Per un Pugno di Dollari (A Fistful of Dollars). 1964. Italy/West Germany/Spain. Directed by Sergio Leone. In Italian; English subtitles. 99 min.
Screenplay by Leone, Victor Andrés Catena, Jaime Comas Gil, and others. With Clint Eastwood, Gian Maria Volonté, Marianne Koch. Italian westerns have a glorious past but a dismal present, having mostly survived as faded, chopped-up prints. We have reason to applaud, then, the new 4K digital restoration of A Fistful of Dollars carried out by the Cineteca di Bologna and Unidis Jolly Film at L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, with funding provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation. Inspired by the taut, tongue-in-cheek violence of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (which also influenced Walter Hill’s Last Man Standing), A Fistful of Dollars inspired a thousand genre imitators in turn, from Tarantino to Fukasaku to Verbinski, all on bended knee before Ennio Morricone’s score, Massimo Dallamano’s widescreen cinematography, and Eastwood’s tight-lipped, amoral gunfighter.