Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Dollars Trilogy, Part I: A Fistful of Dollars

The Dollar Trilogy films are what are known as "spaghetti westerns". These are a sub-genre of films, as you might have intelligently guessed, that were directed and produced by Italians. They are essentially the Italian filmmakers' take on the western genre. Popularity of these films arose in the early '60s and had a good run before they more or less died out in the late '70s.

Shameful as it might sound (it is), only until a few days ago, I had yet to see any of Sergio Leone's famed "Man With No Name" Trilogy. As a double whammy, this is also my first witness to Clint Eastwood in the western genre. In order to make up for this unnecessary guilt that I have imploded upon myself, I thought it would be interesting to write about them as I watch not only the Dollar triliogy for the first time, but my first Spaghetti westerns as well. The difference between spaghetti westerns and the "American" westerns, arguably made famous by John Ford and John Wayne, that most of us have become accustomed to aren't night and day, but they aren't difficult to point out either. It's the small and subtle differences that make (almost) make spaghetti westerns a standalone genre.