A Fistful of Dollars is Full of Spaghetti

“Get three coffins ready.”


Photo courtesy of IMDB

Solomon Kenworthy

     A Fistful of Dollars was released in 1964, and was directed by Sergio Leone. The film stars Clint Eastwood, and Gian Maria Volonté. A voyaging cowboy wanders into San Miguel, where he finds two rival gangs and pits them against each other in an attempt to save the corrupted town. 

     Clint Eastwood is the American cowboy. His portrayal as Joe, or more commonly referred to, the Man with No Name, is more than exceptional. He does a great job at making you feel his character through his actions and facial expressions, rather than through his words. Eastwood’s character talks very little, which is good, because when he eventually does speak, it feels more like an event than a simple line of dialogue. Most times, a crucial part of a good character is making that character relatable. But here, the thing that makes Eastwood so cool is that he’s given barely any background. 

     All of the action in A Fistful of Dollars is extremely entertaining. The script is a little confusing to follow. There are many moments where things just happen a certain way, because the script says so. One action scene in particular comes to mind, where the Mexican government’s troops are ambushed by the Rojo gang with a Gatling gun, and the horses the troops were riding definitely would have been shot. The scene didn’t really make sense, and takes away from the action in the movie. This movie is only 1 hour and 39 minutes long, but it feels more like 3 weeks. The pacing is not good. 

     The directing and cinematography are where this movie shines. They are both excellent. If you were to turn the sound off and just watch the movie, you would be able to understand everything that was happening in the story perfectly. Every shot has value. The score is vibrant, and makes this movie feel epic. 

     The pacing needs some work, but if you enjoy Spaghetti Westerns, this is one you shouldn’t miss. 


[My grade for A Fistful of Dollars is an A]