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A Fistful of Dollars [DVD] [1964]

Release Date:10/05/1999
The first of Clint Eastwood's turns as Sergio Leone's laconic, manipulative, wandering gunslinger has not been served too well by MGM/UA's DVD release. Both widescreen and full-frame versions of the movie are presented. The widescreen transfer is non-anamorphic and letterboxed to 2.35:1, preserving the original film's aspect ratio. The source print seems to be fairly recent, but still shows some signs of wear, with periodic blemishes showing up, though there is overall no color fading. The transfer, however, has a slightly soft look to it, with a fair bit of grain and some visible compression artifacts. In addition, noise reduction seems to have been used and the image compressed in such a way that solid blacks have lightened and taken on a slightly greenish cast. The video gain also appears to have been unhinged for this transfer, as the brightness levels keep flickering in a number of sequences -- a noticeable and annoying problem. The audio is presented in mono and is essentially untouched -- no attempts at equalization, maximizing, or noise reduction seem to have been made, so that viewers will find themselves lowering the gain for the MGM/UA DVD logo and the main menu, then having to raise it again for the movie itself. There are also places on the soundtrack that crackle, pop, hiss, and hum, another annoyance for viewers in general -- fans of the Man With No Name films are likely to feel insulted. The sole extra on the disc is the U.S. trailer, which shows some damage, but is in generally good shape. It would have been nice to see an effort to include other materials as well.
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    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (18 out of 18)

    Special Features

    • Behind-the-scenes booklet
    • Original theatrical trailer


    A Fistful of Dollars
    By the time Sergio Leone made this film, Italians had already produced about 20 films ironically labelled "spaghetti westerns." Leone approached the genre with great love and humor. Although the plot was admittedly borrowed from Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961), Leone managed to create a work of his own that would serve as a model for many films to come. Clint Eastwood plays a cynical gunfighter who comes to a small border town and offers his services to two rivaling gangs. Neither gang is aware of his double play, and each thinks it is using him, but the stranger will outwit them both. The picture was the first installment in a cycle commonly known as the "Dollars" trilogy. Later, United Artists, who distributed it in the U.S., coined another term for it: the "Man With No Name" trilogy. While not as impressive as its follow-ups For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966), A Fistful of Dollars contains all of Leone's eventual trademarks: taciturn characters, precise framing, extreme close-ups, and the haunting music of Ennio Morricone. Not released in the U.S. until 1967 due to copyright problems, the film was decisive in both Clint Eastwood's career and the recognition of the Italian western. ~ Yuri German, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Clint Eastwood
      Clint Eastwood - The Man with No Name
    • Marianne Koch
      Marianne Koch - Marisol
    • Image coming soon
      Wolfgang Lukschy - John Baxter
    • Mario Brega
      Mario Brega - Chico
    • Image coming soon
      Carol Brown - Antonia Baxter

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.