Dollars Trilogy

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Dollars Trilogy
Dollars Trilogy.png
Blu-ray box set cover
Created bySergio Leone
Original workA Fistful of Dollars (1964)
OwnerMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Years1964–1966
Films and television
Film(s)
Audio
Soundtrack(s)
Original music
Miscellaneous
Character(s)List of characters
Dollars Trilogy
The Man with No Name Trilogy blu-ray cover.jpg
Blu-ray box set cover
Directed bySergio Leone
Produced by
Starring
Cinematography
Edited by
Music byEnnio Morricone
Production
companies
Constantin Film
Jolly Film (1)
Ocean Films (1)
Produzioni Europee Associati (PEA) (2–3)
Arturo González Producciones Cinematográficas (2–3)
United Artists (3)
Distributed byUnidis (Italy, 1)
PEA (Italy, 2–3)
United Artists (US & UK, original)
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (current)
Release date
1: 16 October 1964
2: 18 November 1965
3: 23 December 1966
Running time
409 minutes (1–3)
CountriesItaly
West Germany
Spain
United States (3)
LanguagesEnglish
Italian
BudgetTotal (3 films):
$2,000,000–$2,025,000
Box officeTotal (3 films):
$54.6 million (US gross)
40.7 million admissions (Italy)

Dollars Trilogy (Italian: Trilogia del dollaro), also known as the Man with No Name Trilogy (Italian: Trilogia dell'Uomo senza nome) or the Blood Money Trilogy,[citation needed] is an Italian 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). Their English versions were distributed by United Artists, while the Italian ones were distributed by Unidis and PEA.

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 in history.[1]

Although not Leone's intention, the three films came to be considered a trilogy following the exploits of the same so-called "Man with No Name" (portrayed by Clint Eastwood, wearing the same clothes and acting with the same mannerisms). The "Man with No Name" concept was invented by the American distributor United Artists, looking for a strong angle to sell the films as a trilogy.[citation needed] Eastwood's character does indeed have a name (albeit a nickname) and a different one in each film: "Joe", "Manco" and "Blondie", respectively.

Films[edit]

A Fistful of Dollars (Per un pugno di dollari, 1964)[edit]

The first film has the Man with No Name arriving, for unexplained reasons, in the Mexico–United States border town of San Miguel, base of two rival smuggling families, the Rojos and the Baxters. The Man with No Name (referred to by the old undertaker Piripero as "Joe") decides to play them against each other by collecting prizes for giving information, capturing prisoners and killing men, while also helping a woman, her husband and their son, held captive by the ruthless Ramòn Rojo, to escape. He is discovered by the Rojos and tortured, but escapes. The Rojos massacre the unarmed Baxters while searching for him, but helped by Piripero he is hiding away from the town. The Man with No Name returns as the Rojos are preparing to hang the local innkeeper Silvanito, who had befriended him. He cold-bloodedly kills Don Miguel Rojo, uses his last bullet to free Silvanito, and engages and kills Ramòn in a gunslinging duel. After the last remaining Rojo brother, Esteban, is killed by Silvanito while trying to shoot from a window, the Man with No Name – knowing that the US and Mexican governments will investigate – departs from the now-peaceful town.

For a Few Dollars More (Per qualche dollaro in più, 1965)[edit]

The second film introduces the Man with No Name (here nicknamed "Manco") as a bounty hunter killing bandits for money, as well as Colonel Douglas Mortimer, a more elder bounty hunter hunting for the same criminals. Both searching for the psychopathic Mexican bandit known as "El Indio", who just escaped from jail, they initially rival each other, but then understand that, in order to kill him, they must work together. Manco infiltrates El Indio's gang, while Mortimer acts from the outside. Manco discovers El Indio's elaborate plot to rob the Bank of El Paso, and is forced to take part in it, though he manages not to wound any innocents. Later, El Indio transfers his gang to Agua Caliente, Mexico, where Manco and Mortimer attempt to steal the money to take it back to the Bank. El Indio discovers their plot, but lets them escape as part of an operation to murder all but one of his associates in order to split the money in two instead of with the entire gang. Battle ensues between the bounty hunters and the bandits, according to El Indio's plan, as the two successfully kill all of them, and the one El Indio meant to spare is also killed. In the end, Manco discovers that Mortimer's hunt for El Indio is far more personal than his own, and lets him kill the bandit personally in a duel. Mortimer lets Manco keep all the money, and, now in peace with his past, rides away.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo, 1966)[edit]

In the third film, set during the American Civil War, Mexican bandit Tuco Ramírez and the Man with No Name (whom Tuco calls "Blondie") work together to scam small towns: Blondie will collect the bounties on Tuco and then free him as he is about to be hanged. Meanwhile, a mercenary named "Angel Eyes" is shown to be searching for a man named "Jackson", who has stolen 200,000 dollars from the Confederate Army. Angel Eyes threatens the family of one of Jackson's former accomplices and learns that Jackson now goes under the alias of "Bill Carson" (who has already murdered both of his original accomplices). The partnership between Blondie and Tuco sours when Tuco complains that being repeatedly placed in a noose with only a single bullet standing between himself and death demands a larger cut than 50/50; Blondie immediately betrays Tuco, saying "The way back to town is only 70 miles... if a man like you holds your breath, I think you can manage it". Blondie is himself later caught out and tortured by a vengeful Tuco who first tries to put Blondie in a noose, but the raging war encroaches and drives them apart. Tuco then catches Blondie and drags him through "this hell [...] a hundred miles, that's a nice walk": the high desert. Tuco's erstwhile revenge is interrupted when they stumble upon a Confederate carriage carrying the bullet-riddled and barely-alive Bill Carson. Carson, bleeding and desperate for water, tells Tuco the name of the cemetery in which the gold is hidden – but while Tuco goes to get water, a dying Blondie manages to crawl past and get the name of the grave in which the treasure is buried just as Carson dies. Tuco realizes that he can't find the bounty without Blondie. The two form an uneasy alliance. During their journey to the treasure they are arrested by Union Army soldiers and brought to a prison camp in which Angel Eyes is posing as a Sergeant. Angel Eyes tortures Tuco into revealing his half of the secret and recruits Blondie to show him the grave. All three ultimately leave the prison. Blondie, Tuco, and Angel Eyes commence a game of betrayal and subterfuge. Tuco and Blondie are blocked by a brutal conflict between Union and Confederacy. Blondie subsequently tricks Tuco into revealing the name of the cemetery. The gunslingers eventually arrive at the graveyard where the treasure is hidden but find themselves in three-way a standoff with victory uncertain for anyone. Blondie takes up a burnt-ended cigar and a rock; he tells the others that he will write the name of the grave marker on the bottom of a stone. He then places the stone in the middle of the cemetery, and the film's iconic "Mexican standoff" duel begins. The story concludes with Blondie taking his half of the money and leaving Tuco in a noose. Blondie rides into the distance as Tuco curses him loudly.

Development[edit]

Clint Eastwood as the Man with No Name in A Fistful of Dollars

A Fistful of Dollars is an unofficial remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1961 film Yojimbo starring Toshiro Mifune, which resulted in a successful lawsuit by Toho.[2][3]

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is considered a prequel,[4] since it depicts Eastwood's character gradually acquiring the clothing he wears throughout the first two films and because it takes place during the American Civil War (1861–1865), whereas the other two films feature comparatively more modern firearms and other props.[citation needed] For example, Lee Van Cleef's character in For a Few Dollars More appears to be a Confederate veteran who has come down in the world, and a graveyard scene in A Fistful of Dollars features a gravestone dated 1873.[citation needed]

Cast[edit]

The only actors to appear in all three films besides Eastwood are Mario Brega, Aldo Sambrell, Benito Stefanelli and Lorenzo Robledo. Four other actors each appear twice in the trilogy, playing different characters: Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonté, Luigi Pistilli, and Joseph Egger.

"I think [the Leone films] changed the style, the approach to Westerns [in Hollywood]. ... They made the violence and the shooting aspect a little more larger than life, and they had great music and new types of scores. ... They were stories that hadn't been used in other Westerns. They just had a look and a style that was a little different at the time: I don't think any of them was a classic story—like [John Wayne's 1956] The Searchers or something like that—they were more fragmented, episodic, following the central character through various little episodes."

— Clint Eastwood reflecting on the impact of the films.[5]

Music[edit]

Composer Ennio Morricone provided original music score for all three films, although in A Fistful of Dollars he was credited either as "Dan Savio"[6][7] or "Leo Nichols", depending on the print.

Principal cast[edit]

Actor Films
A Fistful of Dollars
(1964)
For a Few Dollars More
(1965)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
(1966)
Clint Eastwood Man with No Name
Joe Manco
("Il Monco")
Blondie
("Il Biondo")
Mario Brega Chico Niño Corporal Wallace
Aldo Sambrell Manolo Cuchillo Angel Eyes Gang Member
Benito Stefanelli Rubio Hughie (a.k.a. "Luke")
Lorenzo Robledo Baxter's member Tomaso Clem
Joseph Egger Piripero[8] Old Prophet[9]
("Vecchio Profeta")
 
Gian Maria Volonté Ramón Rojo[10] El Indio[11]  
Marianne Koch Marisol[12]  
Lee Van Cleef   Colonel Douglas Mortimer Angel Eyes
("Sentenza")
Luigi Pistilli   Groggy Father Pablo Ramirez
Román Ariznavarreta   Half-Shaved Bounty Hunter[13] Bounty Hunter[14]
Antoñito Ruiz   Fernando[15] Stevens' Youngest son[14]
José Terrón   Guy Calloway[16] Thomas 'Shorty' Larson[17]
Eli Wallach   Tuco Ramirez[18]

Crew[edit]

Role Film
A Fistful of Dollars
(1964)
For a Few Dollars More
(1965)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
(1966)
Director Sergio Leone
Producer Arrigo Colombo
Giorgio Papi
Alberto Grimaldi
Writer Screenplay Sergio Leone
Víctor Andrés Catena
Jaime Comas Gil
Fernando Di Leo
Duccio Tessari
Tonino Valerii
Sergio Leone
Luciano Vincenzoni
Sergio Donati
Sergio Leone
Luciano Vincenzoni
Age & Scarpelli
Sergio Donati[19]
Story Akira Kurosawa
Ryūzō Kikushima
(Yojimbo)
Sergio Leone
Fulvio Morsella
Enzo Dell'Aquila
Fernando Di Leo[20]
Sergio Leone
Luciano Vincenzoni
English Dialogue Mark Lowell
Clint Eastwood
Luciano Vincenzoni Mickey Knox
Music Composer Ennio Morricone
Director Ennio Morricone Bruno Nicolai
Cinematographer Massimo Dallamano Tonino Delli Colli
Editor Roberto Cinquini Eugenio Alabiso
Giorgio Serrallonga
Eugenio Alabiso
Nino Baragli
Set and costume designer Carlo Simi

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
A Fistful of Dollars 98% (8.20/10 average rating) (51 reviews)[21] 65 (7 reviews)[22]
For a Few Dollars More 92% (8.00/10 average rating) (36 reviews)[23] 74 (8 reviews)[24]
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 97% (8.80/10 average rating) (77 reviews)[25] 90 (7 reviews)[26]

Box office performance[edit]

Film Italian release date US release date Italian admissions[27] US gross Budget
A Fistful of Dollars 12 September 1964 (1964-09-12) 18 January 1967 (1967-01-18) 14,797,275 $14.5 million[28] $200,000–$225,000[29]
For a Few Dollars More 18 December 1965 (1965-12-18) 10 May 1967 (1967-05-10) 14,543,161 $15 million[30] $600,000[31]
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 23 December 1966 (1966-12-23)[32][33] 29 December 1967 (1967-12-29) 11,364,221 $25.1 million[34] $1.2 million[35]
Totals 40,704,657 $54,600,000 $2,000,000–$2,025,000

Accolades[edit]

Film Award Category Recipients Result
A Fistful of Dollars Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists[36] Best Score Ennio Morricone Won
Best Supporting Actor Gian Maria Volonté Nominated
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Laurel Awards[37] Action Performance Clint Eastwood Runner-Up
Grammy Awards[38] 2009 Grammy Hall of Fame Award Ennio Morricone Won

Music[edit]

Soundtracks[edit]

Title U.S. release date Length Composer(s) Label
A Fistful of Dollars: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 1964 TBA Ennio Morricone TBA
For a Few Dollars More: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 1965 TBA
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 1966 TBA

Singles[edit]

Literature[edit]

Novel series[edit]

The Dollars Trilogy spawned a series of spin-off books focused on the Man with No Name, dubbed the Dollars series due to the common theme in their titles:

  • A Fistful of Dollars, film novelization by Frank Chandler
  • For a Few Dollars More, film novelization by Joe Millard
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, film novelization by Joe Millard
  • A Coffin Full of Dollars by Joe Millard
  • A Dollar to Die For by Brian Fox
  • The Devil's Dollar Sign by Joe Millard
  • The Million-Dollar Bloodhunt by Joe Millard
  • Blood For a Dirty Dollar by Joe Millard

Comic series[edit]

In July 2007, American comic book company Dynamite Entertainment announced that they were going to begin publishing a comic book featuring the Man with No Name, titled The Man With No Name. Set after the events of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the comic is written by Christos Gage. Dynamite refers to him as "Blondie", the nickname Tuco uses for him in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.[39] The first issue was released in March 2008, entitled, The Man with No Name: The Good, The Bad, and The Uglier.[40] Luke Lieberman and Matt Wolpert took over the writing for issues #7–11.[41][42] Initially, Chuck Dixon was scheduled to take over the writing chores with issue #12, but Dynamite ended the series and opted to use Dixon's storyline for a new series titled The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Despite its title, the new series was not an adaptation of the film. After releasing eight issues, Dynamite abandoned the series.[43]

Home media[edit]

The films had various VHS releases in Italy and in other countries,[44] including some editions boxed together with Leone's other Spaghetti Western films (Once Upon a Time in the West and Duck, You Sucker!).[45][better source needed]

The 1999 DVD, plus the 2010 and 2014 Blu-ray box set releases by MGM (distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), make specific reference to the set of films as "The Man with No Name Trilogy".[46][47]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ "Top 100 Western Movies". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  2. ^ Gelten, Simon. "FISTFUL – The Whole Story, part 2". The Spaghetti Western Database. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  3. ^ Alfreds, David (24 April 2009). "Cinema this week: The greatest director of all time". When Falls the Coliseum. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  4. ^ Anderson, Cal. "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly". Clint Eastwood.Net. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  5. ^ Eliot (2009), p.114-115
  6. ^ "Man With No Name Movies – Fun Facts, Questions, Answers, Information". FunTrivia. 7 January 2014. Archived from the original on 20 November 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  7. ^ Anderson, Cal. "A Fistful of Dollars (1964)". Clint Eastwood.Net. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  8. ^ Frayling, Christopher (27 January 2008). Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone. I.B.Tauris. p. 258. ISBN 9781845112073.
  9. ^ Maltin, Leonard (4 September 2012). Leonard Maltin's 2013 Movie Guide: The Modern Era. Penguin. p. 870. ISBN 9781101604632.
  10. ^ Cerquiglini, Emanuele (12 July 2019). Un Gelato Per Henry. Litres. p. 15. ISBN 9785041721862.
  11. ^ Cooke, Mervyn; Ford, Fiona (8 December 2016). The Cambridge Companion to Film Music. Cambridge University Press. p. 274. ISBN 9781107094512.
  12. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (13 April 2018). "A Fistful of Dollars review – punk-rock western as fabulous as ever". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media Limited. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  13. ^ Hughes, Howard (31 March 2006). Once Upon A Time in the Italian West: The Filmgoers' Guide to Spaghetti Westerns. I.B.Tauris. p. 74. ISBN 9780857730459.
  14. ^ a b Neibaur, James L. (12 March 2015). The Clint Eastwood Westerns. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 31. ISBN 9781442245044.
  15. ^ Núñez Marqués, Anselmo (2006). Western a la europea--: un plato que se sirve frío. Entrelineas Editores. p. 277. ISBN 9788498024326.
  16. ^ Hughes, Howard (30 July 2009). Aim for the Heart: The Films of Clint Eastwood. I.B.Tauris. p. 279. ISBN 9780857730473.
  17. ^ Leinberger, Charles (2004). Ennio Morricone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: A Film Score Guide. Scarecrow Press. p. 80. ISBN 9780810851320.
  18. ^ Rajgopal, K.S. (20 January 2017). "'When you have to shoot, shoot'". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  19. ^ Sir Christopher Frayling, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly audio commentary (Blu-ray version). Retrieved on 3 August 2015.
  20. ^ Cox, Alex (2009). 10,000 Ways to Die: A Director's Take on the Spaghetti Western. Oldcastle Books. ISBN 978-1842433041.
  21. ^ "A Fistful of Dollars (1964)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  22. ^ "A Fistful of Dollars (1964)". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  23. ^ "For a Few Dollars More (1965)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  24. ^ "For a Few Dollars More (1965)". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  25. ^ "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  26. ^ "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  27. ^ "La classifica dei film più visti di sempre al cinema in Italia". movieplayer.it. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  28. ^ "A Fistful of Dollars (1967)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  29. ^ Sources that refer to the budget of A Fistful of Dollars include:
  30. ^ "For a Few Dollars More (1967)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  31. ^ "Per qualche dollar in più – Box Office Data, DVD Sales, Movie News, Cast Information". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  32. ^ "Catalog Of Copyright Entries – Motion Pictures And Filmstrips, 1968". Archive.org. Library Of Congress, Copyright Office. 1968. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  33. ^ "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly – Release Info". IMDb.com. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  34. ^ "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1967)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  35. ^ "Il buono, il burtto, il cattivo – Box Office Data, DVD Sales, Movie News, Cast Information". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  36. ^ "Per un pugno di dollari – Awards". Internet Movie Database. Amazon. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  37. ^ "Il buono, il burtto, il cattivo. – Awards". Internet Movie Database. Amazon.com. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  38. ^ "The Police, Queen, Morricone Honoured At Grammy Hall Of Fame". Uncut. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  39. ^ Brady, Matt (15 August 2008). "Christos Gage on The Man With No Name". Newsarama. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  40. ^ Brady, Matt (28 April 2009). "First Look: Dynamite's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly #1". Newsarama. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  41. ^ Brady, Matt (19 August 2008). "The Man With No Name's New Team: Lieberman & Wolpert". Newsarama. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  42. ^ Phegley, Kiel (23 October 2008). "New Writers on The Man With No Name". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  43. ^ Brady, Matt (20 August 2008). "Chuck Dixon to Write The Man With No Name". Newsarama. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  44. ^ "Per un pugno di dollari/VHS releases - the Spaghetti Western Database".
  45. ^ "Cofanetto 5 VHS film Spaghetti Western SERGIO LEONE".
  46. ^ Amazon.com: The Man with No Name Trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly): Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonté, Aldo Giuffrè, Luigi Pistilli, Rada Rassimov, Enzo Petito, Claudio Scarchilli, John Bartha, Livio Lorenzon, Antonio Casale, Sergio Leone, Adriano Bolzoni, Agenore Incrocci, Duccio Tessari, Fernando Di Leo, Fulvio Morsella, Furio Scarpelli, Jaime Comas Gil: Movies & TV. ISBN 0792842502.
  47. ^ "Amazon.com: The Man with No Name Trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars / For a Few Dollars More / The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly) [Blu-ray]: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonté, Aldo Giuffrè, Luigi Pistilli, Rada Rassimov, Enzo Petito, Claudio Scarchilli, John Bartha, Livio Lorenzon, Antonio Casale, Sergio Leone, Adriano Bolzoni, Agenore Incrocci, Duccio Tessari, Fernando Di Leo, Fulvio Morsella, Furio Scarpelli, Jaime Comas Gil: Movies & TV". amazon.com.

Bibliography[edit]