For a Fistful of Dollars


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It is the first film of the “Dollar Trilogy”, which includes the following For a few Dollars more and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It is the western adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s film The Challenge of the Samurai (1961). There was a long legal dispute with Kurosawa since Leone was accused of plagiarism. At tha end a settlement was reached whereby Kurosawa was granted distribution rights in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea and 15% of all distribution rights in the rest of the world.

At the beginning the title was to be Il Magnifico Straniero (The Magnificent Stranger). To reduce the costs, the production, which did not believe in the success of the movie, wanted to shoot it as a second choice film, using the same locations, crew and costumes as the main film Le Pistole non Discutono (Bullets don’t Argue), directed by Mario Caiano. Most of the scenes in the film were shot in the Madrid area, Aldea del Fresno, Hoyo de Manzanares and Madrid itself; some scenes are set in Los Albaricoques in Andalucia.

Leone would have wanted Henry Fonda, James Coburn, or Charles Bronson but the fees of these actors were too high compared to the production budget; he then agreed to engage Clint Eastwood, who at that time starred in the TV series Rawhide.

For the first time in a movie in the same shooting sequence, both the gun that shoots and the hit person can be seen simultaneously. Until then it had never happened.

The film was released in Italy on September 12, 1964. in the USA on January 18, 1967.


The Locations

Aldea del Fresno, Boca de Los Frailes,  Hoyo de Manzanares, Los Albaricoques, Madrid, San Josè.


The Actors

Luis Barboo, Manuel BermudezFrank BranaMario Brega, Josè CalvoJosè CanalejasBruno CarotenutoNino Del ArcoAlvaro De LunaClint EastwoodJoseph EggerJosè HalufiMarianne Koch, Margarita Lozano, Wolfgang LukschyDaniel MartinAntonio Molino RojoAntonio MorenoJosè OrjasJulio Perez TaberneroAntonio PrietoJosè RiesgoLorenzo RobledoSieghardt RuppAldo SambrellFernando Sanchez PolackEnrique SantiagoUmberto SpadaroBenito Stefanelli, William R.ThompkinsGian Maria Volonté