Starring: Clint Eastwood, Marianne Koch
Director: Sergio Leone
I can see why people regard Clint Eastwood as a badass. He's completely convincing as "The Stranger" (or Joe, as he's credited in this movie) in this awesome, very much action-packed, western. I've only seen two of Leone's westerns, but I've thoroughly enjoyed both of them. They're just really good - I don't think I like the "classic" era of westerns - the ones from the 50s and before - they're just not action-oriented like Leone's and seem to drag at certain points. So hooray for Leone for making me a fan of certain kinds of westerns.
Much like most westerns, the story is simple: Eastwood walks into a town and sees that there's two rival families vying for control - so he manipulates both families against each other to clean up the town. It's a great premise for lots of action and great shootouts. The Stranger has only what seems like noble reasons to shake down these two awful gangs. We're given no history or background, just that he's a man looking to make some money and dole out some justice. Eastwood is perfect in this flick - he certainly can play the enigmatic lone gunman well.
I just thought the whole movie flowed so nicely - the action scenes are engrossing and you're rooting alongside The Stranger as he outsmarts and outguns his enemies. I would not hesitate to recommend this one and am definitely going to be watching this one again sometime. It's even got me excited for the rest of the "Dollars Trilogy" by Leone!