Parents' Guide to

A Fistful of Dollars

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Guns galore in intro "spaghetti Western" serving.

Movie R 1964 102 minutes
A Fistful of Dollars Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 16+

Common sense missplaced this movie!!! This is a R Rated movie and it is ridiculous that is catalogued as rated as 11 years old. I watched this movie and it's bloody and violent. This is not for kids. Please check the movie, it deserves +16 rating. This is not Marvel neither Batmans or Harry Potter. It's more violent and bloody. And some of thoses movies are rated higher than 11 hear. Common place missplaced for error, sure
age 11+

A great Leone primer

When I was a kid it felt like Leone spaghetti westerns were on all of the time in the afternoon on Saturdays or Sundays. I remember trying to watch them because there was nothing else on and feeling as if they were the most difficult films to watch because they were sooooooo sloooooooow. I was 7 and bored. Now I love the crap out of these soooo sloooow films and revel in their deliberateness. A Fistful of Dollars feels cheesier to me than I remember but maybe it's my giddy anticipation of A Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly that makes me more excited about this film. Also, it's Leone's version of Yojimbo and it very much shows.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (29 ):

There's no shortage of violence and guns here. In the 1960s, Italians, Spanish, Germans, and even Israelis started making their own Westerns, sticking to the classic iconography of gun duels, saloons, and desperadoes on horseback, but without the censorship codes of Hollywood. In the case of Italian director Sergio Leone, there was not just an elevated level of violence, but also a then-groundbreaking filmmaking style, with an emphasis on long, tense close-ups of the actors' faces, widescreen camera compositions, and hauntingly unusual music by Ennio Morricone. Westerns had been jokingly called "horse operas" before. Leone made them something close to real opera, and his style was much imitated.

It also helped that Leone was recommended the lean, little-regarded young actor Eastwood to play his recurring unnamed hero (Morricone originally wanted Henry Fonda or James Coburn), triggering another illustrious career. Though he doesn't come across as all that horrible these days, The Man With No Name was so disturbing to American tastes that when A Fistful of Dollars first aired on U.S. television, the studio hastily shot a prologue (with an Eastwood stand-in with his back to the camera) to explain that he's got a higher purpose than profit -- he's really an undercover lawman being sent on a mission to clean up the town, by guile and stealth. That little addition is missing from the home-video release versions of A Fistful of Dollars. Instead there's just a scrap of incidental dialogue to indicate that the gunslinger empathizes deeply with the victims in San Miguel, not the victimizers.

Movie Details

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