“A Fistful of Dollars” Trivia!

Rob Hunter at Film School Rejects came up with 21 Things We Learned from the Fistful of Dollars Commentary.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorites and my thoughts on each…

Eastwood was paid $15,000 for the film with a six-week Spanish “holiday” included. Other actors originally considered for the role, including Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Henry Fonda, and others, all asked for too much money. (I always find it interesting to see who was offered a role compared to who ended up playing it.  Of the three listed, Charles Bronson is my hands-down favorite.  Eastwood is iconic as the Man with No Name, but it would have been interesting to see what Charles Bronson could have done with that role. – Craig)

The opening title credits were designed by Luigi Lardani and based in part on the popular James Bond title credits of the time. (If you watch the opening credits, the 007 title credits influence is clear.  It was a smart idea to use modern title credits for a movie set in the old west.  – Craig)

You know this already, but the film is very directly based on Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (1961). Kurosawa had already acknowledged that his samurai films were in some ways a reworking of traditional Hollywood westerns, but A Fistful of Dollars is a very, very clear remake of Yojimbo — “the trouble was that nobody had cleared the rights.” Kurosawa eventually wrote to Leone after seeing the western and said “I like your film very much, it’s a very interesting film, unfortunately it’s my film not your film.” They settled out of court with the Japanese director going on to earn more from this film than from any of his own releases. (Wow!  I knew that A Fistful of Dollars was a reworking of Yojimbo, but had no idea that Kurosawa’s settlement made him more money than any of his own films!  I also love his quote: “I like your film very much… unfortunately it’s my film not your film.” – Craig)