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.
I can’t really explain why, but during the month of December I am compelled to watch as many westerns as I can. Watching westerns this time of year, especially on Christmas day, just feels right.
So there you have it, this month I’ll be visiting the old west and watching some of my favorites along with a whole bunch of films I’ve been meaning to watch. And maybe, just maybe, I can finally convince my husband to sit through the 3 hours of awesomeness that is Once Upon a Time in the West.
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.
(Note that this was a review written for Film-Talk’s World Cinema Club, so it contains plot information and spoilers.)
One words comes to mind when I think of My Name is Nobody, sillyâ€¦pure, unadulterated silliness. But donâ€™t let that put you off from seeing it. The film not only succeeds in cleverly spoofing the Spaghetti Western genre, but it is a marvelous addition to that genre in its own right. Henry Fonda, in his final western, plays the role straight as can be; while the charming, yet goofy Terence Hill is the source for most of the laughter. The jokes are never dumbed down, which is quite refreshing in this day and age, although there is some slapstick. Most of the humor stems from situational comedy and a lot of puns.