Friday, January 7, 2011

A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS

Per un pugno di dollari - Italian title
Por un punado de dolares - Spanish title
Für eine Handvoll Dollar - German title
En Naevefuld Dollars - Danish title
Kouralline ndollareita - Finnish title
Pour une poignée de dollars - French title
Koya no Yojimbo - Japanese title
Za garsc dolarów - Polish title
Por um punhado de dólares - Portuguese title
Pentru un pumn de dolari - Romanian title
För en handfull dollar - Swedish title
Bir Avuç Dolar - Turkish title
Za saku dolara - Yugoslavian title
Fistful of Dollars - U.K. title
For a Fistful of Dollars - U.K.
A Fistful of Dollars - U.S.A.

A 1964 Italian, Spanish, German co-production [Jolly Film (Rome), Ocean Film (Madrid), Constantin Film GmbH (Munich)]
Producers: Harry Colombo (Arrigo Colombo), George Papi (Giorgio Papi)
Director: Bob Robertson (Sergio Leone)
Director: Monte Hellman [1977 TV prologue]
Story: A. Bonzzoni (Adriano Bolzoni), Víctor Andrés Catena
Screenplay: A. Bonzzoni (Adriano Bolzoni), Victor A. Catena (Víctor Andrés Catena), Fernando di Leo, Jaime Comas (Jaime Gil), Duccio Tessari (Amadeo Tessari), Tonino Valerii (Antonio Valerii)
Dialogue: Mark Lowell [English]
Cinematography: Jack Dalmas (Massimo Dallamano), Federico Larraya [Technicolor, Techniscope]
Music: Dan Savio (Ennio Morricone)
Running time: 100 minutes

Cast:
Joe/”Man with No Name” - Clint Eastwood (Clinton Eastwood, Jr.)
Marisol - Marianne Koch
Ramón Rojo - Johnny Wels (Gian Maria Volonte)
Sheriff John Baxter - W. Lukschy (Wolfgang Lukschy)
Esteban Rojo - S. Rupp (Sieghardt Rupp)
Piripero - Joe Edgar (Josef Egger)
Don Miguel Benito Rojo - Antonio Prieto (Antonio Puerto)
Silvanito - José 'Pepe' Calvo (José Selgado)
Consuelo Baxter - Rita Lozan (Margarita Jimenez)
Julian/Julio - Daniel Martin (José Martinez)
Rubio - Benny Reeves (Benito Stefanelli)
Chico/Paco - Richard Stuyvesant (Mario Brega)
Manolo - Aldo Sambreli (Alfredo Brell)
Antonio Baxter - Carol Brown/Bruno Caroth (Benito Carotenuto)
Jesus - Fredy Arco
Alvaro - José Canalejas
Rojo gang henchmen - Fernando Sánchez Polack, Nazareno Natale, José Halufi
Baxter henchmen - Antonio Molino Rojo, Lorenzo Robledo, Luis Barboo, W.R. Thompkins (William R. Thompkins), Julio Pérez Tabernero, Joe Kamel (Giuseppe Frisaldi), Antonio Pico
Mexican cavalry captain - José Riesgo (José Cortina)
Mexican gold coach guard - Edmondo Tieghi
Juan de Dios - Antonio Moreno
prison warden [1977 TV prologue] - Harry Dean Stanton
with: José Orjas (José Gonzalez), Antonio Moreno, Manuel Peña


A stranger rides in the Mexican border town of San Miguel. He’s approached by a bell ringer who advises him to join either the Baxters or the Rojos or he will soon be dead. A group of Baxter’s henchmen shoot at the Stranger’s mule and he escapes by grabbing onto to an innkeeper’s sign. The innkeeper, Silvanito, invites him in and they discuss the state of the town’s condition where the two rival gangs control the area. The Rojos are gunrunners while the Baxters control the whiskey.

The Stranger sees and opportunity to make some money from the situation and quickly becomes a Rojo henchman after killing the four Baxter henchmen who shot at his mule in a duel.

When a load of gold arrives in town, escorted by a troop of Mexican soldiers the Man with No Name becomes curious and follows the cargo the next day along with Silvanito. They witness the massacre of the Mexican soldiers by Ramón Rojo and his henchmen disguised as American soldiers.

Ramon now seeks peace with the Baxters, as sooner or later the massacre will be investigated by Mexican and American officials. The Stranger makes a fistful of dollars by selling information on the massacre to John Baxter and his wife, the real brains behind the gang. The Stranger has taken two of the dead Mexican soldiers to the local cemetery and propped them up against a tombstone making them look wounded but alive. He then informs the Rojo’s the Baxters have two of the soldiers hidden out in the cemetery. The two gangs have a shoot-out at the cemetery and while this is going on the Stranger searches the Rojo hacienda for the hidden gold. Finding it he also is found by Marisol a beautiful villager who is being kept by Ramón for his own pleasure.

Marisol was taken for payment of a gambling debt owed by her husband Julio.

Ramón returns with Antonio Baxter, John’s son, and the Stranger takes Marisol to the Baxter’s for another fistful of dollars and to be used in exchange for their son. The exchange is conducted on the main street the next day. Julian and his son Jesus appear and for a moment the family is reunited. The Stranger learns of their plight but returns Marisol to Ramón. Ramón now leaves for a business trip and leaves Marisol at a small house outside of town. After Ramon leaves the Stranger pretending to be drunk and dumped in his room, leaves and kills the Rojo henchmen keeping Marisol prisoner. The Stranger again reunites the family, gives them some money and sends them away.

Returning to the Rojo hacienda he finds Ramón waiting for him. The Stranger is badly beaten by the gang who try to obtain Marisol’s whereabouts. Finally they leave him for tomorrow’s beating but he manages to escape killing two of the gang members and setting the hacienda on fire by burning the wine celler.

Helped in escaping town by Piripero, the local coffin maker he witnesses Silvanito being beaten for information on the Stranger and the complete massacre of the Baxters.

Hiding out in an abandoned mine he recovers with Silvanito and Piriperos help. The time now comes to face the Rojos. The Stranger announces his return by setting off a dynamite charge and walking into town. The Rojo’s are there to meet him and Ramón and his trusty rifle put a bullet through the Strangers heart. The gunman falls but rises again. Ramón empties his rifle into him with no effect. When

The Stranger takes two of the bodies to a nearby cemetery and sells information to both sides that two Mexican soldiers survived the attack. Both sides race to the cemetery, the Baxters to get the "survivors" to testify against the Rojos, the Rojos to silence them. The factions engage in a fierce gunfight, with Ramon managing to "kill" the "survivors" and Esteban capturing John Baxter's son, Antonio. While the Rojos and the Baxters are fighting, the Stranger searches the Rojo hacienda for the gold, but accidentally knocks out Ramón's beautiful prisoner and unwilling mistress, Marisol when she surprises him. He takes her to the Baxters, who in turn arrange to return her to the Rojos in exchange for Antonio.

During the exchange, the Stranger learns Marisol's history from Silvanito: "... a happy little family until trouble comes along. And trouble is the name of Ramon, claiming the husband cheated at cards, which wasn't true. He gets the wife to live with him as hostage." That night, while the Rojos are celebrating, the Stranger rides out and frees Marisol, shooting the guards and wrecking the house in which she is being held in order to make it appear as if it was attacked by the Baxters. The Stranger tells Marisol, her husband, and their son to leave town, at the same time giving them some money to tide them over. Marisol asks the Stranger, "Why do you do this for us?", and for the first and only time the Stranger provides an insight into his actions: "Why? Because I knew someone like you once. There was no one there to help. Now get moving".

Discovering that he freed Marisol, the Rojos capture and beat the Stranger, but he escapes. Believing the Stranger is being protected by the Baxters, the Rojos set fire to the Baxter home and massacre all the residents as they are forced to flee. Among the dead are John Baxter, his wife, Consuelo, and Antonio. Now the only gang left in San Miguel, the Rojos confront and beat Silvanito, whom they think maybe hiding the Stranger.

The Stranger recuperates in an abandoned mine and returns to town, where he faces the Rojos in a dramatic showdown. With a steel chest plate hidden beneath his clothing, he taunts Ramón to "aim for the heart" as Ramón's rifle shots bounce off. Killing all present except Ramón, the Stranger challenges Ramón to reload his rifle faster than he, the Stranger, can reload his pistol. He then shoots and kills Ramón. Esteban Rojo, unseen by the Stranger and aiming at him from a nearby building, is shot dead by Silvanito. The Stranger says his goodbyes and rides from the town.


[When first shown on CBS-TV in 1977 it was feared the film was to violent and the hero too corrupt for TV audiences, so an introduction was filmed by director Monte Hellman with Harry Dean Stanton as a warden who releases “The Man with No Name” from prison in exchange for cleaning up the town of San Miguel. The actor who played Clint remains unknown and only Clint’s eyes were shown from stock footage]

YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqvK80XGJkA

16 comments:

  1. Biltmore: Frank Kalvow I believe is just a mistake for Jose Calvo. Raf Baldassare, Umberto Spadero and Frank Brana were announced only. All were probally dropped due to country quotas. I think Antonio Pica should read, Antonio Vico. Vico was to play the undertaker, but got bumped when the germans need a lead cast name. I believe Juan Cortes is one of the Mexican officer's corpses in the cemetary. Italian Nazzareno Natale is widely mistake for one of the nameless spanish actors. Never recognized Alvaro de Luna, Brana or Baldassare in any version of the film . Spadero born 1904 would have been too old to play Miguel. Need photos of both Jose Halufi and Manuel Pena. IMdb has Baldassre listed as Juan de Dios, which I think is someones joke. Pena may have played this part. "I hope that's clear".

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  2. Biltmore: Lastly. Don't get me started on either Lee Miller, or Nosher Powell.

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  3. Biltmore: I believe that writer A Bonzzoni is just a typo for Adriano Bolzoni.

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  4. Biltmore: Spanish credits list Molino Rojo, Robledo, Barboo and Tabernero as the four Baxter men at the little corral.

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  5. Biltmore: the site users.telenet.be has a photo of Jose Halufi. I don't think he's in Fistful.

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  6. Thanks Biltmore,
    Comment 1 - changed, deleted suggestions. I recognized the actor who play Juan de Dios the bell ringer in another film and he was credited as Juan Cortez so I will leave that credit for now.
    Comment 2 - I did not list Miller and deleted Powell.
    Comment 3 - Added Bolzoni left Bonzzoni as an alias.
    Comment 4 - Spanish credits are correct from left to right the four Baxter henchmen Clint shoots are Tabernero, Barboo, Molino Rojo, Robledo.
    Comment 5 - Halufi could be a Baxter henchman at the river but will delete him for now.

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  7. Biltmore: What film did you see Juan Cortez in???????????

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  8. I don't recall if it was a film or a photo ID. I remember recognizing the face right away as the guy who was the crazy bell ringer in FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and added him to the credits. It was 3-4 years ago.

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  9. From Howard Hughes,

    This is what I have:

    Taberno, Barboo, Robledo and Rojo are the Baxter men in the Mule scene (left to right, I think, from Eastwood's view)

    Joe Kamel and Jose Canalejas are both in the film. They are different actors. Kamel has a moustache and leads Marisol out in the hostage scene (with the guy in the green shirt, who is Bill Thompkins, from Rawhide). Canalejas we know is a Rojo gunman.

    Juan De Dios is played by Antonio Moreno. He is also the bartender in Ringo's Big Night.

    Antonio Pico is the Baxter guy in the corridor outside Marisol's room.

    Jose Halufi is one of the Rojo gang unloading the US corpses at Rio Bravo; he has a beard and was also in Yankee, A Pistol for Ringo etc.

    All best,
    Howard

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  10. Thanks Howard, I'll make the noted changes.

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  11. Biltmore: Thanks Howard. I thought I recognized Moreno from Ringos Big Night. But thought this actor looked taller and heavier. Thanks for the corrections. Can't rewatch the film today, as memory serves you are correct. Isn't this fun.

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  12. Biltmore: Howard. Nazzareno Natale is not in the film. Correct? He played the train enginer that yells at Coburn in Duck You, Sucker! Yes?

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  13. Hi Tom,

    Can you post this up in answer to Biltmore's Fistful response on your blog? Still having trouble posting.
    Many thanks,
    Howard

    Hi Tom, Biltmore,

    This is what Spadaro looked like in the early seventies, so he could have been one of the Mexican cavalrymen, but I seem to remember him in the Rojo gang:
    http://www.pollanetsquad.it/attore.asp?cod_att=942

    As far as Natale goes, I thought this was the name of the actor who played a bearded Mexican bandit (with Halufi unloading corpses at the Rio Bravo). So much so that I included that info in my Once Upon a Time in the Italian West book, which may have contributed to the confusion on IMDB. Natale is in Death Rides a Horse and Day of Anger (as is the mystery actor) and this lead me believe it was Natale. It now seems that the actor I thought was Natale is someone called Manuel Bermudez 'Boliche'. He has a prominent bandit leader role in Ringo the Face of Revenge and is also in many other spaghettis: in For a Few Dollars More he is shot by Eastwood on the road to Santa Cruz, along with Jose Canalejas and Frank Brana. I still don't know who Natale plays in the two Van Cleef films however...

    All best,
    Howard

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  14. Biltmore: Howard. Check the Pollanet Squad.it for a picture of Natale.

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  15. Hi Biltmore, I took a look at that site and still don't recognise him from the Van Cleef movies, though I have seen him as a partisan in MASSACRE IN ROME.
    Cheers, Howard

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  16. Still,to this day, trying to figure out what happened to Don Miguel Rojo?

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