Review: ‘A Fistful of Dynamite’

Sergio Leone comes up with a tale [co-penned with Sergio Donati] of the Mexican revolution. Rod Steiger plays a simple bandit who wants to rob a bank in a Mexican town but instead gets mixed up in a revolution in which he has no interest. He meets Coburn, a veritable storehouse of explosives on his person, and together they become involved in the peasants' revolt.

Sergio Leone comes up with a tale [co-penned with Sergio Donati] of the Mexican revolution. Rod Steiger plays a simple bandit who wants to rob a bank in a Mexican town but instead gets mixed up in a revolution in which he has no interest. He meets Coburn, a veritable storehouse of explosives on his person, and together they become involved in the peasants’ revolt.

Leone occasionally inserts a light touch but generally action which includes firing squads, much shooting, a bridge which troops are crossing blown up and a climaxing train collision are realistically portrayed. A paralleling note is offered via flashbacks through Coburn comparing some of his past experiences in the Irish Rebellion to events at hand, but procedure sometimes is clumsy.

[Reviewed above as Duck, You Sucker. Film’s English-language title was changed soon after to A Fistful of Dynamite. In the US pic was released in a 138-min. version.]

A Fistful of Dynamite

Italy

Production

Rafran/Euro International. Director Sergio Leone; Producer Fulvio Morsella; Screenplay Luciano Vincenzoni, Sergio Donati, Sergio Leone; Camera Giuseppe Ruzzolini; Editor Nino Baragli; Music Ennio Morricone; Art Director Andrea Crisanti

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1972. Running time: 157 MIN.

With

Rod Steiger James Coburn Romolo Valli Jean Michel Antoine Vivienne Chandler David Warbeck
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