Dollars Trilogy (Italian: Trilogia del dollaro), also known as the Man with No Name Trilogy (Italian: Trilogia dell'Uomo senza nome) or the Blood Money Trilogy, is an Italian film series consisting of three Spaghetti Western films directed by Sergio Leone. The films are titled A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). Their English versions were distributed by United Artists, while the Italian ones were distributed by Unidis and PEA.
Blu-ray box set cover
|Directed by||Sergio Leone|
|Music by||Ennio Morricone|
|Distributed by||Unidis (Italy, 1)|
PEA (Italy, 2–3)
United Artists (US & UK, original)
|1: 16 October 1964|
2: 18 November 1965
3: 23 December 1966
|409 minutes (1–3)|
United States (3)
|Budget||Total (3 films):|
|Box office||Total (3 films):|
$54.6 million (US gross)
40.7 million admissions (Italy)
The series has become known for establishing the Spaghetti Western genre, and inspiring the creation of many more Spaghetti Western films. The three films are consistently listed among the best rated Western films in history.
Although not Leone's intention, the three films came to be considered a trilogy following the exploits of the same so-called "Man with No Name" (portrayed by Clint Eastwood, wearing the same clothes and acting with the same mannerisms). The "Man with No Name" concept was invented by the American distributor United Artists, looking for a strong angle to sell the films as a trilogy. Eastwood's character does indeed have a name (albeit a nickname) and a different one in each film: "Joe", "Manco" and "Blondie", respectively.
A Fistful of Dollars (Per un pugno di dollari, 1964)Edit
The first film has the Man with No Name arriving, for unexplained reasons, in the Mexico–United States border town of San Miguel, base of two rival smuggling families, the Rojos and the Baxters, that the Man with No Name (referred to by the old undertaker Piripero as "Joe") decides to play against each other by collecting prizes for giving informations, capturing prisoners and killing men, while also helping a woman held captive by the ruthless Ramòn Rojo, her husband and their son to escape. He ends being discovered by the Rojos, being tortured, and escaping. The Rojos massacre the unarmed Baxters while searching for him, who hides away from the town helped by Piripero. He returns as the Rojos prepare to hang the local innkeeper Silvanito (who befriended the Man with No Name), cold-bloodedly kills Don Miguel Rojo, uses his last bullet to free Silvanito and engages and kills Ramòn in a gunslinging duel. After the last remaining Rojo brother, Esteban, is killed by Silvanito while trying to snipe from a window, the Man with No Name, knowing that both governments will investigate, departs from the now-peaceful town.
For a Few Dollars More (Per qualche dollaro in più, 1965)Edit
The second film introduces the Man with No Name (here nicknamed "Manco") as a bounty hunter killing bandits for money, as well as Colonel Douglas Mortimer, a more elder bounty hunter hunting for the same criminals. Both searching for the psychopathic Mexican bandit known as "El Indio", who just escaped from jail, they initially rival each other, but then understand that, in order to kill him, they must work together. Manco infiltrates El Indio's gang, while Mortimer acts from the outside. Manco discovers El Indio's elaborate plot to rob the Bank of El Paso, and is forced to take part in it (albeit he manages not to kill any innocents and instead pretend he was the only survivor of his group (Mortimer wounds him to make the story more realistic). Later, El Indio transfers his gang to Agua Caliente, Mexico, where the two steal the money to take it back to the Bank. El Indio discovers their plot, but lets them escape as part of an operation to murder all but one of his associates. In the end, Manco discovers that Mortimer's hunt for El Indio is far more personal than his one, and lets him kill the bandit personally in a duel. Mortimer lets Manco keep all the money, and, now in peace with his past, rides away.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo, 1966)Edit
In the third film, set during the American Civil War, Mexican bandit Tuco Ramírez and the Man with No Name (whom Tuco calls "Blondie") work together to collect the bounties on the former's head and freeing him as he is to be hanged. Mercenary "Angel Eyes" is meanwhile searching for Jackson, a man who has stolen 200,000 dollars from the Confederate Army, and who is now known as "Bill Carson", while also murdering the two fellow soldiers who helped him. After dissolving their "society", Blondie is being tortured by a vengeful Tuco, when they find a Confederate carriage, with the dying Carson on board. Trying to buy their help, he tells Tuco the name of the cemetery in which the gold is hidden, and Blondie the name on the grave in which it is buried, only to die in front of Blondie as Tuco has gone searching for water. The two start a long journey to the location, being arrested by Union Army soldiers (they stole Carson and his group's clothes and carriage) and brought to a prison camp in which Angel Eyes is posing as a Sergeant. He spots Tuco (it is revealed that Blondie and Tuco previously met him) posing as Carson, and tortures him into revealing the name of the cemetery. The three then race to the location of the gold, parting ways and exchanging alliances various times. In the process, Blondie successfully tricks Tuco into revealing the name of the cemetery. They all arrive at their destination, where Blondie writes the name written on the tomb on a rock and the three engage in a Mexican standoff, resulting in the death of Angel Eyes and in Blondie (having previously removed all the bullets from Tuco's gun) taking his half of the money and leaving Tuco bonded in front of his. Blondie rides in the distance as an enraged Tuco curses him extremely loudly.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is considered a prequel, since it depicts Eastwood's character gradually acquiring the clothing he wears throughout the first two films and because it takes place during the American Civil War (1861–1865), whereas the other two films feature comparatively more modern firearms and other props. For example, Lee Van Cleef's character in For a Few Dollars More appears to be a Confederate veteran who has come down in the world, and a graveyard scene in A Fistful of Dollars features a gravestone dated 1873.
The only actors to appear in all three films besides Eastwood are Mario Brega, Aldo Sambrell, Benito Stefanelli and Lorenzo Robledo. Four other actors each appear twice in the trilogy, playing different characters: Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonté, Luigi Pistilli, and Joseph Egger.
"I think [the Leone films] changed the style, the approach to Westerns [in Hollywood]. ... They made the violence and the shooting aspect a little more larger than life, and they had great music and new types of scores. ... They were stories that hadn't been used in other Westerns. They just had a look and a style that was a little different at the time: I don't think any of them was a classic story—like [John Wayne's 1956] The Searchers or something like that—they were more fragmented, episodic, following the central character through various little episodes."
|A Fistful of Dollars
|For a Few Dollars More
|The Good, the Bad and the Ugly|
|Mario Brega||Chico||Niño||Corporal Wallace|
|Aldo Sambrell||Manolo||Cuchillo||Angel Eyes Gang Member|
|Benito Stefanelli||Rubio||Hughie (a.k.a. "Luke")|
|Lorenzo Robledo||Baxter's member||Tomaso||Clem|
|Joseph Egger||Piripero||Old Prophet
|Gian Maria Volonté||Ramón Rojo||El Indio|
|Lee Van Cleef||Colonel Douglas Mortimer||Angel Eyes|
|Luigi Pistilli||Groggy||Father Pablo Ramirez|
|Román Ariznavarreta||Half-Shaved Bounty Hunter||Bounty Hunter|
|Antoñito Ruiz||Fernando||Stevens' Youngest son|
|José Terrón||Guy Calloway||Thomas 'Shorty' Larson|
|Eli Wallach||Tuco Ramirez|
|A Fistful of Dollars
|For a Few Dollars More
|The Good, the Bad and the Ugly|
Víctor Andrés Catena
Jaime Comas Gil
Fernando Di Leo
|Sergio Leone |
Age & Scarpelli
Fernando Di Leo
|English Dialogue||Mark Lowell
|Luciano Vincenzoni||Mickey Knox|
|Director||Ennio Morricone||Bruno Nicolai|
|Cinematographer||Massimo Dallamano||Tonino Delli Colli|
|Editor||Roberto Cinquini||Eugenio Alabiso
|Eugenio Alabiso |
|Set and costume designer||Carlo Simi|
|A Fistful of Dollars||98% (8.18/10 average rating) (50 reviews)||65 (7 reviews)|
|For a Few Dollars More||91% (7.81/10 average rating) (34 reviews)||74 (8 reviews)|
|The Good, the Bad and the Ugly||97% (8.78/10 average rating) (71 reviews)||90 (7 reviews)|
Box office performanceEdit
|Film||Italian release date||US release date||Italian admissions||US gross||Budget|
|A Fistful of Dollars||12 September 1964||18 January 1967||14,797,275||$14.5 million||$200,000-$225,000|
|For a Few Dollars More||18 December 1965||10 May 1967||14,543,161||$15 million||$600,000|
|The Good, the Bad and the Ugly||23 December 1966||29 December 1967||11,364,221||$25.1 million||$1.2 million|
|A Fistful of Dollars||Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists||Best Score||Ennio Morricone||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor||Gian Maria Volonté||Nominated|
|The Good, the Bad and the Ugly||Laurel Awards||Action Performance||Clint Eastwood||Runner-Up|
|Grammy Awards||2009 Grammy Hall of Fame Award||Ennio Morricone||Won|
The 1999 DVD, plus the 2010 and 2014 Blu-ray box set releases by MGM (distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), make specific reference to the set of films as "The Man with No Name Trilogy".
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