Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A Fistful of Dollars
Per un pugno di dollari (A Fistful of Dollars) is a 1964 film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood. Released in the United States in 1966, it initiated the popularity of the Spaghetti western film genre. It was followed by For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, also starring Clint Eastwood. Collectively, the films are known as "The Dollar(s) Trilogy."
The plot of the film involves Eastwood as a gunman (now known universally as "The Man with No Name" despite being addressed as "Joe" in the film) who arrives in a small town on the frontier and plays the town's two rival factions, the Rojos and the Baxters, against each other in order to make money off both sides and save a family caught in the crossfire.
The film's plot was based extensively on Akira Kurosawa's film Yojimbo, which itself is believed by some to have been based on Dashiell Hammett's novel Red Harvest (Kurosawa never acknowledged such an inspiration). Kurosawa successfully sued the production of A Fistful of Dollars for copyright infringement.
Quentin Tarantino holds this as the greatest film of all time, and claims it as one of his biggest inspirations in the world of motion pictures.
A Fistful of Dollars, as the initiator of the 'spaghetti western', is referenced elsewhere in popular culture:
- Back to the Future trilogy: In Back to the Future Part II, a short scene is seen where Joe survives a gunfight which forshadows the scene in Back to the Future Part III where Marty does the same thing (in the same costume).
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: In the episode 'A Fistful of Datas ', Worf and Troi are trapped in a holodeck western until they play it out to the end of the story. Meanwhile, each of the characters is being replaced by a likeness of Data.
- The eerie, whistling theme of Ennio Morricone's score for the film has been widely spoofed, often in cartoons to set a scene with faux-Western camp.
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