Iconic Clint Eastwood western ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ dubbed in Navajo language

An older man dressed in a dark suit and tie and white shirt
Actor and filmmaker Clint Eastwood, shown in January 2020, starred in the 1960s western “A Fistful of Dollars.”
(Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)

An iconic western starring Clint Eastwood has been dubbed in the Navajo language.

The movie “A Fistful of Dollars” — or “Béeso Dah Yiníłjaa’” in Navajo — will be screened for free this month on or near the Navajo Nation reservation that extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

A premiere for the cast and crew is scheduled Nov. 16 at the movie theater in Window Rock, Ariz. Limited seats are available to members of the public who are vaccinated against COVID-19 and consent to a rapid test on-site.

The 1964 western is the third major film available in the Navajo language. “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope” was released in 2013, and “Finding Nemo” came out in 2016 as a way to preserve the Navajo language.

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Sergio Leone’s “A Fistful of Dollars.”

June 28, 2014


The Navajo version of “A Fistful of Dollars” was supposed to be released last year, but the coronavirus pandemic pushed it back. In the film, Eastwood plays a man with no name who enters a Mexican village amid a power struggle between families.

Navajo Nation Museum Director Manuelito Wheeler said a western film has been a popular request among Navajo elders.

“It only makes sense to make a movie for them, since they are the primary speakers of Navajo,” Wheeler said Wednesday. “I know they’ll have a great time watching it.”

The museum teamed up with the New York-based Kino Lorber film distribution company and the Indigenous-owned Native Stars Studios in Gallup, N.M., to dub the film. It features an all-Navajo cast of voice actors.