“A Fistful of Dynamite” is Sergio Leone’s strangest and most personal Western

Duck-You-Sucker-1-1200x675I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the TV listings. At 2:05 a.m., TBS was airing a movie called “A Fistful of Dynamite,” a Sergio Leone Western I had never heard of. When Clint Eastwood Week would come around every six months on Denver’s local UHF channel I would dutifully watch all three Man With No Name movies, and I had later discovered the epic “Once Upon a Time in the West.”

But “A Fistful of Dynamite”? What was that?

I wasn’t sure what to make of the movie when I first came across it almost 30 years ago (and, given the start time, probably didn’t make it that far into before nodding off). Rod Steiger as a sort of Tuco knockoff, chewing up the scenery with glee. James Coburn with a soft brogue as an ex-IRA bomber looking to ply his trade in the Mexican Revolution. The tone was jaunty, yet melancholy at the same time, perhaps the slowest paced film that also features huge explosions.

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“Slow West”: Oh give me a home, where the kiwi roam

slowwest

“Slow West” is now playing on DirecTV and on video-on-demand. R, 1:24, three and a half stars out of four.

The movie is filmed in New Zealand, starring two Australian actors and an Irish actor, and was written and directed by a Scotsman.
So, of course, “Slow West” is a Western.

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