A low-life bandit and an I.R.A. explosives expert rebel against the government and become heroes of the Mexican Revolution.

Director:

Sergio Leone

Writers:

Sergio Leone (story), Sergio Donati (story) | 5 more credits »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rod Steiger ... Juan Miranda
James Coburn ... John H. Mallory
Romolo Valli ... Dr. Villega
Maria Monti Maria Monti ... Adelita, Coach Passenger
Rik Battaglia ... Santerna (as Rick Battaglia)
Franco Graziosi Franco Graziosi ... Governor Huerta
Antoine Saint-John ... Gutierez / Col. Günther Reza (as Domingo Antoine) (as Jean Michel Antoine)
Vivienne Chandler Vivienne Chandler ... Coleen, John's Girlfriend
David Warbeck ... Nolan, John's Friend
Giulio Battiferri Giulio Battiferri ... Miguel
Poldo Bendandi ... Executed Revolutionary
Omar Bonaro Omar Bonaro ... Revolutionary
Roy Bosier Roy Bosier ... Landowner on stagecoach
John Frederick ... American on stagecoach
Amato Garbini Amato Garbini ... First Policeman on Train
Edit

Storyline

Packed with sticks of dynamite, the Irish rebel and explosives expert, John H. Mallory, finds himself in Revolution-torn 1913 Mexico, on the run from the British government. Riding a dusty, V-twin Indian motorcycle, John crosses paths with the short-fused Mexican bandit, Juan Miranda, and his gun-toting family of outlaws, and before long, his expertise in explosives becomes evident. Now, bent on putting Mallory's skills to good use, devious Juan forms an uneasy partnership with John to rob the impregnable Mesa Verde National Bank. Instead, what seemed like an unmissable opportunity to get rich will become a trap, enmeshing the unlikely duo in the Revolution, having no other choice but to fight together with the troops of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata against the evil Colonel Günther Reza. Can John's dynamite get them out of the tight spot? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Fistful of Dollars - For a Few Dollars More - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - and now SERGIO LEONE explodes his greatest adventure See more »

Genres:

Drama | War | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Clint Eastwood was approached by Sergio Leone for the role of John Mallory, but he saw it as just a different take of the same character he had already played in the Dollars Trilogy, and he also wanted to end his association with the Italian film industry. As a result, he declined the offer and starred in Hang 'Em High (1968) instead. See more »

Goofs

During the executions in the rain, when Mallory sees Villega identifying rebels, the speed of the windshield wipers changes. In one wide angle shot, the Col is shown manually moving the blades at a relatively slow rate. In other shots, the blades are moving much faster and with less jerkiness than when seen with the manual movement. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Stagecoach driver: [shouts various commands to the horses in Spanish, eventually making theme stop near a water trough]
Juan Miranda: [runs to the stagecoach] Señor! Señor! Señor...
Yankee, Stagecoach Driver: [to the Mexican driver] Tighten up that girth.
Juan Miranda: Señor, I... I must go to San Felipe... my mother is dead!
Yankee, Stagecoach Driver: Straight down the road, about fifty miles.
Juan Miranda: [pats his shoulder, and hands him some money] Please?
Yankee, Stagecoach Driver: [pushes him] Eh, get outta here.
[Juan begins to walk away, crying]
Yankee, Stagecoach Driver: Hey. Hey, amigo. Come here.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Uncut English-language prints of the film use 'Duck You Sucker' as its title, while edited reissues use 'A Fistful of Dynamite', with 'Duck, You Sucker' in smaller print and in parenthesis underneath. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the initial U.S. versions, when Juan is about to be executed by firing squad, he hears John's voice saying, "Duck, you sucker." In the restored version, he hears John's voice saying, "Short fuse." See more »

Connections

Featured in Stars of the Silver Screen: Rod Steiger (2017) See more »

User Reviews

Leone's most underrated film,a rich masterpiece which gets better and better with each viewing
23 April 2005 | by DrLeneraSee all my reviews

It's generally thought that this film is Leone's weakest major film,and it is far less well known than the Dollars trilogy and the two Once Upon a Times. In actual fact,this is a masterpiece that deserves to be far better known and regarded than it actually is. It sees Leone attempting new things such as character development and political comment,while refining elements from his earlier films. It's really the bridge between Once Upon A Time In The West and Once Upon A Time In America,and it contains a great many elements of both films {which let's face it,despite both being Leone films are quite different}.

It starts in humorous vein,right from the opening sequence of the dirty,very poor Rod Steiger character Juan being taunted by some rich folk aboard a lavish carriage,the camera showing lots of close ups of mouths and eyes in what almost seems a parody of Leone's style. Juan is much like Tuco in The Good the Bad And The Ugly,loud,simple and very funny {he's even often accompanied by comical music }.Juan's first encounters with the other main protagonist,IRA man Sean {James Coburn} are treated like comical duels,and as they go to rob a bank it seems the picaresque tone will continue.

However,about a third of the way through the film becomes more and more serious. As Juan,thanks to Sean,becomes more and more involved in the Mexican Revolution,the tone becomes darker as more and more scenes take place at night and there is serious tragedy. The change in tone may jar to some people,but one can see the mature,contemplative Leone of Once Upon A Time In America reveal himself before our eyes.

Of course there are still some great action scenes,such as the taking of a bank which is superbly cut to Ennio Morricone's music {listen for the cheeky quotes from Mozart!},or Sean and Juan machine-gunning what seems like a whole army. There is as usual a great deal of violence,but it's less personal and graphic and instead is shown to have more consequence. The film's plot does move rather slowly,with Leone taking his time as usual,but this mean we can more enjoy the mannered Steiger and the laid back Coburn as one of the greatest partnerships in cinema history.

Of particular interest are the several flashbacks dotted throughout the movie,shot in dreamlike slow motion and usually set to what is quite simply one of the most beautiful film themes EVER {Morricone excels himself with the score for this film}. Representing Sean's past,they ask as many questions as they answer,Leone trusting his audience to work things out. The final one is missing from many versions of this film,a tragedy because as well as being sublimely beautiful {and ambiguous,is it Sean's memory?,a marijuana-enhanced hallucination?,a vision of Heaven?} it adds yet another element to the story.

A Fistful Of Dynamite {well,the French Once Upon A Time..The Revolution is the films' best title}is a masterpiece,it's extremely entertaining whilst also being full of complexity. Things become clearer and more interesting on second and third viewings. Don't expect the operatic ritualism of Once Upon in The West or the comic crowd pleasing of the Dollars films,but if you watch this you will be watching a cinematic master at the height of his powers.


140 of 165 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 155 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

Italy | Spain

Language:

English | Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

7 July 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Fistful of Dynamite See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (initial US release) | (Laserdisc)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo (original Italian prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed