Magazine article American Cinematographer

The Sergio Leone Anthology: A Fistful of Dollars; for a Few Dollars More; the Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Duck, You Sucker!

Magazine article American Cinematographer

The Sergio Leone Anthology: A Fistful of Dollars; for a Few Dollars More; the Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Duck, You Sucker!

Article excerpt

The Sergio Leone Anthology: A Fistful of Dollars; For a Few Dollars More; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly; Duck, You Sucker! (1964 1971)

2.35:1 (16x9 Enhanced)

Dolby Digital 5.1

MGM Home Entertainment, $89.98

In an interview featured on The Sergio Leone Anthology, biographer Christopher Frayling asserts that Leone deserves to be ranked in the pantheon of great directors with John Ford and Stanley Kubrick. After watching the four classics contained in this boxed set, few movie buffs will find it possible to argue with Frayling's claim. These classics from the director's most creatively fertile period have been given fine new transfers and are accompanied by hours of previously unreleased supplementary material. (MGM is also selling the titles separately.)

The set begins with A Fistful of Dollars, a Western remake of Yojimbo that established Leone and star Glint Eastwood as international icons. It also introduced the director's characteristic motifs: an impressionistic manipulation of time and space, human experience stripped to its most brutal impulses, and sound design aiming for emotional truth over literal reality. In this film and its sequel, For a Few Dollars More, cinematographer Massimo Dallamano (credited in the first movie as Jack Dalmas) used the 2-perf Techniscope format, a widescreen process that was both economical and aesthetically appropriate. In an insightful commentary track, Frayling analyzes the style and provides details about the production.

Like all of the films in this set, A Fistful of Dollars includes a second disc packed with supplements that are educational and entertaining. Frayling contributes a featurette in which he expands upon some of the ideas addressed in the commentary track, and Eastwood provides further context in a separate interview. Another featurette includes remembrances by three of Leone's collaborators: producer Alberto Grimaldi, screenwriter Sergio Donati, and actor Mickey Knox. (Additional interviews with Frayling, Eastwood, Grimaldi, Donati and Knox are featured on the disc of supplements that accompanies Fora Few Dollars More.)

For the 1977 TV broadcast of A Fistful of Dollars, network execs required a new prologue that would give the film's violence a moral justification, and to that end they hired Monte Hellman to direct some new footage. The filmmaker created an opening in which he shot around a new actor - disguising the fact that it wasn't Eastwood by framing the hero from the back and below the waist - and gave all the lines to a lawman played by Harry Dean Stanton. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.