Clint Eastwood and the spaghetti westerns

Sergio Leone’s western remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo was not released to American audiences until 1967, after it had become a box office hit in Europe. The setting is changed to a dusty desert town where the Man With No Name arrives on a mule and quickly sums up the situation with “There’s money to be made in a place like this”. And he proceeds to do just that by working for both the towns rival gangs – the Rojos and the Baxters. Eastwood plays one faction off against another. This time Eastwood plays a bounty hunter along with Lee Van Cleef (Colonel Mortimer). They join forces to collect the huge reward for a recently escaped and crazed bandit, Indio, played by Gian Maria Volonte, Eastwood’s co-star from the first film (Rojo). With such a huge reward at stake, it becomes clear that the two hunters must watch each other as closely as they watch Indio. A one million dollar plus budget, 3 American actors and an unforgettable movie score by Ennio Morricone combine to make this one of Sergio Leone’s best and one of the all time greatest westerns.
Again, the theme is about the quest for easy money. The stories of the three are intricately interwoven with a backdrop of the Civil War and culminate in one final three way shootout. Lee Van Cleef returns to play “Angel Eyes”, a ruthless hired gun who ends up killing his employer to get the gold himself. He tracks Eastwood, again playing the relatively good guy with no name, and the comic two bit criminal Tuco, played marvelously by Eli Wallach, when he learns that each of them knows something about the gold’s location.


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