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The Spaghetti Westerns Box Set (18)



Review: Jack Foley

WHO can forget the iconic image of Clint Eastwood, dressed in poncho and with cigar in mouth, facing off against an enemy in each of the Dollars westerns?

Whether it was the opening sequence of A Fistful of Dollars or the three-way face off between the leading characters in The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, Sergio Leone's spaghetti western trilogy never failed to deliver a telling set piece.

The three films changed the western landscape forever, introducing morally ambiguous characters, unrelenting violence and a different camera technique that inspired a new generation of American film-makers.

That they were filmed in Europe and starred a relative unknown named Clint Eastwood made their appeal and success all the more impressive.

This DVD box set offers the definitive collection of Dollars movies for any fan who has so far missed out on adding them to their collection.

Each film comes with a wealth of extras, including commentary from Clint Eastwood and expert analysis from the likes of Sir Christopher Frayling, and represents the chance to have all three movies in one self-contained package.

My personal favourite (and arguably the best of all the spaghetti westerns) is the epic final chapter, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, which told the story of three men searching for $200,000 in buried gold coins during the final days of the Civil War.

Eastwood, of course, was the good man of the title, dubbed 'Blondie' by his 'companions', while Eli Wallach contributed a memorable performance as 'The Ugly', or Tuco, the petty thief who continually finds himself out of his depth against the guile and viciousness of the trio.

Last but by no means least was Lee Van Cleef (appearing in his second Dollars film), as the villain of the piece, dubbed 'Angel Eyes', who exuded menace throughout.

The final confrontation between the three characters in a cemetery is the stuff of movie legend and rightly so, for it remains one of the defining moments of modern cinema.

Leone went on to make other great films, of course, most notably Once Upon A Time In The West and Once Upon A Time in America, but for many the Dollars trilogy represents the pinnacle of his work.

It would be foolish to miss out on owning this box set.

Related stories: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly - full review

The special features in full:

A Fistful Of Dollars
Audio Commentary by Sir Christopher Frayling;
A New Kind of Hero documentary on Sergio Leone;
A Few Weeks In Spain- Clint Eastwood on making the film;
Not Ready for Primetime - Monte Hellman discussion on the prologue;
Cinque Voci - Three friends remember Leone;
The Lost Prologue - Prologue shot in the 1970’s with Harry Dean Stanton;
Restoration, Italian Style - John Kirk on restoring the film;
Location Comparisons - Intercutting film clips with current footage of locations shot to music;
Ten Radio Spots;
Double Bill Trailer - A rare trailer of A Fistful Of Dollars and A Few Dollars More
Collector’s Gallery

For A Few Dollars More
Audio Commentary by Sir Christopher Frayling;
A New Standard - Sir Christopher Frayling on Sergio Leone;
Back For More - Clint Eastwood taking about the sequel;
Tre Voci - Three friends remember Leone;
The Original American Release Version - Featurette on alternate scenes and releases;
Double Bill Trailer - A rare trailer of A Fistful Of Dollars and A Few Dollars More;
Restoration Italian Style - John Kirk on restoring the film;
Location Comparisons - Intercutting film clips with current footage of locations set to music;
Radio Spots;
Collector’s Gallery;
Original Theatrical Trailer

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Leone’s West - documentary on the making of the film with Eastwood and Wallach, and producer Alberto Grimaldi;
Leone’s Style - documentary on the impact of Leone’s Spaghetti Western phenomenon with Eastwood, Wallach, Grimaldi and genre expert and historian, Richard Schickel;
The Man Who Lost the Civil War - documentary into the background of the setting of the film;
An audio commentary with genre expert and film historian, Richard Schickel;
Restoring The Good The Bad and The Ugly - featurette on reconstruction and re-recording of audio tracks;
The Secorro Sequence: A Reconstruction - an animated gallery of missing sequences with stills and footage;
Never-before-scene extended Tuco Torture scene, which was dropped from all theatrical versions;
Il Maetsro featurette featuring Variety music critic on the creation of Ennio Morricone's unforgettable score;
Il Maestro Part 2 - audio featurette offering an extended insight into Morricone’s music;
French trailer which includes clips deleted from the final version;
4 Easter eggs

Click here to find out more about the Spaghetti Western Collection!

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