An Overview of Clint Eastwood’s Westerns: The Spaghetti Westerns

A Fistful of Dollars (1964) is an unofficial remake of the Akira Kurosawa’s 1961 film, Yojimbo. In Yojimbo a rogue Samurai trades two crime lords off against each other to ultimately destroy their power. In A Fistful of Dollars, Clint Eastwood stars as a loan gunslinger who exploits the power struggle between two rival families to gain his own “fistful of dollars”. This was the first of three Italian produced, “Spaghetti westerns” featuring the “Man With No Name”.

The second “Spaghetti Western” featuring the “Man With No Name” is 1965’s For a Few Dollars More. Clint Eastwood stars as one of two rival bounty hunters (the other played by Lee van Cleef) hunting for a ruthless criminal, El Indio. Each bounty hunter is driven by their own motivations. Eastwood’s character is primarily driven by the money. Van Cleef’s character has more personal motivations. The bounty hunters eventually team up to try and catch the outlaw.

1966’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is considered one of the classic westerns. The three main characters - The Ugly (Eli Wallach), The Good (Clint Eastwood), and The Bad (Lee Van Cleef) - are rivals in pursuit of a buried fortune. Time magazine counted it in the top 100 movies of the last century. It continually rates highly in Internet and Magazine charts of top movies. Quentin Tarantino regards it as the best film ever made!

12 Responses to “An Overview of Clint Eastwood’s Westerns: The Spaghetti Westerns”

  1. Boomer Says:

    You have a wonderful web address, but you have only discussed 3 of his westerns. I would think that Outlaw Josey Wales and Unforgiven (both on par with the ‘Man With No Name’ trilogy) deserve their place as well.

    Would make sense to cover all of his westerns though.

  2. admin Says:

    Yup - my personal favorite is Pale Rider actually! But Outlaw Josey Wales is a close second. Will get there. The blog is new and will post on some of the other movies when I get time. I own them all - so I plan to watch them first before posting on them.

  3. Kate Says:

    My other half wants to know the name of a western where a man hanging from a tree is shot down from a distance away. Any help out there?

  4. admin Says:

    Hey Kate - that scene is in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.

  5. sam Says:

    everyone here talks about their favorite, but in my opinion they were all evenly good. i call them the big 4. good bad and the ugly, josie wales, fistfull of dollars and a few dollars more. nothing very different about them, similar story lines, bad guys and good guys, shooting, trying to make money, the music…etc. its the man that made the movie. what set eastwood apart was his look. his rugged appearance, toughness, intimidation, his height, credibility, that stare down. he never spoke much. didnt have to. He just had to look the part and let his actions speak for himself. he is in the top 3 of the greatest actors of all time and greatest westerns ever made by far.

  6. Fred Says:

    The man hanging from the tree was a spaghetti western starring Clint Eastwood and it was called “hang ‘em high”.

  7. admin Says:

    Yeah - there is definitely some hanging in “hang ‘em high”! - Kate was referring to a scene though where the rope is shot to save a hanging man.

  8. John Says:

    I just got a box set of the the three man with no name films for a tenner in Sainsbury’s. I thought that was good but when I opened them I found six discs - an extra disc for each film (TV cut and some other bits I think - I haven’t watched them yet). I was well pleased ’cause I’d been looking for them for ever.

    Until I saw Clint Eastwood westerns I didn’t get the genre - John Wayne just put me off!

    I seem to remember a western and I’m sure Eastwood was in it, where a man on a motorbike has nitro-glycerine. Anyone know what that one is and whether it was an Eastwood movie too?

  9. Lavada Hutchings Says:

    Dear whoever??!! I am an artist that has made lifesize cement sculptures of several people. I am in the middle of doing one of Clint Eastwood because I am probably one of his most dearest fans. And because everyday I want to look outside and see him!! Where can I find more pictures to work off of?
    Thank you in advance for your quick response. Lavada

  10. admin Says:

    Try this Google image search for Clint Eastwood

  11. flesk Says:

    There is another scene where Clint shots to a rope to save a old man, it is in Fistful of dollars, here is the scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eeo52VfDfkU

  12. JP Says:

    Just purchased High Plains Drifter and The Outlaw Josey Wales. Loved Clint in High Plains Drifter, the Man with No Name is hard to match.

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