Fistful of Dollars (1964) Poster

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  • A Fistful of Dollars (Per un Pugno di Dollari ) is an unofficial remake of the Akira Kurosawa film Yôjinbô (1961) (1961), which Kurosawa has admitted to basing on The Glass Key (1942) (1942), an adaptation of the 1931 novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett [1894-1961]. It is the first in a series of three "spaghetti westerns" by Italian director Sergio Leone known as "The Dollar Trilogy." A Fistful of Dollars is followed by For a Few Dollars More (Per qualche dollaro in più (1965)) (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (1966)) (1966).

  • "Spaghetti western" is a term applied to various low-budget old American west films made by a European, especially an Italian, film company. It began as a term of derision first used by critics but later became a term of endearment by the fans of these movies. Although many Spaghetti Westerns are low budget, some (like C'era una volta il West (1968) [ Once Upon a Time in the West ] (1968)) are big budget films. Another earmark of many Spaghetti Westerns is an international cast including many American actors either on their way up or down so they did not command large salaries. Although the films are generally directed and produced by Italians, the money tends to come from many sources, usually Italy, Spain, Germany and the US.

  • Those who have seen all three movies say that it's not important to watch them in order considering that none of them follow the same story or include the same characters, other than Clint Eastwood. The only other similiarities would include the direction and the music. It is, however, of note that at the end of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the man with no name acquires the poncho that he wears in the previous two films (leading some to believe that The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a prequel to the first two films, and is therefore first chronologically).

  • All Italian films were shot with a wild track and the actors lines were looped in later. Since the actors were all speaking their lines in different languages on set, the actors lines were dubbed in the studio. Different actors read the lines in the studio depending on what country that version of the film was going to. When they dubbed the Italian version, they got Italian actors to dub Eastwood's, Lee Van Cleef's and Eli Wallach's voices. When they dubbed the American version the got American actors to dub the Italian actors voices and so on and so forth.

  • Italian composer Ennio Morricone.

  • In every film he has a different name, in A Fistful of Dollars he is called Joe, in For A Few Dollars More, he is called Monco, and in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly he is named Blondie. Of the three names, Monco is likely his real name because in Fistful he never says his name, the undertaker just starts calling him Joe, as it's a common name. Blondie is just the nickname Tuco gives him because, once again, he didn't reveal his name. However, in For A Few Dollars More, the sheriff is talking about the bounty hunter named Monco and that's the name he signed in the ledger, so it is likely his true name or at least the name he goes by. Though it's not improbable that his full name is Joe "Blondie" Monco.

  • For its theatrical release in United Kingdom, the English version of the movie had to be heavily cut in its scenes containing violence in order to obtain a lower rating by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification), making it available for a broader audience. By now all cuts were waived and the movie is available in its uncensored version in the UK.

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