I think this might be my favorite of the trilogy. Lee Van Cleef is pure awesome as ‘The Man in Black’ , it has the most compelling story, and El Indio is a fantastic villain. It’s funny how The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly gets all of the notoriety, it’s still one of the greatest westerns ever — but it For a Few Dollars More is the only film that comes close to the level of Once Upon a Time in the West. It’s an operatic, awesome, beautiful film and it’s definitely a must see.
A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
Directed by Sergio Leone
For breakfast: Homemade Egg McMuffins and Hashbrowns
I’m not sure what to say about this classic. As a fan of westerns I’m almost obligated to love it…and I do. Eastwood is pure badass as the iconic “Man With No Name”; a clever gunslinger that uses a town rivalry to his financial advantage. That is until he finds out there is a family in trouble and decides to help them instead. The nobility of our hero is matched by the brutality of the Rojo’s, seen at its greatest during a a painfully long massacre that all but forces you to look away.
Leone masterfully balances the drama with rousing action, enhanced immensely by Ennio Morricone’s brilliant score. He knows and respects the Hollywood western, he follows their conventions yet manages to break them at the same time. I love the way he fills the frame using extreme angles to create that epic feeling. The scope is certainly bigger and more polished than something like Django, which is essentially the same story. Though, I don’t think I could pick a favorite between the two, both are great for different reasons and Corbucci is a different animal entirely.
This definitely ranks up there with Charade as far as opening titles go.