[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fistful_of_dynamite.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[-Let's blow up some shit.-] ]]

->''"I know what I am talking about when I am talking about the revolutions. The people who read the books go to the people who can't read the books, the poor people, and say, "We have to have a change." So, the poor people make the change, ah? And then, the people who read the books, they all sit around the big polished tables, and they talk and talk and talk and eat and eat and eat, eh? But what has happened to the poor people? They're dead! That's your revolution. Shhh... So, please, don't tell me about revolutions! And what happens afterwards? [[FullCircleRevolution The same fucking thing starts all over again]]!"''
-->-- '''Juan Miranda'''

Directed by Creator/SergioLeone in 1971, the film takes place during the Mexican Revolution in 1913. Juan Miranda, a Mexican bandit, has a chance encounter with early Irish nationalist John Mallory. Mallory also happens to be a demolitions expert with enough explosives to level a mountain.

Despite a rather heated, if ultimately non-fatal, first meeting, Miranda seemingly enlists the Irishman's talents in order to fulfill his life's ambition: robbing the Mesa Verde national bank. Unfortunately for Juan, the entire heist is an elaborate ruse and John is simply using him to further the revolution's aims. And so begins Juan's unwillingly entry into the revolution and of course his chaotic friendship with Mallory.

Despite the light-hearted moments between Juan and John, the [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeVilified romantic side of revolution]] is frequently deconstructed throughout the movie as both characters suffer [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized significant losses]]. It's arguably Creator/SergioLeone's most politically charged movie, although the revolution setting was intended to be symbolic according to WordOfGod. The whole thing is, as with all Leone's westerns, set to epic Music/EnnioMorricone.

The film never had the commercial success of the director's other SpaghettiWestern classics, due in part to confusing trailers implying it was an actual comedy and poor marketing. Leone's insistence the movie be called ''Duck, You Sucker!'' in its initial U.S release despite being repeatedly told this was not a popular turn of phrase in the states didn't help things either. Critics reviewed it favourably but certainly not to the extent of the director's other work.

Creator/SergioLeone's final western epic, it's also undoubtedly his most overlooked film.

The movie has been released under many titles; ''Duck, You Sucker!'' which in turn was derived from the films Italian name ''Giu La Testa'' literally meaning "Down with the Head" and during a re-release was renamed ''A Fistful Of Dynamite''.

!!This film provides examples of:

* AccidentalHero: Despite Juan's best efforts to the contrary he is constantly being lauded as a hero of the revolution.
* AllThereInTheScript: The flashbacks are silent, so the name of John's friend (Sean Nolan) is never known.
* AnachronismStew: When he is captured by the Governor, Mallory uses a Hi-Power handgun, which was first made around 1935. Later on, Juan uses a Nazi MG-42 (The 42 meaning 1942, when it was made) to blow away a government convoy. Both weapons are used in a film set in 1913
* ArmiesAreEvil: We don't meet a single sympathetic soldier. They're all shown or implied to be like Reza.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Creator/SergioLeone took many liberties with regards to the actual Mexican Revolution. This was however for the most part deliberate with the revolution as it was intended to be symbolic, rather than an accurate portrayal.
** John being an Irish nationalist in 1913 owns an IRA flag. Problem is the IRA didn't exist until 1919. He would have most likely been an Irish volunteer for the IRB (Irish Republican Brotherhood) if any official organisation at all. This failing is further compounded by countless reviews and summaries of the film labelling John ex-IRA or an IRA terrorist.
* AssholeVictim: The rich people Juan robs at the beginning of the film, who discuss, in his presence, how Mexican peasants are just animals. When he kills one of them, rapes the woman, and robs the rest, it's very hard to have any sympathy for them.
* {{Badass}}: John Mallory
** Wearing a BadassLongcoat. Colonel Reza sports a badass greatcoat.
*** And sporting a BadassMoustache
** BadassBoast: "When I go, they're gonna have to re-write maps" [[spoiler: [[{{Foreshadowing}} Oh boy, does he deliver]]]].
* {{Bandito}}: Juan Miranda and his outlaws.
* BankRobbery: Subverted. Juan relieves the bank of all its valuables but [[spoiler: unfortunately for him it's full of political prisoners, not money]].
* {{BFG}}: The big ass machine guns used at San Hoglay.
* BigDamnHeroes: John [[spoiler: saves Juan's life at the last minute from a firing squad, in typical explosive fashion]].
* BiggerBad: The Mexican government, specifically the General Huerta regime.
** BigBad: The governor, who is directly or indirectly responsible for most of the terrible things that happen in the film.
*** NonActionBigBad: The governor is completely harmless in person and is easily disposed of.
** TheHeavy: Colonel GŁnther Reza is the only named villain besides the governor, and his actions move the plot of the second half of the film. He's also by far the more dangerous of the two.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: The protagonists are a greedy bandito and a smug guy obsessed with dynamite. The opponents are an evil army bent on imprisoning and/or killing anyone they meet.
* BlondGuysAreEvil: Colonel Reza.
* BombThrowingAnarchists: Mallory who reads anarchist literature and really loves his dynamite (and liquid nitroglycerine, and so on). Unusually for the trope, he's one of the protagonists.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Mallory, with his obsession with explosives (and apparent belief that they solve all problems) is one. So too is Colonel Reza who starts his mornings by sucking a raw egg dry, brushes his teeth with frankly startling ferocity in front of his men (and rinses his mouth with what appears to be tequilla), and almost never speaks.
* CatchPhrase: Mallory's "Duck, You Sucker!" It's usually said right before he blows something to pieces.
* CheshireCatGrin: Mallory has this across his face. A lot.
* ClusterFBomb: Compared to the Westerns of the period, there are a lot of F-bombs.
* ColonelBadass: Reza is an evil psycho but god''damn'' if he isn't a badass.
* DeathGlare: Juan gives one to GOD [[spoiler: after finding his family dead]]. Reza has a pretty solid one as well.
* DownerEnding: Depending on how you look at it.
* DramaticGunCock: John Mallory issues one of these [[spoiler: before blowing away his former friend-turned-informant Sean Nolan with a shotgun]].
* {{Expy}}: Juan is clearly modelled on Tuco (The Ugly), the Creator/EliWallach character in ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly''. This isn't particularly surprising, given that [[Creator/EliWallach Wallach]] was originally slated to play the role. One could make the case that Colonel Reza is an expy of Creator/{{Lee Van Cleef}}'s [[ProfessionalKiller Angel Eyes]] (The Bad) of the same film, being an emotionally dead MysteriousMercenaryPursuer who doesn't bat an eye at the carnage around him, and is bad enough to force the two heroes to work together against him.
* EvilOldFolks: Juan's father may in the running for "world's oldest {{bandito}}," though he's far less evil than even his son is.
* FakeNationality: Main characters, Juan Miranda (Mexican) and John Mallory (Irish) are both played by Americans Creator/RodSteiger and Creator/JamesCoburn. Mexican Colonel Reza is portrayed by German actor Creator/AntoineSaintJohn (though his first name of GŁnther suggests some German ancestry on Reza's part).
* TheFamilyThatSlaysTogether: Juan's gang includes his elderly father and all of his children.
* FanDisservice[=/=]NakedPeopleAreFunny: A group of rich men are stripped naked by Juan's group.
* FireForgedFriends: Juan and Mallory.
* {{Flashback}}: John occasionally recalls his younger days back in Ireland with his best friend Sean and an unnamed love interest.
* FlashbackEcho: Played straight. John witnesses [[spoiler: Dr. Villega betraying the resistance and pointing out members for the firing squad. He instantly recalls a similar event involving his friend Sean Nolan betraying him in Dublin]].
* FullCircleRevolution: Juan's view of revolution is that the poor die to replace those in power with other selfish rich people. Then the cycle simply repeats itself.
* HeroicBSOD: Juan's reaction to [[spoiler: his children]]'s and [[spoiler: John's deaths]].
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: John is fatally wounded during the film's final battle before deciding to go out with a bang]]. [[spoiler:Dr. Villiega]] also gives one, in order to make up for his betrayal.
* ImplacableMan: Reza, who simply will not die.
* InfantImmortality: [[spoiler: Averted with the death of Juan's children]].
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Juan Miranda, though it's buried very deep.
* JudgeJuryAndExecutioner: John Mallory acts as this to [[spoiler: Sean Nolan, deciding his fate on the spot when he attempts to have him arrested by British forces]]. It's [[ImpliedTrope heavily implied]] John [[spoiler:feels a great deal of guilt over judging his old friend so harshly]].
--> '''John''': I don't judge , Villiega. I did that...only once in my life
* KnightOfCerebus: Col. Reza, whose attack at the bridge and subsequent [[spoiler:murder of Juan's children]] turns the film from a BlackComedy to a serious drama.
* LovableRogue: John.
* LoveTriangle: {{Implied|Trope}}. In Mallory's flashbacks of Ireland it's hinted he and his best friend Sean loved the same woman, [[spoiler: which might have affected their judgement since [[MurderTheHypotenuse Sean ended up ratting John to the British and John shot his friend.]]]]
* ManlyTears: [[spoiler: Juan, discovering his six children executed among the rebels]].
* TheMole: [[spoiler: Sean Nolan. John's best friend and fellow Irish nationalist is revealed through flashbacks to be the reason he is on the run from the British for murder]].
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Reza has two scenes--one where he sucks and egg and one where he brushes his teeth--with far more aggression and menace than are even remotely required.
* MysteriousMercenaryPursuer: He may be a part of the Mexican army, but Reza hits all the other qualifications.
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: Reza and his men, look and act like the fascist stormtroopers (both German and Italian) that Leone saw when he was growing up in Italy.
* NeverTrustATrailer: Apparently originally advertised as more of a comedy, which in turn likely helped undermined its commercial success. The first half of the movie ''is'' a BlackComedy, for argument's sake. Still, a movie that opens with a bunch of racists being mugged and raped likely isn't going to have too much sunshine and rainbows.
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: Said a few times in response to Reza. It never takes.
* NotInThisForYourRevolution: Juan. At least in the beginning before he's dragged into the revolution anyway. He's only after money initially.
* OddCouple: Juan and Mallory.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Averted. Despite both Creator/JamesCoburn and Creator/RodSteiger being American, their Irish and Mexican accents hold up well throughout the entire film (the quality of those accents is debatable).
* PlayingAgainstType: Creator/RomoloValli, most recognizable for comic relief roles in films like ''The Leopard'', playing the tragic revolutionary Villega.
* PsychoticSmirk: Reza sports one during the interrogation scene. It grows larger and more self-satisfied with every person he has shot.
* PuttingOnTheReich: The Mexican government troops are treated as Nazi stormtroopers.
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: [[spoiler: When he finds his family murdered Juan tears the cross from his neck and obviously sees God as having failed them]].
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: Dr. Villega]].
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeVilified: The film acts as a deconstruction of this.
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilised: Embodies this trope.
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: Played straight and averted. [[spoiler: John responds to his best friend Sean's treachery with extreme shotgun toting prejudice. However when faced with a very simular situation with Dr. Villega, he shows mercy implying regret over having "judged a man once" in the past]].
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Subverted. Juan attempts this [[spoiler: alone when he finds his family dead. He ends up failing and being arrested]].
* SilentAntagonist: Reza speaks two lines of dialogue in his first appearance (both of them orders to his men) and then never speaks again.
* SociopathicSoldier: Col. Reza and his men, who seem intent on killing or imprisoning every single person in Mexico. That they're modelled on German and Italian stormtroops doesn't help their image. Reza in particular is a terrifying Type II.
* SpaghettiWestern
* StuffBlowingUp
* TakingYouWithMe: During their heated first encounter, an enraged Miranda threatens to shoot Mallory, [[spoiler: who responds by opening his coat to reveal enough explosive materials to send them all into the afterlife with him.]]
--> "When I go, I'm taking half this country with me"
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Juan not just shooting, but [[MoreDakka machine-gunning]] the guy [[spoiler:who shot John]] for like half a minute. Though it's arguably {{Justified|Trope}} given it's [[spoiler: the seemingly deathproof [[ImplacableMan Colonel Reza]]]].
* TitleDrop: The phrase "Duck, you sucker(s)" is used multiple times, typically [[spoiler: before John blows something to hell and back]]. "A fistful of dynamite" is nowhere to be heard (it was probably a reference to Leone's own ''Film/AFistfulOfDollars'').
* TookALevelInBadass: Juan takes one by the end.
* TortureAlwaysWorks: [[spoiler: Sean Nolan & Dr. Villega]] are both tortured into becoming informants on their respective allies.
* ThrowDownTheBomblet: John. Aw yeah.
* TranquilFury: John Mallory. He's almost serene at San Hoglay and barely flinches [[spoiler: as he kills two British officers and his former friend in a bar.]]
* WeHardlyKnewYe: Don Jaime the governor, and revolutionary General Santerna ([[AllThereInTheManual who isn't even named]])
* WouldHurtAChild: The Mexican army [[spoiler:kills all of Juan's children on Reza's orders.]]
* YouKilledMyFather: Reza is responsible for [[spoiler:the death of Juan's father and his children. Juan doesn't take it well.]]
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