Friday, September 25, 2020

Spaghetti Western Trivia ~ Kurosawa letter



Arthur Krim gave Alberto Grimaldi $ 1.5 million for the production of the film ′′The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". He was in a hurry to recover his bet. Eager to exploit the three Leone-Eastwood westerns as a trilogy in the United States, he must quickly find a legal solution to the conflict between Giorgio Papi's Jolly Films and Arrigo Columbo vs Kurosawa company that produced ′′Yojimbo". Is this letter of agreement of May 24, 1966 ending the dispute. Harshly scammed by Papi and Colombo, Leone had ′′forgotten?)′′ to tell them the origin of his story... so Krim can release ′′For a Fistful of Dollars′′ in January 1967 “For a Few Dollars More” in May 67, then finally ′′The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” in December of the same year.


Mr. Arrigo Colombo


6 Largo Messico,



Dear M. Colombo, 

     This will acknowledge that we Akira Kurosawa and Ryuzo Kikushima who are the sole and the exclusive owners of all rights, titles and interests in and to the original screenplay entitled “YOJIMBO” written by Akira Kurosawa and Ryan Kikushima, including the copyright and the right to renew and extend the copyright, for all periods and throughout world, have ever granted any right and rights to any person, firm and/or corporation throughout the world with the exception of an irrevocable license to TOHO CO., LTD, Tokyo, to distribute forever throughout the world (dubbed and original language versions ) of the Japanese language film made there from and originally released in 1961 in Japan.

     The undermined further acknowledge that we have granted to JOLLY FILM, Rome, the right to make, exploit and distribute only one picture therefrom entitled  “PER PUGNO DI DOLLARI” (English title – “FOR A FISTFUL OF MONEY”) forever and throughout the world with the exception of Japan including OKINAWA, SLOUTH and NORTH KOREA, and FORMOSA.

     In witness, whereof we have excuted the forthcoming this TWENTY FOURTH day of MAY, 1966.


                                                                                     Akira Kurosawa


                                                                                     Ryuzo Kikushima


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