A Fistful of Dollars (Per un Pugno di Dollari) Reviews

Page 1 of 159
Super Reviewer
April 28, 2007
Not quite up to its reputation, if only because Eastwood & Leone went on to make better.

All the elements are here though - cool as fuck Clint w/ his black stub cigar and his inscrutable squint - Morricone's wonderfully stark music and Leone's devastating widescreen compositions. Above all this may be the first western without a white hat It's greed, violence and death, played out in the mythic filthy Texas desert.
Super Reviewer
February 19, 2011
The Man With No Name: When a man's got money in his pocket he begins to appreciate peace.

A FIstful of Dollars is Sergio Leone's first in his Spaghetti Western trilogy, centering around a drifter with no name. This isn't my favorite of the trilogy, but it is a great film in its own right. This is the movie that made Clint Eastwood into a star and also the first great film from Leone. So its importance goes without saying. The plot is that of Kurosawa's Yojimbo, substitute gunfighters for samurai's.

This film is beautifully shot, with extreme close ups and well framed shots. Sergio Leone took the spaghetti western and made it a relevant genre, while also breathing new life into a dying genre; the American Western.

Certainly a film that needs a viewing. You don't have to love westerns to enjoy any of the films in Leone's trilogy. You only have to be able to enjoy great filmmaking and that's what A Fistful of Dollars is.
Super Reviewer
½ November 5, 2006
The introduction of the iconic man with no name saw Clint Eastwood catapulted to international stardom in this remake of Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece Yojimbo. Of course there's a certain irony in the fact that an Italian remake of a Japanese film shot in Spain would be the birth of the modern western, but the elements combine to fit the setting of the old west perfectly. The script has taken rather a trim in comparison, this film concentrating on machismo and gunplay rather than the more artful and character driven original; the result is that Eastwood's gunslinger comes across as more of a cynical operator than Mifune's aimless but moralistic samurai, and the build up has a brisk, almost rushed feel about it. But this film is all about the showdown at the end which, combined with Morricone's unforgettable score, is classic Leone.
Super Reviewer
½ March 4, 2012
Leone created one of the most iconic films in history with his retelling of Yojimbo. Clint Eastwood shines and Morricone's scores is like a cinematic kick to the gut.
Joel K.
Super Reviewer
October 29, 2011
TThe first in Sergio Leones Dollars Trilogy stars Clint Eastwood as the morally ambiguous man without a name, who rides up into a town where 2 conflicting families reside. Seeing an opportunity, the lone gunman decides to play the families against each other for personal gain. But soon all hell breaks loose, and the hero (or anti-hero) must use all his wits to survive. Harrowingly brutal, and darkly atmospheric, Fistful is nothing short of a riveting masterpiece. Here we see Leones brilliant Directing style, in a tense and engaging story. Throw in Clint Eastwoods tough as nails performance, coupled with an exciting score by the great Ennio Morricone, and this film becomes a thing of beauty.
Super Reviewer
½ April 30, 2011
I cant believe that it took me this long to watch the Dollar series. Has always been a fan of the Ennio Morricone tunes, the very same reason why last weekend, just for a change more than anything else, I decided to give the western sphagetti a try.
I was really astonished how timeless the movie is. Even after 50 years, it still is mesmerizing & super-cool.
Super Reviewer
March 25, 2007
Excellent as always from Eastwood/Leone. A slightly compacted version of the original story from Yojimbo (or rather more straightforward), but marvelously told.
Super Reviewer
½ November 12, 2010
Yeah it's good. But there's still some parts to work more on. Which he did...
Super Reviewer
½ September 29, 2010
The first of the dollars trilogy directed by maestro Sergio Leone was a taste of what was to come. As Sergio Leone's first Western film, A fistful Of Dollars elevated the popularity of Spaghetti Westerns and also it broke new ground in the genre. As I've said in many of my reviews on Sergio Leone's Epics, his Westerns tend to drastically depart from the traditional American Western. A fistful Of Dollars looks nasty, ugly and gritty; the way the old West is supposed to look like. For me, thats one of the things I've always loved about Sergio Leone's work, his attention to detail, his flair for authenticity. Leone gave us a small taste with Dollars. But with every Western he made, he gradually improved and he managed to create two Western epics thats have yet to be surpassed in any way. A Fistful Of Dollars is the first collaboration between Eastwood and Leone. Clint Eastwood plays the man with no name a gunfighter who arrives in a town torn apart by a rivalry witrh two families. The Man With No Name plays a game of cat and mouse with the two rivaling families, and quickly put them against each other. A Fistful Of Dollars is one of Sergio Leone's earliest achievements, and it shows a director with a vision. Leone was just getting warmed up and A Fistful Of Dollars is a tremendous film from Leone and is very entertaining. The best thing about the film is probably the way the violence plays out, it's not a typical Western, and Sergio Leone always tended to make his films violent but in context with the story. He used it to his own advantage and always came out on top in regards to the Western genre. That was one of the many aspects as to why the Spaghetti Westerns were better than the American Westerns. A Fistful Of Dollars is a a must see if you love Western films, the film contains some great gun fight, a phenomenal score by Ennio Moriconne and terrific acting from the cast. Though not as grand as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly or Once Upon A Time In The West, A Fistful Of Dollars shows what Sergio Leone was later capable of. Even in this early Spaghetti Western, Leone was able to captivate the audience with a simple, but very engrossing story. Due to Leone's Genius, Dollars is a worthy viewing experience and is the start to some of the greatest Western films ever made.
Super Reviewer
½ November 14, 2007
The beginning of Eastwood's type: the Man with No Name, the operator, who drifts into town, plays the situation out to his advantage and then drifts out. This was my first experience with the Spaghetti Western, and I found that the story was kind of sloppy and the acting was difficult - did anyone other than Eastwood speak English? - but the colours made the visuals magical in places, outdone only by a spectacular Morricone score. This film makes Tarantino make sense, and I'm sure the rest of the trilogy will only prove that claim. I'm excited to find out.
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2009
"When a man with .45 meets a man with a rifle, you said, the man with a pistol's a dead man. Let's see if that's true. Go ahead, load up and shoot."

A wandering gunfighter plays two rival families against each other in a town torn apart by greed, pride, and revenge.

The first of Sergio Leone's "Nameless Man" series started with a bang in 1964 with "A Fistful of Dollars". Clint Eastwood finally got his big break in the Italian Cinema here as a drifter who happens along a small Mexican village which has been torn apart by two criminal families (one led by Gian Maria Volonte and the other by Wolfgang Lukschy). Of course it is up to Eastwood to put the families against one another, save the townspeople and also make a little money in the process. The plot is pretty simple, but the film is done so well by Leone that its numerous shortcomings can be overlooked. "A Fistful of Dollars" was proof that the Western could go into a dark place where violence and adult situations are always constants.
Super Reviewer
August 28, 2007
28/01/2010 (DVD)

I loved this film and still do. Its stylish! This is the guy that all the boys wanna be like.

He's cool, smooth and rough at the same time, but he's also smart and importantly... he's got a Big Gun. His mysteriousness keeps things interesting making us boys wanna be like him and girls wanna be with him.

Its a Classic! The flow of the story is quite simple and I guess the simplicity makes this film quite a beauty.

Its old but its definitely a goody! I watched this not long ago in 2009 and its still very enjoyable to watch despite its release date.

If you haven't seen it yet then go and watch it or buy it. It's only $10(New Zealand Currency) which is around about $7(U.S.A Currency) so its not that expensive unless you buy the copy with DVD extras which is a "Few Dollars More".
Super Reviewer
January 21, 2010
When Sergio Leone got the idea to re-imagine Kurosawa‚??s Yojimbo, he must have been met with a lot of rejection. However, after all is said and done, A Fistful Of Dollars is a better film in almost every way. That is a statement from someone who loves Yojimbo. A Fistful Of Dollars just has a lot more going for it and is more original and revolutionary in terms of shot composition, score, characters, setting and directing. Sergio Leone completely revitalized the western I the best way possible, he made it gritty and fun. He made the legendary showdown become gruesome and horrific. First person shooting is the best way to show someone getting blown away, I can‚??t believe it took 70 years of film for someone to realize it. The set is simple, yet incredibly important. It‚??s you‚??re average western town except for one twist, it actually looks real. It‚??s worn down and beat up, much like the townspeople. It‚??s all the little touches that make Sergio Leone the greatest.

When you think of traditional western heroes, people like John Wayne and Henry Fonda come to mind. Good natured men with some sort of mission or conflict to resolve. When Clint Eastwood comes onto the screen in the opening of A Fistful of Dollars, he is there to cause trouble. He has little morals, has no problem killing a few people or a whole lot of people, talks only as much as necessary and looks like one of the bad guys; enter the anti-hero. Clint Eastwood‚??s Man With No Name is one of the most iconic and important performances of the 20th Century. He gave birth to a entire new breed of character, many movies and people wouldn‚??t exist without him. For this being Clint Eastwood‚??s first lead role it‚??s even more impressive. He does things like no other actor had or will ever do because he‚??s one of the most unique artists of his generation. Many pass him off as a rough action star, but he‚??s much more than that. He trained alongside Marlon Brando, fought his way to the top and never gave into the Hollywood system. He does things his way and I completely worship him for it.

Lastly, there is the first major score from Ennio Morricone. It‚??s an incredibly important part of the film because like many of the other aspects, it‚??s extremely original. Without the theme music to The Man With No Name, I don‚??t know if it would be the same. From the opening titles, you know this is going to be a different kind of movie. Without this film, there wouldn‚??t be the second wave of westerns or a whole slough of other films that were influenced by this complete and utter masterpiece.
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2006
While this film is a good one, a really good one in fact, it is not a great one. It's gets the extra half star due to the historical, cinematic, and aesthetic significance, and because it's just so damn stylish and influential. This is the only remake of Yojimbo that is worth existing. It's not as good as Yojimbo, but it's pretty solid. The only real drawback to this movie is that it's a little rough and unpolished. The story is not a bad one, but it could be a little better. Still though, it's hard to dislike a film which features Clint Eastwood in his breakthrough role, Sergio Leone kicking off the spaghetti western subgenre, and the haunting and memorable music of Ennio Morricone.
Super Reviewer
½ October 22, 2009
Leone's first film in the Dollar Trilogy, though not as great and visually fantastic as the following two, already lays the grounds for his unique directing style and introduces Eastwood's unforgettable sullen anti-hero, The Man With No Name.
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2007
The first in the Dollars trilogy and the weakest of the three but only by a slight gap haha the fact that Van Cleef is not in it lets it down. Like the rest the soundtrack is superb and the characters and action, stunning. It just lacks that 100% punch, probably due to the fact its the first, the story is abit lacking but still quality.
Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2008
The man with no name's burst in cinema.
Dirty and violent, but operatic retellling of 'red harvest' set in a honorless west.
Super Reviewer
½ January 17, 2009
Westernized version of Yojimbo that works as well as The Magnificent Seven. Eastwood shows why he has remained so popular throughout the years, he's a bad ass cowboy that can still look hard when getting his arse kicked. The music is fantastic and builds upon some iconic imagery. It's a cool film that doesn't go to far into character motivation, what is clear is that Leone and Eastwood took a great first step on their journey of making some of the greatest westerns ever.
Super Reviewer
August 26, 2007
Sergio Leone's "Per Un Pugno Di Dollari" aka. "A Fistful Of Dollars" of 1964 could be described as one of the most important movies in the history of motion pictures. The first movie of its kind, it rose the Italian Western to an international level, and if it had not been for "Per Un Pugno Di Dollari", the great genre of the Spaghetti Westerns would probably never have become what it is.

Based On Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece "Yojimbo" of 1961, "A Fistful Of Dollars" is not a simple remake, but a masterpiece based on another masterpiece (something very rare in film history) that definitely has its very own style. There is no doubt for me that both Kurosawa and Leone are two of the most important and brilliant directors of all time. I love "Yojimbo" as I love "Per Un Pugno Di Dollari" and I could not say which one I prefer.

The movie that made the Italian Western what it is, made Clint Eastwood a star as an actor and Sergio Leone a star as a director. It also made Ennio Morricone famous, who is arguably the most brilliant film score composer of all time, and it basically created the Western Anti Hero.

A cigar smoking stranger, the Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood) comes to San Miguel, a small town in the Mexican/American borderland, which is terrorized by two rival gangs of outlaws, lead by two families, the Baxters and the Rojos. He plays the two families against each other in order to free the town (his secondary reason) and earn a lot of money (his primary reason.

Clint Eastwood's performance as the Man With No Name (Joe in the credits) is superb. I can't remember any actor who has achieved the coolness of Clint Eastwood in the Dollar Trilogy, and I don't think any actor Ever will. But Clint Eastwood is not the only one who delivers an outstanding performance in "A Fistful Of Dollars". The great Gian Maria VolontŤ plays the crazy and villainous Ramůn Rojo with brilliance, VolontŤ represents insanity and evilness equally believable and superb as Eastwood represents Coolness.The supporting cast is also great, the beautiful Marianne Koch fits perfectly in the role of Marisol, a young mother who is held captured by Gian Maria VolontŤ's character Ramůn Rojo, who is in love with her. The supporting cast furthermore includes such great Spaghetti Western actors as Mario Brega, Aldo Sambrell and Benito Steffanelli, actors who have gained fame amongst Spaghetti Western fans, for roles such as those in "A Fistful of Dollars".

It is Ennio Morricone's iconic, brilliant score that gives this movie perfection. Morricone's scores are one of the most essential things about Sergio Leone's films, see "A Fistful Of Dollars" and you'll know what I mean.

"A Fistfull Of Dollars" is a superbly directed, violent film about selfishness, greed and hatred, full of black humor and spiced up with great dialogue. A masterpiece that is only excelled by its two successors, "Per Qualche Dollaro In Piý" aka. "For A Few Dollars More" and "Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo." aka. "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly" (which is my favorite movie of all-time), "A Fistful Of Dollars" is one of the movies that, in my opinion, everybody has to see. Brilliant and timeless, "Per Un Pugno Di Dollari" is a masterpiece that seems to get better each time I see it
Page 1 of 159