Many successful movie franchises are based on already-popular characters or concepts. In addition, horror movie franchises do particularly well and animation franchises always find an audience, especially with families.
One movie franchise that seems to defy all these precedents is the Dollars Trilogy – also known as The Man With No Name Trilogy – made in the 1960s and starring Clint Eastwood. Comprised of three so-called “spaghetti Westerns” (because they were helmed by Italian director Sergio Leone, though mostly shot in Spain) this franchise is the highest-rated of all time according to an index based on scores on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.
The first movie in the trilogy, “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964), involves the lone gunfighter known as the Man with No Name brings peace through violent means to a Mexican border town beset by feuding gangs.
In the trilogy’s second movie, “For a Few Dollars” More (1965), the Man with No Name is a bounty hunter who kills criminals for a living. In the final film, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966), the Man with No Name has joined forces with a Mexican bandito working a con across the West, then finding themselves in the middle of the Civil War.
What is it about the Dollars Trilogy that has made it so successful? For one thing, the movies are all extremely well-made. They are visually stunning, and the directing, acting, and writing are all top-notch. Maybe even more important, though, is that the movies are all extremely entertaining – exciting, suspenseful, and just plain fun to watch.
This article was written with the assistance of A.I. technology, and has been edited and fact-checked by Colman Andrews.
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