A Fistful of Dollars Prologue

Posted by Chasman on July 05, 1998 at 08:44:58:

Since the FISTUL OF DOLLARS prologue has come up for discussion, I thought it would be a good idea to re-post the dialogue, so that everyone knows what the hell we're talking about. This comes from an audio cassette from the first ABC airing sometime in the 70's. I may have missed a small word or two, as there's a hum from the televsion set and there's one sentence where Harry Dean Stanton runs his words together. So my apologies for any
errors.

The Man is taken from a jail cell to what I have in the past assumed to be the Warden's office. It has occured to me that there is no indication, just from listening, that he's the Warden. And now I notice that there is a line that strongly suggests he might be something else.

Stanton does all talking and there are pauses in his monologue, but it would be tedious to note them all. So here's what he says:  "Sit down. They tell me you can read. Good, you'll know what that is. That pardon is yours if you do a job for us. No, just listen. You got two choices. One, you spend the rest of your life in this hole; two, you can do what I tell ya. Do you know a town San Miguel?(note: this is the sentence where he runs his words together). It's about 3 days ride south, just across the border. The town is a hell-hole. Two gangs have moved in and taken over. The town's people are slaves to them. And they're trading guns and whiskey across the border to the Apaches. I want the place cleaned out and I don't care how you do it. Chances are you'll get yourself killed. Fact is, there's little doubt of it. The two gangs are at each other's throats all the time, but one thing they do get together on and that's how they handle strangers that come into their town. They kill them, no questions. I've lost seven men in as many months. But I want the place cleaned out, do you understand? Good. One more thing. They may be trading with the calvary, gold for guns. So don't count on anyone trying to get you out. See if that gun of yours can pull you out of this one. You've got 60 days. After that we come gunning for ya. You'll be treated like any other escaped prisoner. Shot on sight. Your horse and gun are waiting for you at the main gate."

So there you have it. Draw your conclusions first and your pistols second.

Webmasters Note: It was brought to my attention that some clarification was needed on this issue. The above scene was one filmed by the ABC television station. It was included at the beginning of the film to give moral reasoning to some of Eastwood's actions in the film. The scene starred Harry Dean Stanton (as noted above) with various close ups of Eastwood from later segments of the film edited in. The scene, as is my understanding, was only shown once on television and was not directed by Sergio Leone. It was an illegitimate scene added into the film. Probably against Leone's wishes as well.