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Author Topic: A Fistful Of Dollars 50th Anniversary  (Read 8184 times)
Jed Cooper
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« on: February 24, 2014, 09:03:23 AM »

1964 may be the 50th anniversary of The Beatles conquering America, but it’s also the 50th anniversary of the release of Clint Eastwood’s first major starring movie role in A Fistful Of Dollars.  At least, in Italy.  It premiered in America in 1967.  Weigh in with your thoughts and memories.  Is this a favorite of yours?  What were your first impressions?  Where did you see it first, on the big or little screen?  Do you remember who you were with and whether or not they enjoyed it?  How do you feel about this film today?

For me, I first saw it at home on television during the winter of ‘81/’82.  This, the sequels that followed and Dirty Harry is what solidified my status as a bona fide Clint Eastwood fan!  Afterwards, I sought his movie out on television as much as possible and looked forward for subsequent films coming out in theaters.  It’s almost difficult to describe the feeling upon first seeing this movie.  I was just blown away at how great it was and how entertained I felt.  The Man With No Name was not someone to be messed with!  It was great seeing him befriend the innkeeper Silvanito, helping out Marisol and her family and defeating the Rojos, Ramon in particular, in the finale.

Other than beating Ramon at the end in a duel, my favorite scene is the “I don’t think it’s nice, you laughin’” segment not long after he arrives into San Miguel near the beginning of the movie.  It’s probably the most he says at one time during the whole film and it’s very effectively menacing.  I always get a kick out of how the scene begins and ends; "Get three coffins ready."  "My mistake, four coffins.  "The buildup to the finale is just great, beginning with Eastwood appearing amidst smoke from dynamite explosions, getting shot by Ramon ("The heart, Ramon, aim for the heart."), eventually exposing the steel plate strapped to his body that kept him from being killed, and challenging Ramon to a duel.  "When a man with a .45 meets a man with a rifle, the man with the .45 is a dead man.  Let's see if that's true.  Go ahead, load up and shoot."

I have been entertained and disappointed by many an Eastwood film over the years and for that I am one grateful  and appreciative fan.  The good far outweighs the bad (and, ahem, the ugly  8).  A Fistful Of Dollars is still one of my all-time favorites and to me stands as one of his best.





« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 09:17:50 AM by Jed Cooper » Logged

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antonis
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 12:53:22 PM »

An all time favorite.
First saw it in a theater at the age of seven.Still remember the expectation.
The room I used in my parents house is -it still is- an Eastwood temple.
The poster below will always be next to the bed.
First thing to see when I woke up and the last when going to sleep. :)

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Jed Cooper
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 01:02:08 PM »

An all time favorite.
First saw it in a theater at the age of seven.Still remember the expectation.
The room I used in my parents house is -it still is- an Eastwood temple.
The poster below will always be next to the bed.
First thing to see when I woke up and the last when going to sleep. :)



Thaks for sharing, Antonis!  Nice poster!
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 09:13:27 PM »

Nice memory, Antonis! 8)
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The Man With No Aim
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2014, 09:51:16 PM »

Happy birthday, Fistful!

Up to this day, have only seen Fistful on the baddest and saddest format: old square screen tv, typical murderous broadcast tv edit, low-def analog, yadda yadda. It still has been highly respected and revered by me as one of the really good Westerns. In the day, it set a new high watermark for Western realism and grittiness and tense drama.

First time I saw it was porbly in middle or late 70s. Alone. I was greatly impressed.  Best I can 'member, it was after viewing Dirty Harry first run in 72 or whenever, and before seeing any other Eastwood movie any which way.

My fave scene is the shootout, noticing the manner in which The Man With No Name levelled, or, would I say, contrived the playing field for the contest between the pistol and the rifle. Being an accomplished shootist with single action revolvers at the time of first viewing the film, I was impressed by how quickly TMWNN was able to obtain correct registration and fire without fumbling around. Like Yogi (or was it somebody else?) said, I'd rather be lucky than good any day. Discussing this particular point with a good friend one day, Friend said: perhaps TMWNN held the hammer up just high enough to hit the cartridge when the spinning cylinder got there. And then very quickly full-cocked and dropped the hammer. I am embarrassed to confess that I never tried that ploy to see if it was practical. But its all good. Whether TMWNN was lucky or good, you just didnt mess around with him. More recently, in Gran Torino, in the confrontation between Wally and the Punks, the concept of not messing with him was expressed much more pungently.
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Jed Cooper
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 06:36:26 AM »

Happy birthday, Fistful!

Up to this day, have only seen Fistful on the baddest and saddest format: old square screen tv, typical murderous broadcast tv edit, low-def analog, yadda yadda. It still has been highly respected and revered by me as one of the really good Westerns. In the day, it set a new high watermark for Western realism and grittiness and tense drama.

First time I saw it was porbly in middle or late 70s. Alone. I was greatly impressed.  Best I can 'member, it was after viewing Dirty Harry first run in 72 or whenever, and before seeing any other Eastwood movie any which way.

My fave scene is the shootout, noticing the manner in which The Man With No Name levelled, or, would I say, contrived the playing field for the contest between the pistol and the rifle. Being an accomplished shootist with single action revolvers at the time of first viewing the film, I was impressed by how quickly TMWNN was able to obtain correct registration and fire without fumbling around. Like Yogi (or was it somebody else?) said, I'd rather be lucky than good any day. Discussing this particular point with a good friend one day, Friend said: perhaps TMWNN held the hammer up just high enough to hit the cartridge when the spinning cylinder got there. And then very quickly full-cocked and dropped the hammer. I am embarrassed to confess that I never tried that ploy to see if it was practical. But its all good. Whether TMWNN was lucky or good, you just didnt mess around with him. More recently, in Gran Torino, in the confrontation between Wally and the Punks, the concept of not messing with him was expressed much more pungently.

Very interesting.  Thanks for sharing.   O0
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 07:39:38 AM »

Like Yogi (or was it somebody else?) said, I'd rather be lucky than good any day.

Yogi did actually say some of the things he said, but this wasn't one of them. ;)

That particular quote is attributed to another Yankee star, Lefty Gomez.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/quotes/quolgom.shtml
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 09:17:53 AM »

Nice memory, Antonis! 8)

Well,I have a few more memories to share the years to come...
My wife too but,hers ain't so pleasant >:D

(for example:when FOD was reissued a couple of years before I forced her to attend the opening screening at least 2 hours earlier...just in case)
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Jed Cooper
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2014, 09:21:17 AM »

Well,I have a few more memories to share the years to come...
My wife too but,hers ain't so pleasant >:D

(for example:when FOD was reissued a couple of years before I forced her to attend the opening screening at least 2 hours earlier...just in case)

My wife attended the extended version of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly with me some years back.  It was a promotional tie-in to the dvd release.  For me, it was overkill.  It's nice having the extras on Blu ray but I prefer all 3 Eastwood/Leone westerns as they were originally released theatrically. 
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2014, 09:30:13 AM »

My wife attended the extended version of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly with me some years back.  It was a promotional tie-in to the dvd release.  For me, it was overkill.  It's nice having the extras on Blu ray but I prefer all 3 Eastwood/Leone westerns as they were originally released theatrically.

Exactly.
I've watched the Leone/Eastwood films in a theater (more than once) and I feel really lucky.
Nothing compares the big screen.
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The Man With No Aim
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2014, 09:11:54 PM »

QUOTE...."Very interesting.  Thanks for sharing.   O0"


Thank you for thanking me!   8)
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2014, 09:23:30 PM »

Yogi did actually say some of the things he said, but this wasn't one of them. ;)

That particular quote is attributed to another Yankee star, Lefty Gomez.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/quotes/quolgom.shtml


Those Lefty Gomez quotes are wonderful! I did not know that he went 26-5! Maybe Lefty Babe gave him some good pitching tips.  :coolsmiley:

 Thanks for the memories.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 09:28:26 PM by The Man With No Aim » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2014, 06:03:28 AM »

I've been meaning to watch this sooner but finally got around to it this weekend.  If I wasn't on such an Eastwood western kick lately, that began with Pale Rider... 

I enjoyed seeing this, one of my all-time favorites, again.  There's not much more I can add to what I've already said but I love Eastwood's character.  I forgot to check the credits because I noticed again how the coffin maker refers to him as "Joe".  Is that really his name?  Not sure.  I'm fairly certain this topic has been discussed elsewhere.  My two favorite scenes are the "I don't think it's nice, you laughin'" segment and the finale.  In the former, he turns something silly into something deadly and in the latter, the look on Ramon's face when he can't kill Eastwood's character is priceless.  A fantastic western, great characters, the coolest one being Clint's and perfect soundtrack.   
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2014, 12:54:42 AM »

Jed, you have reminded me of something I noticed the first time ever I saw the film; MWNN seemed to be familiarly friendly with some of the townfolk, such as the owner of the bed in which MWNN crashed and took a nap. Perhaps he was, or, had been a resident of the town before taking up his rambling ways.
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2014, 05:11:41 AM »

I don't know, I've always been the impression he was new to the town.  I know what you mean about being friendly with the inkeeper but I think they just struck up a friendship upon meeting at the beginning of the film.  I think that's one of the qualities I've always liked about Eastwood's character in this film, that he befriends Silvanito. 


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« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2014, 08:04:03 PM »

Yes, he's a stranger in town, and nobody knows his name, and he never tells anyone his name. The coffin-maker calls him Joe, but nobody else does, and we don't know why. Maybe he calls all gringos "Joe."
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2014, 11:42:32 PM »

Yes, he's a stranger in town, and nobody knows his name, and he never tells anyone his name. The coffin-maker calls him Joe, but nobody else does, and we don't know why. Maybe he calls all gringos "Joe."

Wait a minute. I have learned to highly value your opinion.

But, are you writing your opinion? Or, are you telling us something from one of those secret stashes of wisdom like an interview, or reading a script, or a book, or some other arcane movie wisdom?
« Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 11:44:27 PM by The Man With No Aim » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2014, 12:19:33 AM »

It's my opinion,  based on close reading of the film's dialogue. Also, Eastwood has said in interviews that the screenplay originally had much more exposition, but he persuaded Leone that the character would be stronger if they cut it out.
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« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2014, 11:31:05 PM »

And, in support of your opinion, it finally happened to hit me that if Joe was known in the town, it is highly likely that resident tuff guys would NOT have provoked him, or, would have made sport of him at an earlier time and would no longer be active townfolk. If he had lived there, a similar incident would likely have happened some good time before, and the tuff guys would already have been weighing down 3 coffins. I mean 4, in all the excitement I lost count myself.
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« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2014, 05:26:53 AM »

Well, for what it's worth, I think it's because Eastwood's character is a stranger that the Baxter men provoked him in the first place.  They're used to running 1/2 the town the way they see fit and probably considered themselves untouchable.  Going on what I've seen in the movie alone, my guess would be that he is a stranger and that the coffin maker calling him Joe was off the cuff.  The stranger was mysterious, making his character all the more interesting.  I'm sure audiences upon first viewing were thinking throughout the film, "What's he gonna do next? Is he a good guy or a bad guy?"  In the end, it could ge argued he's more good than bad but his actions are mostly driven by money.  The argument being more good, obviously, is that he hands his stash over to the little family when he helps them escape.  I watched this movie again recently and it's still high up on my list of all time favorites. 
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