For a fistful of Leone (Visual Essay Notes)

Submitted By mortenfvinje
Words: 1790
Pages: 8

A fistful of Leone

Sergio Leone’s part in changing the cinema, creating a living legend and the rebirth of the American Western. His dad’s influence. Leone created a new hero. A dirty, violent hero. After the fifty’s, Hollywood almost didn’t make any westerns anymore.

With Fistful of dollars, Leone rejuvenates the American Western through his character, style and plot structure.

Dan Savio (Ennio Morricone)

The producer didn’t want Leone as director.

Leone wanted Henry Fonda as the man without a name.

Leone didn’t want Eastwood for the role as the man without a name, but the producer convinced him and he was running out of time.

They changed the character the man without a name, after watching Eastwood laziness.

Why do we like the antihero?

The wild bunch

Eastwood fought for fewer lines

Leone was very insecure of his project, but after he a while he got more secure.

Leone told Gian Maria Volonte, when he was insecure about playing the sadistic and violent Ramon Rojo, practice scowling a lot.

Leone usually convinced his actors by always calming them down, and it’s not hard at all. Like with Marianne Koch. He just told her that she didn’t have to read the script; all she needed to do is to make an impact. He was right.

Leone and Eastwood always had their arguments, Leone kept saying he was the genius and checked every detail, while Eastwood said he just was a good director and innovating.

Leone didn’t know that much about American films, there when someone shot, you will see the gun go off and then cut to the man falling, but Leone didn’t know this because he had all in one shot, and that made much more brutal.

After some money problem, the crew and the director starting arguing. Clint Eastwood was waiting for the conformation for make up, but had to wait for a while and finally Leone shuts that he can go for make up. After a long time at make up, Clint Eastwood goes back to the set, which now had been deserted. Apparently the crew hasn’t been paid for two weeks. Clint had enough and said they could find him in the airport. Leone managed to stop him at the hotel, and their problems when smoother after that incident.

They were making For a fistful of dollars, without the rights been cleared, because of Yojimbo.

A Fistful of Dollars was the first in a trilogy of Spaghetti Westerns about "The Man with No Name." (The other two entries, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, were made in 1965 and 1966, respectively.) It's actually a misnomer - Eastwood's character has a name, although it changes for each of the films (here, it's "Joe") - but it made for a good marketing device. All three movies were released in the United States during 1967, and, to one degree or another, they ultimately influenced nearly every Western made thereafter (including Sam Peckinpah's landmark The Wild Bunch and Eastwood's own Unforgiven).

Another innovation was Leone’s extraordinary use of close ups, not as the traditional ‘reaction shots’ or ‘reverse shot’, but as a series of portrait-studies of faces staring at one another. He also favored close-ups of which revealed ‘everything you need to know about the character’, as Leone put it: ‘courage, fear, uncertainty, death, etc.’. or, in the case of Eastwood character, complete impassivity: his eyes, like his aphorisms, give nothing away.

Fistful of dollars is the only film that Sergio Leone earned nothing on, just success and recognition.

Leone recorded the film without sound. Everything was in post-production. Leone got Winchesters to be the sound of the gun and the Winchesters is the sound of a little cannon. Leone got the sound department to go to deserted places to fire the weapons, so that he would get more effect in the shots and the atmosphere. Leone hated silence, that’s why he used more powerful weapon, for the smaller guns.


The Hero:

Leone’s ‘The man without a