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Part of its magnificent July-August schedule, the Brattle Theatre will be showing Sergio Leone’s classic spaghetti western “A Fistful Of Dollars” three times during the last two days of this month in ravishing 35 mm format.
“A Fistful Of Dollars” was released in 1964 and stars Clint Eastwood as The Man With No Name at the very beginning of his elaborate and illustrious career. Both Henry Fonda and Charles Bronson turned down Eastwood’s role, something they would surely both go on to regret as Clint went on to work with Leone two more times in “For A Few Dollars More” and “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly” – the final two parts of The Man With No Name trilogy.
This trilogy is one of the most well known and respected in the history of cinema. From the everlasting soundtracks created by Italian composer Ennio Morricone, to Leone’s wonderful direction (specifically his unforgettable cinematography), to Eastwood’s outlandish loner character - almost every single piece of these three masterpieces has been ripped off by foreign and American directors in some way or another in the last 40+ years. These instances of thievery are infallible proofs that Leone’s spaghetti westerns will forever stand the test of time.
The plot is about the simple story of a wanderer (Eastwood) who sets two families against each other in a scheme so he can run off with a large sum of money. It marks the start of two extraordinary careers in Leone and Eastwood’s. This film can never be replaced even if someone literally remakes it, as studios tend to do with any tour de force with a strong following; this is a piece of art that any real movie lover must see in order to identify some of the origins of what they love about filmmaking.
This is by far Leone’s shortest work, and it clearly lacks the density and the intensity of his later (much lengthier) releases - but it unarguably is the initial forging of the unforgettable style of a legendary director. If you were wondering where the often over used extreme close-up originated from, look no further than the gunfights within this action-packed masterwork; this is the birth of many types of cinematic style, and the end of repetition after a period of time in the 1950’s where repetition within westerns was incessant.
Here are the showtimes for Sergio Leone’s “A Fistful Of Dollars.”
Monday, July 30th at 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, July 31st at 4:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
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