THE MARATHON WITH NO NAME REVIEW: “A Fistful of Dollars” stars Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino, Dirty Harry), Gian Maria Volonté (Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, Lucky Luciano), Marianne Koch (The Devil’s General, Die Journalism [TV series]), Wolfgang Lukschy (Dead Eyes of London, The Naked Countess), Sieghardt Rupp (Don’t Look Now…We’re Being Shot At!, Amongst Vultures), Jose Calvo (Tristana, Viridana), Joseph Egger (Black Eagle of Santa Fe, Sissi- Die Junge Kaiserin), Mario Brega (Once Upon a Time in America, For a Few Dollars More), and Margarita Lozano (The Night of the Shooting Stars, Jean de Florette). It is directed by Sergio Leone (Once Upon a Time in the West, Duck You Sucker). A man without a name (Eastwood) rides into a town that falls quiet because of how many lives have been taken with it being in the crossfire of two big bosses: the Baxter’s and the Rojo’s. They are always in a stand-off and try to get the upper hand in any way they can. The man without a name takes this hate and uses it to fool each boss into killing each other so he can end up getting rich off of them by giving information that can ruin each side.
I was really hoping that this movie would be good because of the great critic reviews that it has received. I haven’t seen many Western movies, with the only ones I’ve seen being a mixture of another genre (Back to the Future Part III, Cowboys and Aliens). “Rango” was probably the only movie closest to an all-Western genre I have seen. After seeing my first Western movie, I am glad I chose this one. The plot is original in a way and I was very in-tune with it the whole way through. The dialogue in this movie was very clever most of the time and there were also scenes that would get me in awe. I love it when there is a moment in a movie that grabs my attention and my mind falls silent so I can see how the scene plays out. “A Fistful of Dollars” has quite a bit of moments like that, mainly with Clint Eastwood’s character. The plans that his character would hatch were very interesting to come into play and I enjoyed watching it. The setting and costuming were great and I really got a feel for how life was in the old west. Another thing I should mention is the sound effects and background music. They are a key factor to making this movie awesome. The intro title card where they pull out the first of the music is great and I really liked listening to it throughout and the sound effects for everything from guns shooting to dust flying were very cool. Besides all of that, the acting was pretty solid with everyone holding themselves up. Clint Eastwood definitely stands tall in this and I like how he doesn’t talk as much, but when he does it is the most worth hearing. I did come across some cons as I watched this, however. The first con would have to be the beginning takes a while to really take off. Not the intro title card, but the first scene and twenty minutes after it. I do admit that there is a great scene in the beginning though that I thoroughly enjoy (but I won’t spoil for those who actually haven’t seen this). Once you move further into the story, though, it picks up pace and becomes great. Finally, the last con would be the shooting. I respect old movies. I hold back any criticism based on special effects because of how old the movie may be and how they couldn’t have that technology at their disposal back then. With Western movies, you really don’t need any mega special effects anyway. But the shooting…..Almost every time I saw someone got shot, they would either cringe and throw themselves or have spasms (notice I said almost, not every time). Some of them would even get up after getting shot a bunch of times. It kind of points to a scene that introduced Ramon (Volonte). When we first see him, he lights a bunch of people up and the scene takes longer than I think it should have because people who were shot decided to keep going. It can be over the top. Heck, towards the ending someone was shot and laid over on his back, but his mouth was open. Now, answer me this, when you have your mouth open, but fall on your back unconscious, does your mouth stay open or does gravity just let it close? Even though I am ranting about this a lot, it isn’t a major con because I’ve seen it done in the old Western shows as well. It just comes with the territory. Other than those cons, this was a great movie and if you are looking for a good Western movie to start like I did or just want a cool movie to watch, you should definitely check this one out! FINAL SCORE: 91%=Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: