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The first of Sergio Leone’s famous Man With No Name trilogy, featuring the breakout movie star performance that launched Clint Eastwood’s career, A Fistful of Dollars is one of the more revered Westerns out there. Credited with popularizing the Anti-hero and establishing the Spaghetti Western as a cultural force, it’s undoubtedly a famous an important film. But how does it compare with what came after, in the form of Leone’s further films, especially the iconic The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Or how does it compare with that came before, in the original film this is based on, Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo? For two guys that really love westerns, I was a bit surprised where Dad and I came down on this one ultimately. We talk at length about Fistful and a fair amount about Yojimbo as well, featuring such diverse topics as what makes a good antihero, the woeful dialogue recording made during this film, the central character’s odds of being a human being versus an elemental force of nature, Harry Dean Stanton, and the DVD special features for the film Mystery Men. We also take a moment at the end to try to make sense of Clint’s recent interview regarding his political beliefs! Don’t worry, I cut a lot of that conversation out!

There’s a bit of talk about the Olympics, as well as a frankly pretty perfunctory examination of the films Chariots of Fire and Willow. Next week, we’ll be looking at the Sydney Pollack directed Mountain Man Western, Jeremiah Johnson, featuring Robert Redford and a script by John Milius. You can reach us at westernswithdad@gmail.com, and also, why not give us a review on itunes? That’d be fun, yeah?

A Fistful of Dollars stars Clint Eastwood and was directed by Sergio Leone. Yojimbo stars Toshiro Mifune and was directed by Akira Kurosawa.