Dollars Trilogy

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Dollars Trilogy
The Man with No Name Trilogy blu-ray cover.jpg
Blu-ray box set cover
Directed bySergio Leone
Produced by
Music byEnnio Morricone
Edited by
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)
West Germany
United States (3)
BudgetTotal (3 films):
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, 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. Eastwood's character does indeed have a name (albeit a nickname) and a different one in each film: "Joe", "Manco" and "Blondie", respectively.


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, that the Man with No Name (referred to by the old undertaker Piripero as "Joe") decides to play against each other by collecting prizes for giving informations, capturing prisoners and killing men, while also helping a woman held captive by the ruthless Ramòn Rojo, her husband and their son to escape. He ends being discovered by the Rojos, being tortured, and escaping. The Rojos massacre the unarmed Baxters while searching for him, who hides away from the town helped by Piripero. He returns as the Rojos prepare to hang the local innkeeper Silvanito (who befriended the Man with No Name), 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 snipe from a window, the Man with No Name, knowing that both 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. 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 collect the bounties on the former's head and freeing him as he is to be hanged. Mercenary "Angel Eyes" is meanwhile searching for Jackson, a man who has stolen 200,000 dollars from the Confederate Army, and who now goes under the alias "Bill Carson", while also murdering the two fellow soldiers who helped him. After dissolving their "society", Blondie is being tortured by a vengeful Tuco, when they find a Confederate carriage, with the dying Carson on board. Trying to buy their help, he tells Tuco the name of the cemetery in which the gold is hidden, and Blondie the name on the grave in which it is buried, only to die in front of Blondie as Tuco has gone searching for water. The two start a long journey to the location, being arrested by Union Army soldiers and brought to a prison camp in which Angel Eyes is posing as a Sergeant. He spots Tuco (it is revealed that Blondie and Tuco previously met him) posing as Carson, and tortures him into revealing the name of the cemetery. The three then race to the location of the gold, parting ways and exchanging alliances various times. In the process, Blondie successfully tricks Tuco into revealing the name of the cemetery. They all arrive at their destination, where Blondie writes the name written on the tomb on a rock and the three engage in a Mexican standoff, resulting in the death of Angel Eyes and in Blondie (having previously removed all the bullets from Tuco's gun) taking his half of the money and leaving Tuco bonded in front of his. Blondie rides in the distance as an enraged Tuco curses him loudly.


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]


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]


Composer Ennio Morricone provided original music score for all three films, although in A Fistful of Dollars he was credited as "Dan Savio."[6][7]

Principal cast[edit]

Actor Films
A Fistful of Dollars
For a Few Dollars More
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Clint Eastwood Joe Manco
("Il Monco")
("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
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]


Role Film
A Fistful of Dollars
For a Few Dollars More
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
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
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


Critical reception[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
A Fistful of Dollars 98% (8.18/10 average rating) (50 reviews)[21] 65 (7 reviews)[22]
For a Few Dollars More 91% (7.81/10 average rating) (34 reviews)[23] 74 (8 reviews)[24]
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 97% (8.78/10 average rating) (71 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


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

Home media[edit]

The films had various VHS releases in Italy and in other countries[39], even boxed together with Leone's other Spaghetti Western films (Once Upon a Time in the West and Duck, You Sucker!)[40].

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".[41][42]



  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 31 May 2019.
  22. ^ "A Fistful of Dollars (1964)". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  23. ^ "For a Few Dollars More (1965)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  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 31 May 2019.
  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". 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". Library Of Congress, Copyright Office. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  33. ^ "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly - Release Info". 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. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  38. ^ "The Police, Queen, Morricone Honoured At Grammy Hall Of Fame". Uncut. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ 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.
  42. ^ " 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".