Saturday, 5 December 2015

Capital Celluloid 2015 - Day 363: Tue Dec 29

The Dollars Trilogy:
A Fistful of Dollars; For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad & The Ugly
(Leone, 1964-66) Prince Charles Cinema, 3.45pm


The Prince Charles Cinema introduction:
The Dollars Trilogy (Italian: Trilogia del dollaro), also known as the Man with No Name Trilogy, is a film series consisting of three Spaghetti Western films directed by Sergio Leone. The films are titled A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). The series has become known for establishing the Spaghetti Western genre, and inspiring the creation of many more Spaghetti Western films. The three films are consistently listed among the best rated Western films of all time.

All three films are being screened from 35mm

Chicago Reader review of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly:Sergio Leone's comic, cynical, inexplicably moving epic spaghetti western (1966), in which all human motivation has been reduced to greed—it's just a matter of degree between the Good (Clint Eastwood), the Bad (Lee Van Cleef), and the Ugly (Eli Wallach). Leone's famous close-ups—the "two beeg eyes"—are matched by his masterfully composed long shots, which keep his crafty protagonists in the subversive foreground of a massively absurd American Civil War. Though ordained from the beginning, the three-way showdown that climaxes the film is tense and thoroughly astonishing.
Dave Kehr

Chicago Reader review of For a Few Dollars More:
Sergio Leone followed up his international hit A Fistful of Dollars with this 1965 spaghetti western, continuing a trilogy that would end the following year with The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. A nameless bounty hunter (Clint Eastwood) and a resolute ex-army colonel (Lee Van Cleef) team up to capture a scuzzy bandit who's planning to pull a bank job in El Paso. Leone's artful editing of close-ups to communicate the characters' spatial relationships is always a pleasure, and here he unveils his stylistic signature—extreme close-ups of the characters' eyes—as Van Cleef surveys the villain's wanted poster.
JR Jones

Time Out review of A Fistful of Dollars:Though far less operatic and satisfying than Leone's later work, his first spaghetti Western with Eastwood still looks stylish, if a little rough at the edges. Based on Kurosawa's Yojimbo, it set a fashion in surly, laconic, supercool heroes with Eastwood's amoral gunslinger, who plays off two gangs against one another in a deadly feud. All the classic Leone ingredients were there - the atonal score, the graphic violence, the horrendous dubbing - and the film's Stateside success changed the face of a genre.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is The Dollars Trilogy trailer.

Footnote: This trio of movies is also known as The Man With No Name Trilogy. On Wikipedia it is noted that the "Man with No Name" concept was invented by the American distributor United Artists, looking for a strong angle to sell the movies as a trilogy. Eastwood's character does indeed have a name (albeit a nickname) and a different one in each film: "Joe", "Manco" and "Blondie", respectively.

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