Leone never intended to make a trilogy with his series of Clint
Eastwood-starring westerns, but what is now retroactively known as the Dollars
Trilogy is the epitome of the Spaghetti Western sub-genre.
series began with A Fistful of Dollars, which is essentially a remake of Akira
Kurosawa's Yojimbo - so much so that production company Toho successfully sued
Leone. The follow-up For a Few Dollars More delivered more classic Old West
action, but the final film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is what gave these
movies their legendary status.
interpretation of the western is ingrained in pop culture. The long and silent
Mexican stand-offs, filled with extreme
close-ups on eyes (a shot so iconic, it is commonly referred to as
"the Leone shot"), is a staple of any childhood game of Cowboys and
beyond Leone's direction and Eastwood's portrayal of the Man with No Name, it
is Ennio Morricone's music for the films that sticks most firmly in the
collective conscience. The main theme to The Good, the Bad and
the Ugly, along with the final showdown music The Ecstasy of Gold, are among
the greatest pieces of music ever composed for cinema, and those tunes are now synonymous
with the very concept of the Wild West itself.