Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Per un Pugno di Dollari

A Fistful of Dollars (Per un Pugno di Dollari) is a film directed by Sergio Leone in 1964. This film is part of a trilogy including For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. During the time when the film came out, there were lots of other westerns being made in Italy. Although many "spaghetti" westerns were made before A Fistfull of Dollars, this film is the one most will remember and refer to.

The film starts off with a man (Clint Eastwood) riding into a small town to get some water. From there we can see that there is conflict going on in this town. There was a fight and a shootout going on. This will not be the only time where there is conflict and shootouts. From there the man meets Juan De Dios. Juan says that the people are either rich or dead. This idea is also repeated by the innkeeper. Death and money play a large role in the film. Money is very inportant in that town and is gained only through killing. In that town there are not a lot of people because people are getting killed a lot. There are even feuding families (the Rojos and the Baxters). Some of the locals do not like the man but the innkeeper starts talking to him. The innkeeper talks about the town and the feuding families. Later on the man asks the innkeeper some questions. He asks about what was in the carriage that came into town one day, "Who is Marisol?" and "Who is Ramon?". He does not get an answer but the innkeeper tells him that it is best not to know who Ramon is or see him.

In the scenes where the man meets Ramon, a long take is used and the camera follows Ramon's movements. This shows the importance of Ramon and the meeting of the two men. Ramon is seen as someone who is important but also to be feared. Low angle shots are sometimes used to show importance. Through these low angle shots, it will show them as important and authoritative. Soon the man talks to both families which results on more feuding. He even takes Marisol and her family to the border so they can be free. This is not good since Marisol was captured before and is now the mas freed her. Ramon learns of this and has the man beaten up really badly. But that does not stop the man. At the final shootout, the man takes down Ramon thus ending the feud. The town is now safe.

As mentioned before, A Fistful of Dollars is considered one of the most popular westerns. Even though over 400 "spaghetti" westerns were made between 1962 and 1976 in Ialy, this film is probably the most popular and recognized. This film was also the film that brought Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwod into stardom.
http://http//www.fistful-of-leone.com/films.html,this has information on Sergio Leone and his work
http://http//www.wildeast.net/spaghettiwestern.htm this talks about the spaghetti western genre
http://www.clinteastwood.net/this has information about Clint Eastwwod and his work


kelco411 said...

A Fistful of Dollars is truely a film that has to do with good vs. evil. The man with no name (or Joe) is not a bad guy. Sure, he does some things to stir up trouble in the town, and in the beginning only seems to care about making money, but he is ultimately the good guy of this story. My discussion question in class dealt with the theme of violence in the film and what it meant. Obviously, there is plenty of violence in the film, but violence isn't always characterized as bad in this case. There are many scenes where bad is pitted against bad, like the shootout scene between the rival families. There are many times when Joe interferes and makes the rivals want to fight each other even more; he kind of eggs them on. However, the scene at the every end of the film pits good against evil, that is, Joe vs. Ramone. This scene was probably the most important one in the film. It has so much emotion in it, and it was the scene that I was most engaged in.
Also dealing with the concept of good vs. evil, some people might not completely agree with me when I say that Joe is a good guy. There are a few examples to back up this point. First of all, he ends up killing the men that are mean to that small child at the end of the film. He didn't have to kill these men, but he did. Also, there is the scene when Joe rescues Marisol from Ramone's house, and takes her and her family to the border with some money. He knows there only chance for happiness and saftey is to get out of town, and that is what he allows them to do. He does have a heart, and even though he doesn't say much, he does have kindness inside of him.

Emirjona85 said...

That is true. Also I would like to add that Ennio Morricone's music made the scene even more compelling and emotional. The music was made perfectly for the movie. It sounded as someone or something was whistling. I think it was meant to represent the wind blowing through the mountains. The horses were galloping through the wind.

Celia said...

I definately agree with the first 2 responses. This film deals with the battle of good vs evil, as do most westerns. But this one had a confusion as to whether or not the man or "Joe" was good or bad. Ultimately he is a good guy but to some he is bad. That is how it is in the world, we may be good but bad according to others or the other way around.
I do agree with the importance of the music. The background music definately set the mood right for the movie. The right music can definately make a difference for a movie because music can change the mood of a scene.

Tani said...

Kelco 411 I disagree with one part of your comment. I feel that the man with no name is a bad guy. He seeks for exactly everything a bad guy wants and he does everything a bad guy does. The only thing that he is an exception upon is that fact that he does not pick on the weaker people or harm them. He's a bad guy who steals from the bad guys and who hurts bad guys. I feel that throughout the story he becomes good because of his stand against the evil and due to the loyalty he had towards people who help him, like the bar man. When he's a cold killer and his eyes stay still when he shoots. Don't get me wrong I like the enemy of my enemy, but I think what makes the film so good is the fact that he's not a good guy and yet the viewer still wants him to win.

elisa6690 said...

A Fistful of Dollars was definitely hard to interpret, vis-a-vis whether or not Joe/the man with no name is a good or bad guy. I can understand either side of the argument, although I would ultimately have to agree with the fact that he was indeed a bad guy. He isn't someone you'd catch yourself trying to be friends with, he does his own thing. He goes after the bad guys because those are the ones who are the most fun to mess with. Why would he go after the weak and the poor? There is no benefit there for him. He gains the most satisfaction and probably even some peace of mind by going after the big and bad rich guys who arguably "deserve" whats coming to them. I think that confusion about this "good guy or bad guy" situation arises from the simple fact that the audience is used to rooting for the good guy to defeat the bad guy, where as in this case we watch as one bad guy takes out several worse guys-therefore leading us to believe the one taking them out is the good guy. In this case, I think its okay that we like the bad guy because it's not necessarily about the details, but more about the end result-and in this case, the audience is grateful that Ramone's crew will no longer be around!!

Cool Italian Pics said...

What I really enjoy about this trilogy is the loner aspect of the hero. In most westerns the hero has some connection to the community - that is inverted in this film. For "The Man with no name," his gun skills speak for him. The classic psychological match up between calculated and cunning vs. arrogant and evil really works in this film. In the end, the Man with no name doesn't get the girl, but he gets the money!