Variations on a theme: Yojimbo, A Fistful of Dollars and the ‘servant of two masters’

$32.95 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Or sign up for a free trial

Buy Article:



Sergio Leone's ‘spaghetti’ western A Fistful of Dollars (1964) is known to be in many respects a derivation from Akira Kurosawa's swordfighting film Yojimbo (1961), which in turns borrows from Dashiell Hammett's novel Red Harvest. But the two films have never to our knowledge been subjected to detailed comparison in relation to each other or to shared common origins. In this article we look at the known facts about Leone's ‘borrowing’ from Kurosawa and then compare the two films in respect of narrative similarity, character, genre attachment and ethical-cultural factors. We conclude that a very close narrative similarity goes hand-in-hand with substantial differences at other levels, and raise the more general question of the adaptability of a central narrative core to a wide variety of possible workings-out.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2004

More about this publication?
Related content



Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more