October 25, 2014

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 83, Issue 1

Sergio Leone's 'Dollar Trilogy' too good to forget

by Ed Fronczak

    Long before Walk Kowalski was approaching 80 years old, before the outlaw Josey Wales was even an outlaw, a point in time when even Dirty Harry wasn't sure of how many shots had been fired, The Man With No Name trilogy had perfected a look so threatening that it could strike fear into even the most dirty and dusty man of western mythology.
    The trilogy, also known as the Dollar Trilogy, features three films starring Clint Eastwood: A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).
    A Fistful of Dollars, the first film of Director Sergio Leone's trilogy, marked the dawn of America's first real taste of what a well-directed Spaghetti Western had to offer”a true, gritty, quiet and reserved rebel that could draw a pistol before the smoke cleared the air. The plot is a class story, told and retold, of a lone stranger entering the town of San Miguel which is primarily composed of two enemy gangs, a bar and a coffin maker. Employing good ol' common sense, the stranger uses each gang's hatred for its rival to get some gold into his own pocket. But when the man with no name sees something that he most certainly should not have seen, the tables begin to turn. More than money, or liquor, Eastwood's character wants justice and by golly he will get it.
    I am not trying to give praise to a gunslinger, but if ever a man deserved a warm handshake, perhaps a medal for being the most ruthless man alive, this stranger would be worthy of it.
    The action, combined with the beautiful landscapes of Spain where the movie was filmed, the iconic soundtrack composed by Ernio Morricone, and unique and breathtaking cinematography, create a winning combination for a film that movie buffs not only deserve to see, to see how well movies can be made, but also to merely refresh their palette and gain a stronger appreciation for modern masterpieces such as Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill series, which was itself inspired by Leone's Dollar Trilogy.

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