A Fistful of Dollars / Per un pugno di dollari (Sergio Leone, 1964)

I watched A Fistful of Dollars on DVD on the 30th December having seen it numerous times before. It stands on its own for me as an iconic piece launching the genre however when compared with the second and third parts of the trilogy it contrasts as a slightly slower, and a more rigid tale.
Great set and costumes feature. Eastwood makes his mark creating an iconic character. Entering on a mule, dressed like a Mexican perhaps, but a bounty hunter and an outsider. From there he directs the events in the corrupt and violent town. The Baxters and Rojos are played off against each other. I always enjoy Volonte and as Ramon he is clearly in control of his family while the Baxters are arguably lead by Consuelo. Ramon’s Achilles heel is his obsession with Marisol which is exploited by the stranger.
Ok, the soundtrack is super, an iconic spaghetti soundtrack. The locations are great and it is shot very well. Some great scenes including the mule scene, the scene where the Baxters are massacred, and the final showdown. A lot of killing and violence with the scene where the army are ambushed. Great use of closeups slowing the action down and the camera getting right into the mugs. The cynical “anti-hero” comes to make his dollars but as mentioned above he takes risks to rescue the family and is driven at the end by revenge.
It’s a classic and starts it all off. I did enjoy the more recent viewing this time more than the last couple of viewings some years back. Not sure why.
4 stars - Leone just getting going


In the second part we learn that originally the character played by Daniel Martín (Marisol’s husband) had to die at the hands of Ramón. No escape with wife and child!
But the script was censored by the Junta de Censura.


Unfortunately my Spanish wasn’t good enough to spot that bit about Julio.

Ray El Magnifico I hadn’t heard of before. And the Baxter’s were the Morales originally.