure - Fistful of Dollars was probably the first Western of consequence, spaghetti or otherwise, I've ever seen as a little kid and, from what I remember, everything about the movie was perfect then.

As far as content, we seem to be getting the most complete versions of the movies that could be patched together and for some of the scenes that never made it to the U.S. 'theatrical' cut and therefore never had an English dialogue track, the producers/restorers actually hired the much older Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach to 'say' their parts, 30 or so years later.

THE RESTORATION

This edition is the 2003 restored movie. As I noted above, it gets a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound track. For a 1964-66 movies done on the cheap back then - it cost only a little over $1 million to make 'The Good...' and even less to make the first 2 movies - the restoration quality good. Not everything is perfect. Sometimes we even get to see the proverbial 'hair' at the bottom of the screen and not a lot of time was invested in creating the 5.1 sound track but what we get is probably better than what I saw as a little boy in the movie theater.

THE EXTRAS

On the 'Fistful of Dollars' disc:

- The Christoppher Frayling archives: Fistful of Dollars 18:40 - Mr. Frayling discusses some of the original movie posters he collected from all over the world.
- Commentary by noted film historian Sir Christopher Frayling (sound track)
- A New Kind of Hero 22:54 (still Frayling, this one shot in low res, probably from a DVD edition)
- A Few Weeks in Spain: Clint Eastwood on the Experience of Making the Film 8:33
- Tre Voci: Fistful of Dollars 11:12 - Three friends remember Sergio Leone
- Not Ready for Primetime: Renowned Filmmaker Monte Hellman Discusses the Television Broadvcast of A Fistful of Dollars 6:20 - TV prologue in 1977 - one of the funnier extras. The first time the movie was shown on American television the network suits decided that it was way too amoral so they commissioned a made up 'prologue' implying that the man with no name was in fact a U.S. agent on a mission to clean up a Mexican town of its drug-running bandits. This part discusses it.
- The Network Prologue 0 with Harry Dean Stanton - 7:44 -
the actual abomination for us to see. Blurry but hilarious.
- Locations Comparisons: Then to Now - 5:22
- 10 Radio Spots - 6:00
- Double Bill Trailer - 2:03
- Fistful of Dollars Trailer - 2:26

On the 'For a Few Dollars More' disc:

- The Christoppher Frayling archives: For a Few Dollars More - 19:02
- Commentary by noted film historian Sir Christopher Frayling (sound track)
- A New Standard (Frayling on For a Few Dollars More) - 20:14
- Back for More (Clint Eastwood remembers) For a few Dollars More - 7:08
- Tre Voci: For a Few Dollars More 11:05 - Three friends remember Sergio Leone
- For a Few Dollars More: the Original American Release Version - 5:03
- Locations Comparisons: Then to Now - 12:16
- 12 Radio Spots - 7:36
- Theatrical Trailer 1 - 2:29
- Theatrical Trailer 2 - 3:44

On the 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' disc:

- Soundtrack by Richard Schickel (Leone biographer)
- Soundtrack by Christopher Frayling (film historian)
- Leone's West - 19:55
- The Leone Style - 23:48
- The Man Who Lost the Civil War - 14:24
- Reconstructing The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - 11:09
- Il Maestro: Ennio Morricone and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Pt. 1 - 7:48
- Il Maestro: Ennio Morricone and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Pt. 2 - 12:26
- Deleted Scenes - Extended Tuco torture scene, The Socorro sequence: a reconstruction
- Trailers - Original theathrical trailer; French trailer (3:31)

MY EVALUATION

I am VERY happy with this, admittedly imperfect restoration. It's probably the best we are going to get for many years to come so... enjoy it. I know that I am. It's 5 stars without hesitation (note: 5 stars mean "I love it", they do not mean "it's perfect.")

--
>> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<
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Review Details

Item

Reviewer

A. Dent "Aragorn"
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (#1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   

Location: Minas Anor, GD

Top Reviewer Ranking: 17