A Fistful of Dollars

( 9 )

Overview

MGM/UA first released a special edition of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in 2003, but it apparently took a little while longer for the company to recognize that the two earlier installments of Sergio Leone's Clint Eastwood trilogy were equally ripe for that kind of treatment. A Fistful of Dollars is present here in a gorgeous film-to-video transfer, one that was probably more expensive to do than the original movie which was done on an extremely low budget was to shoot. Every shot now shows the clarity and ...
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DVD (Special Edition / Wide Screen)
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Overview

MGM/UA first released a special edition of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in 2003, but it apparently took a little while longer for the company to recognize that the two earlier installments of Sergio Leone's Clint Eastwood trilogy were equally ripe for that kind of treatment. A Fistful of Dollars is present here in a gorgeous film-to-video transfer, one that was probably more expensive to do than the original movie which was done on an extremely low budget was to shoot. Every shot now shows the clarity and detail rivaling a still photograph, with the letterboxed 2.35:1 Techniscope image starting to crowd in on Cinemascope-level resolution. The chaptering is generous, as it was on the old low-priced DVD; and the sound is now good and loud and detailed, in ways it wasn't possible to achieve with DVDs in the late '90s. Unlike the old single-disc DVD, there is no full-screen transfer on this disc, only the letterboxed version -- not that anyone with any sense would want the full-screen version; as the commentary by Christopher Frayling correctly points out, the widescreen image is used to frame most of the key scenes in this movie, and breaking that up destroys the intended compositions. But the real treat -- beyond the best presentation that the movie has ever had in a home-viewing format -- lies with the extras. There's a glorious commentary track by scholar Christopher Frayling in which he delves into the historical background of the production -- we find out the reason why just about every shot and every scene was done the way it was and it usually had to do with the low budget that director Sergio Leone was working with, as much about any of the actors as we've ever known, and we are walked through the reasons behind the special appeal of Italian-made Westerns, and Leone's movies in particular. Frayling ranges from cinema to art to literature, with detours into theology, popular culture, and a half-dozen other fields, and gives us the equivalent of a month's worth of film discussion in 101 minutes. And then, to top it off, he appears in one of the three background featurettes on the bonus disc, going into more detail. The other two featurettes put Eastwood on camera reminiscing about meeting Leone for the first time, and friends and colleagues recalling the director; and we get director Monte Hellman discussing his momentary career intersection with the movie, when he was hired to shoot a introduction for the film for its first telecast on ABC, a well-meaning but idiotic effort by the network to cast the Eastwood character's actions in a moral context. Harry Dean Stanton is in the scene, but Eastwood was not, and an actor about a head shorter than he is can be seen in a similar outfit, his face obscured by shadow. We also get trailers and radio spots for the movie. What we don't get, amazingly enough, is the original U.S. trailer for the movie, which was on the old single-disc DVD of the film. Instead, there's a double-feature trailer for the re-release of A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More. This may seem like an oversight, but that original trailer was superb, and is good enough that this reviewer is saving the old DVD just because it is on it. The oversight is astonishing, given the thoroughness of the rest of the disc, and it also raises another question -- did the producers ever consider getting some of the European trailers for the movie, so we could see how it was marketed in Italy, Spain, France, Germany, etc., to compare how United Artists presented the picture here? That one flaw aside, it's impossible to complain about this set -- it's a beautiful total-immersion experience in the movie and the genre. The discs each open to an easy-to-use multi-layered menu, with the special features on each accessible quickly and simply, with the menu underscored by Ennio Morricone's music.
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Special Features

Restored and remastered film; Feature commentary by noted film historian Sir Christopher Frayling; "A New Kind of Hero" featurette; "A Few Weeks In Spain": Clint Eastwood on the experience of making the film; "Tre Voci": Three friends remember Sergio Leone; "Not Ready for Primetime": Renowned filmmaker Monte Hellman discusses the television broadcast of A Fistful of Dollars; The Network Prologue, with Harry Dean Stanton; "Location comparisons Then to Now": Film clips intercut with current footage of the locations used; Ten radio spots; Double-bill trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The hugely influential A Fistful of Dollars launched the careers of star Clint Eastwood, director Sergio Leone, and composer Ennio Morricone. Essentially a remake of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, the film was one of the first low-budget, Italian-made "spaghetti westerns" to reap a significant amount of money and develop a cult following in the U.S. marketplace. Though John Ford's 1956 film The Searchers marked the of end the traditional western, Leone's "Man with No Name" trilogy ushered in a new, highly stylized version of the genre, revitalizing it in the late 1960s. Dollars and its companions, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, are raw portrayals of suffering and violence which blur the lines of good-versus-bad. Eastwood's cold, squinting, anti-hero is at the heart of the new amorality; it would be a role that would influence the rest of his career. For Leone, the trilogy would be a training ground for his masterpiece, the big-budgeted Once Upon a Time in the West. Morricone went on to become one of the most prolific, instantly recognizable composers in movie history.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/5/2007
  • UPC: 027616077387
  • Original Release: 1964
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Searchlight
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Special Edition / Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: Français
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 21,757

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Clint Eastwood The Man with No Name
Marianne Koch Marisol
Gian Maria Volonté Ramon Rojo
Wolfgang Lukschy John Baxter
Mario Brega Chico
Carol Brown Antonia Baxter
Antonio Prieto Benito Rojo
Josef Egger Piripero
Pepe Calvo Silvanito
Benny Reeves Rubio
Margarita Lozano Consuela Baxter
Raf Baldassarre
Carla Calo
José Calvo Silvanito
Bruno Carotenuto Antonio Baxter
Daniel Martin Julian
Sieghardt Rupp Esteban Rojo
Aldo Sambrell
Benito Stefanelli Rubio
Richard Stuyvesant Chico
Technical Credits
Sergio Leone Director, Screenwriter
Victor A. Catena Screenwriter
Roberto Cinquini Editor
Arrigo Colombo Producer
Massimo Dallamano Cinematographer
Ennio Morricone Score Composer
Giorgio Papi Producer
G. Schock Screenwriter
Carlo Simi Costumes/Costume Designer
Duccio Tessari Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- A Fistful of Dollars
1. Chapter 1 [:09]
2. Chapter 2 [2:22]
3. Chapter 3 [2:23]
4. Chapter 4 [2:33]
5. Chapter 5 [3:23]
6. Chapter 6 [2:05]
7. Chapter 7 [1:07]
8. Chapter 8 [2:29]
9. Chapter 9 [2:42]
10. Chapter 10 [2:03]
11. Chapter 11 [3:13]
12. Chapter 12 [3:18]
13. Chapter 13 [1:58]
14. Chapter 14 [2:01]
15. Chapter 15 [1:20]
16. Chapter 16 [3:51]
17. Chapter 17 [2:44]
18. Chapter 18 [1:56]
19. Chapter 19 [3:47]
20. Chapter 20 [1:19]
21. Chapter 21 [:49]
22. Chapter 22 [1:34]
23. Chapter 23 [1:27]
24. Chapter 24 [5:47]
25. Chapter 25 [:58]
26. Chapter 26 [2:46]
27. Chapter 27 [1:37]
28. Chapter 28 [3:08]
29. Chapter 29 [2:30]
30. Chapter 30 [3:13]
31. Chapter 31 [4:11]
32. Chapter 32 [3:33]
33. Chapter 33 [6:29]
34. Chapter 34 [4:02]
35. Chapter 35 [1:04]
36. Chapter 36 [4:28]
37. Chapter 37 [5:15]
38. Chapter 38 [:07]
39. Chapter 39 [:00]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- A Fistful of Dollars
   Play
   Language Selection
      English 5.1 Dolby Surround
      English Mono
      Spanish Mono
      Featurette Commentary by Noted Film Historian Sir Christopher Frayling
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: French
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Feature Commentary by Noted Film Historian Sir Christopher Frayling On / Off
Disc #2 -- A Fistful of Dollars
   Featurettes
      A New Kind of Hero
      A Few Weeks In Spain Clint Eastwood on Making the Film
      Tre Voci Three Friend's Remember Sergio Leone
      Not Ready for Primetime
      Network Prologue With Harry Dean Stanton
      Location Comparisons
   Radio Spots
   Trailers
      Fistful of Dollars/For a Few Dollars More
      The Good, the Bad and the Ugly-Collector's Edition
      The Great Escape
      Hoosiers Collector's Edition
      Raging Bull - Collector's Edition
      The Rocky Anthology
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    one very amazing movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    one very amazing movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Fistful of Pleasure

    This movie is a pleasure to the senses. Visually, it is both beautiful and hard, capturing the complexity of the ''Hero''--who, from the first instant, we know will be unlike what we have come to expect from heroes. To the sense of sound, this movie is equally satisfying, with a soundtrack that nearly sends shivers up the spine. But it doesn't stop there. No, the filming and pacing is so tight, so cool, that at times you can feel the night wind on your skin, taste the tequila on your tongue, and smell the Hero's blood as it dries, all the while knowing that when the blood dries, the spurs will click again and the guns will resume their fire.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews