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The Sergio Leone Anthology [DVD]

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    The Sergio Leone Anthology [DVD]
    The Sergio Leone Anthology [DVD]
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    Overview

    Synopsis


    Giù la Testa
    Originally titled Giù la Testa, Duck, You Sucker! is a Mexican-revolution yarn, filmed in Italy by spaghetti Western maven Sergio Leone. James Coburn is top-billed as John H. Mallory, an Irish soldier of fortune with a penchant for explosives. Rod Steiger plays Juan Miranda, another mercenary who wants to utilize Mallory's specialty to blast into a bank. Despite his avaricious intentions, Miranda becomes a hero when the hole he blows in the bank wall frees dozens of political prisoners. Duck, You Sucker originally ran 150 minutes, with U.S. release prints heavily trimmed. Taking into consideration the previous "Man With No Name" films masterminded by Leone, the distributors of Duck, You Sucker! reissued the film as A Fistful of Dynamite. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
    In the last and the best installment of his so-called "Dollars" trilogy of Sergio Leone-directed "spaghetti westerns," Clint Eastwood reprised the role of a taciturn, enigmatic loner. Here he searches for a cache of stolen gold against rivals the Bad (Lee Van Cleef), a ruthless bounty hunter, and the Ugly (Eli Wallach), a Mexican bandit. Though dubbed "the Good," Eastwood's character is not much better than his opponents -- he is just smarter and shoots faster. The film's title reveals its ironic attitude toward the canonized heroes of the classical western. "The real West was the world of violence, fear, and brutal instincts," claimed Leone. "In pursuit of profit there is no such thing as good and evil, generosity or deviousness; everything depends on chance, and not the best wins but the luckiest." Immensely entertaining and beautifully shot in Techniscope by Tonino Delli Colli, the movie is a virtually definitive "spaghetti western," rivaled only by Leone's own Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). The main musical theme by Ennio Morricone hit #1 on the British pop charts. Originally released in Italy at 177 minutes, the movie was later cut for its international release. ~ Yuri German, Rovi

    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

    For a Few Dollars More
    This pulse-pounding follow-up to Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars brings back Clint Eastwood as the serape-clad, cigar-chewing "Man With No Name." Engaged in an ongoing battle with bounty hunter Col. Douglas Mortimer (Lee Van Cleef), the Man joins forces with his enemy to capture homicidal bandit Indio (Gian Maria Volontè). Both the Eastwood and Van Cleef characters are given understandable motivations for their bloodletting tendencies, something that was lacking in A Fistful of Dollars. In both films, however, the violence is raw and uninhibited -- and in many ways, curiously poetic. Leone's tense, tight close-ups, pregnant pauses, and significant silences have since been absorbed into the standard spaghetti Western lexicon; likewise, Ennio Morricone's haunting musical score has been endlessly imitated and parodied. For a Few Dollars More was originally titled Per Qualche Dollaro in Più; it would be followed by the last and best of the Man with No Name trilogy, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew


    • Rod Steiger
      Rod Steiger - Juan Miranda
    • James Coburn
      James Coburn - John H. "Sean" Mallory
    • Image coming soon
      Romolo Valli - Dr. Villego
    • Maria Monti
      Maria Monti - Adolita
    • Rik Battaglia
      Rik Battaglia - Santerna



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