A Fistful Of Dynamite

A Fistful Of Dynamite

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Nick Jones

Read Nick Jones's film review of A Fistful Of Dynamite

To be seen on British TV screens for the first time with its original title - the unimaginative Duck, You Sucker - Sergio Leone's last western has arrived in its most complete form ever. The liberal use of the F word, the previously hidden rape scene and many other deletions are all intact, bringing us as close to his intended finished article as we are ever likely to get.

Whilst the newly included scenes add depth to the plot and we gain more understanding of the characters' motivations, it could be argued that they also make an already long film teeter on the brink of tedium. But for true Leone fans, this new release will be like the gold that Juan and Sean dreamed of finding at Mesa Verde. Not only does it give them more movie for their money, but also benefits from an excellent restoration, based on the Italian negative of the full version. James Coburn's teeth have never looked so white.

Copy picture

The commentary is arguably more rewarding than the film itself. Sir Christopher Frayling, official biographer of Leone, provides superb insights into every detail of what we see on screen and also tells fascinating and amusing tales of what happened off it, such as Rod Steiger and Leone's continual disagreements on set and Leone's alleged reluctance to have anything to do with the film in the first place. The story goes that United Artists bullied him into producing it, then after one day of filming, Steiger and Coburn demanded that he direct it as well, which puts an interesting angle on what appears to be a very personal piece of work, reflecting Leone's newfound sense of disillusionment and his political preoccupations.

The second disc provides additional value to the collector. Various documentaries take us further behind the scenes, one of which interviews screenwriter Sergio Donati about the myth of revolution.

As well as the original trailers, radio spots and photo gallery, there is also the Location Comparison feature, which juxtaposes scenes filmed in Italy, Spain and Ireland with snapshots of their modern condition. Surely, at this point, they're just filling space.

Reviewed on: 25 Apr 2005
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A Fistful Of Dynamite packshot
A Mexican bandit and an ex-IRA explosives expert are drawn into the Mexican revolution.
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Product Code: 10005397

Region: 2

Ratio: 2.35 Anamorphic Wide Screen

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Audio commentary by Leone biographer Sir Christopher Frayling; The Myth Of Revolution documentary; Sergio Donati remembers Duck, You Sucker; Once Upon A Time In Italy featurette; Sorting Out The Versions: an analysis of Duck, You Sucker; location comparisons; radio spots; trailer.

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