Clint Eastwood, Marianne Koch, Gian Maria Volonté, Wolfgang Lukschy, Magarita Lonzano and Antonia Prieto

Sergio Leone

Running Time:
99 mins

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"Get three coffins ready"

A gunfighter (Eastwood) wanders into a town been torn about by two warring families. On one side of the two you had the Baxter's on the other the Rojo's, each fuelled by greed and the passion for power. Seeing the possibility of making some money, the stranger decides to clean the town up by playing the two families against each other. Caught in the middle, the stranger passes information that could be beneficial to each family but ultimately to him but that information has deadly consequences.

Single-handedly reinventing the Western back in 1964, Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy are considered classics of the genre, rightly so.

With the genre been dominated by the likes of John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda or James Stewart and a clichéd tradition that ran through the entire collection of films, the western was on its last legs in the 1960s. This all changed with 'Fistful of Dollars'. Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone completely reinvigorated the entire genre, rewriting the rules and in some cases, throwing them out completely. His 'spaghetti westerns' as they became known, changed every aspect of this grand Hollywood motion picture tradition and introduced us to a new kind of screen hero.

Clint Eastwood's 'Man with No Name' became the new icon of the genre. As far removed from the traditional western hero as you could get, Eastwood's stranger was a man that was completely devoid of any moral obligation, killing for his own monetary gain, never really sparing a thought for others or letting anyone stand in his way. The character was the first screen anti-hero and would become the benchmark for everyone that followed, whatever the genre.

Sergio Leone is now rightly thought of as a master filmmaker. His low budget spaghetti westerns are still considered the defining work in the genre and have a look and feel that has been copied but never bettered. Combining a unique look, which included the use of close-ups to emphasise emotion, a more modern but distinctive soundtrack and a collection of characters that never really included a real, traditional hero, Leone revealed a more realistic look at how the Wild West actually was than the traditional Hollywood fair. Drawing influences from history and other films such as Kurosawa's 'Yojimbo', Leone combines these to produce his own unique and unparalleled approach to the genre.

'Fistful of Dollars' is a classic and the start of a great trilogy. Beaten only by Leone's 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly', this movie is one of the greatest westerns to grace the silver screen and a standard that every other film in the genre is still compared, showing the influence of the director and his spaghetti westerns still have.


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, this digitally remastered transfer is very good. The restoration of the 1964 movie is superb and you will never see a better version of the Sergio Leone classic. The picture quality is brilliant and the 5.1 surround sound really does the film justice as you listen to that brilliant score.


Disc 1

Commentary by Sir Christopher Frayling
Sergio Leone biographer provides an extremely informative commentary about the great director and his first movie in the 'Dollars' trilogy. The track is filled with oodles of information about the movie covering its production, story, visual style and design. He talks extensively about Clint Eastwood's character and the influence it has had on the movie industry and how Sergio Leone's movie have survived the test of time. This is an excellent track from a man who clearly loves the subject matter.

Disc 2

Exclusive Documentaries and Interviews

A New Kind of Hero (21.57 mins)
Sergio Leone biographer Sir Christopher Frayling takes an in-depth look at Sergio Leone and the new kind of screen hero created for 'Fistful of Dollars'. He reveals how Kurosawa's 'Yojimbo' and the director passion for realism and the Western genre influenced the film. He talks about Clint Eastwood's casting and how the actor contributed to the designs and look. The shooting style and look of the film is also discussed, highlighting the use of Techniscope and post synchronisation dubbing of the soundtrack after the film was completed. This is an informative documentary from someone who really knows a lot about the subject.

A Few Weeks In Spain (8.11 mins)
Actor Clint Eastwood talks about how he got involved with Sergio Leone and what drew him to the project. He also reveals some behind the scenes stories about making 'Fistful of Dollars'.

Tre Voci/Three Voices (10.44 mins)
Producer Alberto Grimaldi, screenwriter Sergio Donati and actor Mickey Knox talk about the great Sergio Leone and his influence on Italian and world cinema. The trio talk about working with the director and Clint Eastwood, the success of the movies and the director's unique style.

Restoration: Italian Style (5.43 mins)
MGM's director of technical operations John Kirk takes you through the restoration process utilised to bring 'Fistful of Dollars' back to its best.

Location Comparisons (5.08 mins)
A montage of footage from the movie and still shots taken in 2004 of Almeria in Spain, showing how the area has changed in the last 40 years.

Original Promotional Material

Radio Spots
Entitled 'The Man with No Name', 'The Man with the long Gun', 'The Man in the Poncho', 'The Faster Gun', 'Known by his reputation', 'My Mistake', 'Meet the Man with No Name', 'I don't think it is nice', 'New Style of Adventure' and 'Meet the Dangerous Man', these radio spots promoted the movie in 1964.

Original Theatrical Trailer and Double Bill Trailer (4.18 mins)
Watch the original US trailer and a preview for 'A Fistful of Dollars' and 'A Few Dollars More' double bill.

The Television Cut

Not Ready for Prime Time (6.04 mins)
Director Monte Hellman reveals why a prologue had to be created for 'Fistful of Dollars' before it was aired for the first time on American Television.

The Network Prologue (7.24 mins)
Sergio Leone Collector Howard Fridkin introduces the complete version of the 'Network Prologue'.

Collector's Gallery (1.30 mins)
A montage of behind the scenes and publicity shots from 'Fistful of Dollars'


MGM has done a great job with the DVD special edition of 'Fistful of Dollars'. The picture quality of the movie is superb and the extras on the second disc are very good. The commentary is very informative and the inclusion of the rare 'Network Prologue' is a real bonus. For Sergio Leone fans and movie buffs in general this is a must buy.


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