Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns

As part of the weekend Festa Italiana at Seattle Center (see: www.festaseattle.com), the first two portions of the famous Sergio Leone-Clint Eastwood "Spaghetti Westerns" are screened. On Saturday, A Fistful of Dollars introduces the gunslinging man with no name. The 1964 film wasn’t released in the U.S. until 1967 when, of course, everyone correctly judged it to be a ripoff of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo. Squinty-eyed opportunist Eastwood drifts into a town torn by a bloody feud; seizing upon the situation with quick-draw reflexes and more than a few funny one-liners, he plays the two equally hateful factions against each other. So we have the flat-brimmed hat, the poncho, the well-chewed cigar, the pages of dialogue Eastwood famously blue-penciled down to a few terse lines. He lets his guns do the talking instead. On Sunday, the 1965 follow-up, For a Few Dollars More has Eastwood and rival bounty hunter Lee Van Cleef both hunting down Gian Maria Volontè and his gang (look for a hunchbacked Klaus Kinski among them). (R) BRIAN MILLER

Sat., Sept. 26, 4 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 27, 4 p.m., 2009

 
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