The Hollywood reboot machine, which continues to crank out new/old products for our enjoyment/derision, has turned its sights on the Spaghetti Western classic A Fistful of Dollars, starring Clint Eastwood (and presumably an invisible Barack Obama in every vacant chair that's in the same room as Clint Eastwood). Yes, we're apparently getting a Fistful of Dollars TV series from one of the Game of Thrones writers, who will have to try and restrain himself from introducing dragons and zombies into the sleepy border town of San Miguel.

While it might seem like a fool's errand to try and re-capture the magic of Sergio Leone's classic film, now is kind of a perfect time to remake A Fistful of Dollars, the story of two competing gangs whose violent capitalist ecosystem routinely punishes the weakened townspeople. It takes a lone badass moralist to expose how fragile this system of corruption truly is.

Famously, Leone cribbed much of the movie from Akira Kurosawa's Samurai classic Yojimbo starring Toshiro Mifune and no invisible U.S. presidents whatsoever.

While Kurosawa ended up suing Leone, he, too, seemingly borrowed the premise of Yojimbo from Dashiell Hammett's 1929 novel Red Harvest. The book similarly finds an anti-hero playing two rival gangs against each other, which some people have interpreted as "a denunciation of capitalism." Hammett, who also penned crime novels such as The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, was both a communist and an "anti-fascist activist" -- that's right, Hammett was friggin' Antifa.

So this story, possibly meant to take America's free-market down a peg, eventually became an iconic Western through what amounted to a game of intellectual property broken telephone. It will be hard for a story of a random nobody who gleefully disrupts the business of society's financial gatekeepers not to seem relevant right now.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter! And check out the podcast Rewatchability.

Top Image: MGM 

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