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Trivia / A Fistful of Dollars

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  • Acting for Two: Bernie Grant voices two of the three Rojo brothers, and they both interact with each other on a fairly regular basis onscreen. To a lesser extent, Grant also voices John Baxter, but he and Ramon only interact directly once—when Ramon kills the corrupt Sheriff in cold blood. Likewise, Grant's wife Joyce Gordon voices both Marisol and Doña Consuelo Baxter, but the two never interact with each other, and the only scene in which they appear together has the former unconscious!
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Clint Eastwood helped in creating his character's distinctive visual style. He bought the black jeans from a sport shop on Hollywood Boulevard, the hat came from a Santa Monica wardrobe firm and the trademark black cigars came from a Beverly Hills store. Eastwood himself cut the cigars into three pieces to make them shorter. Eastwood himself is a non-smoker.
    • When Eastwood arrived on the set, he was struck by how little the Italian crew and writers knew about the American West they were filming about. For example, he had to point out that coonskin caps were worn by frontiersmen and trappers in the Davy Crockett era, circa the 1820s, not by gunfighters and townsmen in the American West and Mexico of the 1870s, as the scriptwriters had written.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: It's "You see, my mule don't like people laughing," not "My mule doesn't like to be laughed at."
  • Breakthrough Hit: For Sergio Leone. His previous film was a sword-and-sandal picture called The Colossus of Rhodes, which wasn't a hit critically or commercially.
  • Creator Backlash: Ennio Morricone felt this was his worst film score, since he was still developing as a composer and he recycled some of his earlier work (including an arrangement of Woody Guthrie's "Pastures of Plenty" which he had worked on several years earlier, as the Main Title) for the soundtrack.
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  • Defictionalization: Cimarron Arms now sells replicas of Clint's revolver to buy. The gun first appeared in Rawhide, but the marketing specifically calls it "The Man With No Name" edition, and they also sell replicas of the iconic poncho, too.
  • Enforced Method Acting: A combination of the heavy smoke in the cigars, his allergy to horses, and the bright sunlight is what created Clint Eastwood's now iconic Clint Squint.
  • Executive Meddling: A ten-minute prologue (hastily filmed by the studio and featuring a body double for Clint Eastwood whose back is facing the camera) was attached to the film when it was first aired on network TV. Why? The guy in charge of ABC HATED the film's amoral plot and refused to air it unless the studio "fixed" what he saw was the impure motive of Joe. Hence the prologue, which rewrites the entire plot via a single ten minute scene where it is "revealed" that Joe was a former convict who was given his freedom in exchange for doing the bidding of the warden of his jail, in terms of driving out the gangs from the town in which the film takes place. Thankfully, the scene only was used for the ABC Sunday Movie Night broadcasts and was soon destroyed by the studio afterwards... although it has somehow made it onto the DVD as a special feature.
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  • Fake Nationality: Everybody who isn't Clint Eastwood, most notably Italian Gian Maria Volonte as Mexican Ramon.
  • Follow the Leader: Everyone and their dog knows this film is an unauthorized remake of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo. For posterity, Kurosawa is on record as enjoying the film, calling it "a fine movie, but [...] MY movie," Leone had been assured by his production company that legal issues over the similarity had been ironed out before shooting, and eventually a legal settlement was reached.
  • Hostility on the Set: Gian Maria Volontè reportedly didn't get along with Sergio Leone, who found Volonté's theatrical acting style and arrogant on-set manner tiresome.
    • Volonté tried to become friendly with Clint Eastwood, but he spoke little English and Eastwood spoke little Italian. Their political differences further prevented their striking up a rapport; Eastwood was a conservative Republican, while Volonté was a committed leftist, and Eastwood in any case didn't know enough about Italian politics to respond.
  • International Coproduction: This was an Italian/German/Spanish co-production, so there was a significant language barrier on set. Leone did not speak English, and Eastwood communicated with the Italian cast and crew mostly through actor and stuntman Benito Stefanelli, who also acted as an uncredited interpreter for the production and would later appear in Leone's other pictures.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: While the original English-language theatrical cut is available on DVD in the Netherlands, the PG-rated US theatrical cut hasn't been seen anywhere since the home video distribution rights formerly held by the CBS/Fox Company reverted to MGM/UA in 1987. That said, videotapes and videodiscs of the US theatrical cut aren't all that uncommon. The same isn't really true for the UK theatrical cut, however; if you want that, you'll need either PAL video equipment or to live in a PAL country.
  • Late Export for You: The film was made in 1964, but wasn't released in America until 1967.
  • Looping Lines: Similar to other Italian films shot at the time, all footage was filmed silent, and the dialogue and sound effects were dubbed over in post-production. Since all of the footage was filmed silently, Clint Eastwood did not add his voice to the soundtrack until 1967, when the movie was prepared for U.S. release.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Gian Maria Volonte didn't think much of this film (or its sequel), telling interviewers that he considered them paycheck roles between his more personal projects. Additionally, Eastwood and Leone both claimed that Volonte was difficult to work with, arguing with his costars about Italian politics and, on one occasion, storming off the set and driving to a hotel until Leone calmed him down.
  • Prop Recycling: Joe's famous snake handled pistol was first used in Rawhide, which Rowdy Yates took from an outlaw he killed. He also wore the same boots from the series.
  • Relationship Voice Actor: Real-life husband-and-wife voiceover artists Bernie Grant and Joyce Gordon voice Ramon Rojo and his whore/hostage Marisol, and also in-universe husband and wife John and Consuelo Baxter, in the English dub.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: The fact that it cribbed Yojimbo's plot almost verbatim meant that Akira Kurosawa was able to successfully sue for copyright infringement. As a result, Kurosawa's production company obtained exclusive rights to release the film on Japan and the film took a whopping three years for its release to be allowed on the United States.
  • Star-Making Role: For Clint Eastwood.
  • Troubled Production: Mostly due to Leone's fractious relationship with Jolly Films, who gave the film a minuscule budget, assured Leone that legal issues over the Yojimbo similarities had been cleared before shooting started (they hadn't, resulting in a long, acrimonious lawsuit which delayed the movie's release) and fumbled its initial release, dumping it into second-run theaters and as the second feature on double bills. Clint Eastwood remembers that midway through production, a Jolly executive visited the set to watch a day's shooting, then after viewing the rushes commented "Jesus, what a piece of shit!" to everyone within earshot. Eventually the movie became a hit despite its shabby treatment, allowing Leone to make For a Few Dollars More without Jolly's help. That film's title was explicitly a Take That! directed at Jolly Films.
  • Vacation, Dear Boy: Clint Eastwood said at the time:
    I've never been to Italy. I've never been to Spain. I've never been to Germany. I've never been to any of the countries (co-producing) this film. The worst I can come out of this is a nice little trip. I'll go over there and learn some stuff. I'll see how other people make films in other countries.
  • Wag the Director: At first, Clint Eastwood had some major disagreements with Sergio Leone, particularly over the script which he found too verbose, but after convincing Leone to cut his dialogue to a minimum, the two men began to collaborate more productively.
  • What Could Have Been: Originally, Sergio Leone intended Henry Fonda to play the "Man with No Name." However, the production company could not afford to employ a major Hollywood star. Next, Leone offered Charles Bronson the part. He, too, declined, arguing that the script was bad. James Coburn was offered the role, but he wanted too much money. Lee Marvin was also considered.
    • Leone originally wanted to cast Mimmo Palmara as Ramon, as the two had worked together on The Colossus of Rhodes. Palmara was cast in another Western, Guns Don't Argue, instead and the then-lesser-known Gian Maria Volonte took the role.
    • Leone asked for another Colossus alumnus, Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, to provide the music. Lavagnino was unavailable and so Jolly producers suggested Leone watch Gunfight at Red Sands and look up the composer. He wasn't impressed by th at movie's score, but was floored to learn that the composer was Ennio Morricone, who had attended school with Leone decades earlier!
  • Working Title: The Magnificent Stranger. Some recently-discovered rushes disclose that the movie was called Ray the Magnificent on set.


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