Per un pugno di dollari

  • Directors: Sergio Leone
  • Producers: Arrigo Colombo, Giorgio Papi
  • Writers: Sergio Leone, A Bonzzoni, Jaime Comas Gil
  • Genres: Action, Western
  • Actors: Clint Eastwood, Marianne Koch, Joseph Egger, Antonio Prieto, Mario Brega, Wolfgang Lukschy, Sieghardt Rupp, Benny Reeves

A Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood), arrives at a little Mexican border town named San Miguel. He is quickly introduced to the feud between two families vying to gain control the town: the Rojo brothers, consisting of Don Miguel (the eldest and nominally in charge), Esteban (Sieghardt Rupp) (the most headstrong) and Ramón (the most capable and intelligent, played by Gian Maria Volontè, who would reappear in For a Few Dollars More as the psychopathic El Indio), and the family of so-called “town sheriff” John Baxter (Wolfgang Lukschy).

The Stranger quickly spies an opportunity to make a “fistful of dollars” and decides to play both families against each other. His opportunity comes when a detachment of Mexican soldiers escorting a shipment of gold passes through the town. The gold is ostensibly being delivered to a troop of American soldiers at the border river in exchange for a shipment of modern American weapons, but upon following the Mexican troops, the Stranger watches from hiding as they are massacred by members of the Rojo gang, disguised in American uniforms and led by Ramon Rojo.

The Stranger takes two of the bodies to a nearby cemetery and sells information to both sides that two soldiers survived the attack. Both sides race to the cemetery, the Baxters to get the “survivors” to testify against the Rojos, and the Rojos to silence them. The factions engage in a fierce gunfight, but Ramon manages to kill (as he believes) the “survivors” and Esteban captures John Baxter’s son Antonio. While the Rojos and the Baxters are busy, the Stranger takes the opportunity to search the Rojo hacienda, but accidentally knocks out Ramón’s prisoner and unwilling mistress Marisol (Marianne Koch) when she surprises him. He takes her to the Baxters, who arrange for a prisoner swap with the Rojos.

The Man with No Name returns to town to engage the Rojos in a dramatic duel. He first rescues Silvanito, who was tortured to reveal the Stranger’s whereabouts. The Man with No Name kills Ramon and the remaining Rojos, except Esteban (who is shot by Silvanito), and rides away.

Il grande silenzio

  • Directors: Sergio Corbucci
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Mario Amendola, Bruno Corbucci, Sergio Corbucci, Vittoriano Petrilli
  • Genres: Drama, Western
  • Actors: Jean Louis Trintignant, Klaus Kinski, Frank Wolff, Luigi Pistilli, Vonetta McGee, Mario Brega, Remo de Angelis, Spartico Conversi, Carlo D Angelo

Winter 1898. The rough weather brings hunger and privation to the small village of Snowhill in Utah. In order to survive, the poor people start to steal and rob. Therefore they become outlaws and have to hide in the mountains, because of the bounty rewarded on them. While people are suffering, the village becomes a paradise for bounty hunters, who can hardly be opposed by the poor, who are labelled as outlaws.

When Pauline’s husband falls prey to the unscrupulous bounty hunter Loco (Klaus Kinski), she hires a mute gunfighter, Silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant), to kill Loco. Since Silence as a child had to watch his parents being killed by bounty hunters, he tramps through the country chasing those who are killing people for money under the cloak of the law. In order to not violate the law and be added to the blacklist of the bounty hunters, he provokes them to pull out their weapon first. Then he has a reason to act in “self-defense” and shoot them.

But Loco does not let himself be provoked. Not until after he lures the new sheriff – who had been given the impossible task by the governor to re-establish order in the region and to grant amnesty to the starving in the mountains – to his death, does Loco face up to the final fight with Silence.

The Fantoma DVD features the (silent) alternate “happy” ending with the comic sheriff played by Frank Wolff returning from the “dead” (he had sunk in a frozen lake) to save the day. It is unlikely that an English or Italian audio track was ever created for this ending.[1]