A Fistful Of Dollars: Clint Eastwood's stunning Spaghetti Western debut. When the Man With No Name rides into town, the rival gangs of the Baxters and the Rojos soon find themselves fighting each other. As the lean, cold-eyed cobra-quick gunfighter, Clint became the first of the Western's anti-herores. The cynical enigmatic loner with a clouded past is the same character Eastwood fans have been savouring ever since. A Fistful Of Dollars is the western taken to the extreme - with unremitting violence, gritty realism and tongue-in-cheek humour. Leone's direction is taut and stylish, and the visuals are striking - from the breathtaking panoramas (in Spain) to the extreme close-ups of quivering lips and darting eyes before the shoot-out begins. And all are accentuated by renowned composer Ennio Morricone's quirky, haunting score.
For A Few Dollars More: Clint Eastwood had proven so successful in his first foray into European Westerns with A Fistful Of Dollars that a follow up sequel was inevitable. Superbly scripted by Luciano Vincenzoni, featuring an unforgettable alliance between ruthless gun-slingers to track down the notorious bandit El Indio, played by Gian Maria Volonte. The film is also noted for its array of weaponry, a veritable arsenal of rifles that became so startingly influential in future westerns. Sergio Leone's direction is both violent and operatic and Ennio Morricone's atmospheric score keeps the tension taut as the action moves from jail breaks and hold ups to spectacular gun battles.
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: By far the most ambitious, unflinchingly graphic and stylistically influential western ever attempted, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is an engrossing actioner shot through with a volatile mix of myth and realism. Clint Eastwood returns for a final appearance as the invincible Man With No Name, this time teaming with two gunslingers (Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef) to pursue a cache of $200,000 - and letting no one, not even warring factions in a civil war, stand in their way. From sun-drenched panoramas to bold hard closeups, exceptional camera work captures the beauty and cruelty of the barren landscape and the hardened characters who stride unwaveringly through it. Forging a vibrant and yet detached style of action that had not been seen before, and has never been matched since, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly shatters the western in true Clint Eastwood style. The complex plot of bloodshed and betrayal winds its way through the American Civil War, filmed to resemble the French battlefields of WW1, to end in a climactic Dance of Death. Arguably the quintessential Italian Western, this 1966 film boasts a fine Ennio Morricone score, featuring a main theme that reached No.1 in the world's pop charts.