Tagged: a fistful of dollars, sergio leone, spaghetti western, trial, Yojimbo
13 June 2012
Does anybody knows something about the trial?
Like where it was, when…
I know that Kurosawa has got the 100% receipts of “fistful” in Japan, Corea and Taiwan, plus 15% of world receipts, but I would like to know more information about the trial…
Does the Toho Company and the Jolly Film had to pay someone for “Arlecchino servo di due padroni” by Carlo Goldoni?
Sorry for my bad english, I hope you understand what I’m searching…
I’m talking about “yojimbo” and “fistful of dollars”
Hi Ciot! According to Galbraith (311-313), while the lawsuit was in progress for a year or so, the final outcome was the product of an out-of-court settlement, so no actual trial apparently took place.
I don’t think that anything came out of the claim about Arlecchino servo di due padroni, either. While I’m not familiar with the play, Galbraith calls the claim “shameless and absurd”. Are you familiar with the work?
I’m afraid that this is pretty much all I can think of. Maybe someone else here can add something?
16 June 2012
Thank you for the answer!
I have “Sergio Leone. Something To Do With Death” (the italian version), by Christopher Frayling, and he says that Leone’s advocates had accepted that the rights for “yojimbo” and “fistful” should have been paied to the heirs of Goldoni… maybe the end of this, is the out-of-court settlement, without any payment to the heirs of Goldoni (I hope…because is quite absurd).
In the “Arlecchino servo di due padroni” comedy there is Arlecchino that works for two masters, and the only thing he wants is to eat. There is also a “love theme” in the comedy, but the issue that catch the attention of Tonino Valerii (the man who had to search something for the counterclaim) and Leone’s advocates is the fact “to serve 2 masters for a personal gain”, like Sanjuro and Joe.
I don’t know anything more about the court case than is in the usual sources, but the last time I watched ‘Fistful of Dollars’, I was struck by how similar certain scenes were to Yojimbo. It seems to me that Leone did more than borrow the plot – he must have studied the film very closely.
Martinez doesn’t say much about the court case, but she does make some very interesting observations about the similarities between the films, not least that Leone seems to have spotted the religious and folkloric undertones to Yojimbo which evaded the notice of the films other western admirers.
18 June 2012
Ciot, Galbraith at least makes it sound like Leone’s representatives counter-argued about Yojimbo being based on Arlecchino servo di due padroni only to stall the legal proceedings.
19 June 2012
Ugetsu – you are correct that A Fistful of Dollars is in some instances a frame-by-frame remake. Nevertheless, it’s the only Kurosawa remake or adaptation that, to my mind, is as good a movie as the original. There are a few scenes I like better in Fistful than in Yojimbo (heresy, I know).
As I understand it, Leone contended that the studio or the producers — I forget which — assured him that they had obtained the rights to the original. That doesn’t absolve him of legal liability, but it wouldn’t shock me if it were the case.
21 June 2012
lawless, have you read this: http://stevemccutchen.wordpress.com/2009/07/29/the-men-with-no-name-yojimbo-vs-a-fistful-of-dollars/
He seems to agree!
Coco – No, I haven’t, but it does back me up both on the frame-by-frame remake and the artistic equality of the movies. I’d probably be more charitable to Fistful than he is, although it’s been a few years since I’ve seen it, but man, Clint Eastwood’s character is the epitome of the cool anti-hero. More so than Mifune’s.
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