Rafael Jovine’s review published on Letterboxd:
AND SO DOES THE LEGEND BEGAN....
While Westerns been going around for almost four decades before this film, and we've seen the evolution of the genre, maturing and becoming something else, there's an argument to be made, "A Fistfull of Dollars" was THE MOVIE that redefine the genre to what we know and love today. Its revitionist take, with guts and violence, was what the genre needed. Seeing people gun down on those oldies and seeing not a splat of blood, looking back, its clear we needed the ultimate badass Wild Wild West outlaw and while Wayne was pretty good, hot take, but Eastwood outbeats EAAASILY John by a milestone.
Speaking of Clint, he seem so on his wheelhouse and looking forward to his movie "Unforgiven," between this feature and that one, its like a vicious circle was created and then closed. He embraces the role and basically becomes this mysterious figure that makes you want to champion for him.
Speaking of a genre-defining role, Ennio Morricone has found his way on a wide variety of genres, but by the end of the day its on Western where most of his more brilliant work lies. I love how the score actually evolves throughout this trilogy, here we can see a few glimpse to what would eventually become that bombastic score on The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. The whistles, the harmonica, everything adds to the sense of location and adventure.
All in all, a fantastic Western with an enthralling and wonderful score, great direction and awesome performances, whether you are or not of a fan of the genre, its simply impossible to not like at least a thing about it.