Watched Jan 20, 2013
Victor S. K. P.’s review:
Joe: When a man's got money in his pocket he begins to appreciate peace.
First off the bat, I'll admit to the fact that I've seen very few Westerns, and managed to sit through even less, for the simple reason that I couldn't bring myself to enjoy them. However, in, "A Fistful of Dollars'," case, I not only managed to finish it, I even managed to enjoy it quite a bit.
"Why might that be?" is a reasonable question to ask at this point. I'll begin by stating what works for the film, (and that would be the majority of things,) before elaborating on a few of my problems with it.
Joe / The Man With No Name, (played by Clint Eastwood,) is a downright badass. His excellent skill in marksmanship can only be matched by his charm, and wit. His past is deliberately kept mysterious and vague, though there are a few references to it here and there, which helps make him a more interesting, and captivating character. In all honesty, Joe carries the entire film, and his status as a modern cultural icon is well earned.
The supporting cast is pretty darn good, too. The roles are rather simplistic, but the cast brings the characters to life, and powered by a pretty tight script, it all works out for the best.
The score is downright excellent. It accompanies the film from the opening, and never lets go, blending in like butter on bread, from start to finish. It deserves to be praised.
Now, for my problems with, "A Fistful..." The majority of them are reflected in all the Westerns I've seen - its pace needlessly slows down across the entire duration, and some moments are dragged out. When compared to most Westerns, then "A Fistful," has a much better pacing than the lot of them, but it's certainly not flawless either.
Finally, the last and smallest flaw across the board in, "A Fistful:" the editing. At times, it's rather badly handled, namely during the graveyard shootout. The switches from one scene to another felt choppy, and disorientating. But, considering the fact that the film is almost 5 decades old, that fact is easily forgivable.
Overall, "A Fistful of Dollars," is an enduring classic. It features one of cinema's greatest ever characters, a fantastic soundtrack, and some great shootouts, so despite a few slow downs and minor editing issues, this film is a must watch for each and all.
4 / 5 = An excellent piece of work.