films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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A Fistful of Dynamite

Giù la Testa
1971 / 157m - Italy
A Fistful of Dynamite poster

By far the best Leone film I've seen so far. Westerns aren't for me, Leone's film in particular have always rubbed me the wrong way. They are crazy long, slow and way too serious. A Fistful of Dynamite isn't a complete turnaround, but there's a much bigger focus on action and the mood is noticeably lighter.

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Juan is the leader of a criminal gang, their goal is to rob a big bank. They run into John, a bomb expert who is on the run from the Brits. Juan can convince John to join their band of criminals, but John is more interested in supporting the Mexican revolutionists, who could make excellent use of John's skills.

The Morricone soundtrack is extremely cheesy, and the 150-minute runtime is a bit silly, but there are some large-scale action scenes that are quite fun. The characters don't take themselves too serious either (certainly not Juan), which makes it a lot easier to enjoy the boorish action scenes. If only there hadn't been so much horrible filler, this could've been something.

Once upon a Time in America

C'era una Volta in America
1984 / 229m - Italy
Crime, Drama
Once upon a Time in America poster

Once upon a Time in the West

C'era una Volta il West
1968 / 165m - Italy
Once upon a Time in the West poster

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cattivo
1966 / 178m - Italy
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly poster

For a Few Dollars More

Per Qualche Dollaro in Più
1965 / 132m - Italy
For a Few Dollars More poster

A Fistful of Dollars

Per un Pugno di Dollari
1964 / 99m - Italy
A Fistful of Dollars poster

Back when I first got serious about cinema, people practically forced me to give Leone's films a chance. I never really cared for westerns before, but that's probably the point where I started hating them. After four attempts (including his most famed westerns), I simply gave up and left it at that.

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I'm still not a fan of westerns, but I'm slowly playing catch up with some high profile films I've missed and there's no escaping the rest of Leone's oeuvre. A Fistful of Dollars was the first to cross my path and it didn't to anything to change my mind, it merely reminded me of why I don't like his films.

Very poor performances, drab and colorless settings, long and uninteresting dialogues, bland action and a terrible score. At least the film stays well below the 120-minute mark, but that's a meager comfort when there's nothing to like. Leone and I simply don't match, this was another major letdown.