A Fistful of Dollars doesn’t succeed because the film as a whole is perfect. Rather there are a number of memorable scenes that perfectly captivate an audience and make the film irresistible. There are moments of extended silence periods where only a guitar is playing while the camera pans back and forth from one face to the next. These moments are extremely powerful and quickly trains the audience into knowing that as soon as you see this happen, it’s about to go down. No matter how many times director Sergio Leone relies on this effect, it never loses its excitement.
In mentioning scenes, a lot of favorites comes to mind. One scene in particular involves Joe (Clint Eastwood) walking past the undertaker who warns Joe that the men he’s about to face will probably kill him. “Get three coffins ready,” is Joe’s badass reply. After killing the entire crew in what felt like a blink, Joe goes, “My mistake. Four coffins.” Definitely put a huge smile on my face.
It’s scenes like these that instantly make you fall in love’s with Eastwood’s character. The guy just bleeds badass. Nothing rattles him. Not only does he get out of tight pinches, but he does it with style. Towards the back half of the film, he takes his performance to even higher heights with some very cool action sequences. Action sorely needed after the film stumbled a bit in the middle with too much dialogue.
When Joe arrives in town as a complete stranger, his goal is simple: Pit two rival families against each other while making a lot of money in the process. The body count is high which keeps the excitement level even higher. Very enjoyable. I give the film an 89.