Monthly Archives: August 2014



As this is my 50th blog post, it seems appropriate for this to discuss the 50th anniversary of the Italian release of Sergio Leone’s A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS. Its release on 12 September 1964 marked the birth of the spaghetti western genre. Some outtakes have surfaced of the film’s making in Spain and Italy, from the archives of the Cineteca Di Bologna, which has been restoring Leone’s ‘Dollars’ trilogy. These aren’t the first outtakes from the film to have emerged, but they are perhaps the most interesting, for what they reveal about action filmmaking in Europe in the 1960s.

During the 11-week shooting schedule, the film was known as RAY EL MAGNIFICO in Spain and as IL MAGNIFICO STRANIERO in Italy. For the film’s eventual release, Leone settled on the title PER UN PUGNO DI DOLLARI, which became A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS in its English language publicity and promotional artwork – though the actual onscreen title on international prints is simply FISTFUL OF DOLLARS.

Fistful titles

I’ve written an overview of the behind the scenes extracts and outtakes, which you can read at the Spaghetti Western Database.

The behind the scenes clips can be seen here:

There’s much more about the making of A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and Leone’s other spaghetti westerns in my books ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE ITALIAN WEST, AIM FOR THE HEART: THE FILMS OF CLINT EASTWOOD and STAGECOACH TO TOMBSTONE: THE FILMGOERS’ GUIDE TO THE GREAT WESTERNS, all published by I.B. Tauris and available in stores and online as paperback, hardback and e-book.