Movie Project #43: For a Few Dollars More [1965]

Due to the surprising success of my initial Movies Project, I decided to do a part two for 2012. This time around I put a greater emphasis on directors I am not familiar with, but I also tried to compile a mix of different genres and eras. This will be an ongoing project with the finish date being sometime this year.

For a Few Dollars More [1967]

For a Few Dollars More [1967]
Director: Sergio Leone
Genre: Western
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Gian Maria Volonté
Running Time: 132 minutes

I didn’t hear what the bet was.
Your life.

For a Few Dollars More is the second film in Sergio Leone’s famous Dollars trilogy. I wrote about the first in the series, A Fistful of Dollars, earlier this year, and my initial plan was to watch both films back-to-back. This didn’t happen, but no matter — it was great to come back to the trilogy with a few months perspective.

For a Few Dollars More [1965]

Clint Eastwood once again stars as the “Man with No Name”, though he is referred to by others as Manco (meaning “one-handed/one-armed”). Manco is a bounty hunter who is pursuing El Indio (Gian Maria Volonté), a ruthless bastard who is also one of the most wanted fugitives in the west. After running into Colonel Douglas Mortimer (aka “The Man in Black” played by Lee Van Cleef), another bounty hunter who is chasing El Indio, the two men decide they have a better chance to take down the fugitive and his goons by working together. Their partnership is shaky at best, as evidenced by their introduction in which they shoot each other’s hats (an amusing and effective scene), but they have a mutual respect for each other.

While A Fistful of Dollars relied solely on Eastwood, For a Few Dollars More focuses on this unlikely partnership. Eastwood is at his best here, as the poncho-wearing, cigar-chomping Manco, but Van Cleef is just as good, if not better. It’s a lot of fun watching these two legends play off each other, each one slyly trying to one-up the other. Volonté makes a formidable villain, brilliantly playing a nasty shell of a man, one who we learn more about thanks to a couple of flashback scenes. By the end, you will undoubtedly want to see him get his comeuppance.

For a Few Dollars More [1965]

All of the familiar traits from Sergio Leone are on display here — wide, panoramic landscapes, extreme close-ups, and an unforgettable score from Ennio Morricone. On the flip side, the poor voice dubbing is again noticeable and even distracting at times. No matter how many films of this manner I have seen, the dubbing takes some time to get used to.

In many ways, For a Few Dollars More builds upon what its predecessor set out to do. Seeing “The Man with No Name” team up with another bounty hunter adds an intriguing element to Leone’s Spaghetti Western, and the sheer star power of Eastwood, Van Cleef and Volonté is a sight to behold. It’s undeniably a great film, but perhaps its strongest asset is that it set the groundwork for the biggest and best entry in the trilogy: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.



18 thoughts on “Movie Project #43: For a Few Dollars More [1965]

  1. The Heretic says:

    I love the Dollars trilogy. Once Upon A Time in the West would’ve been the final chapter to the entire series, but Eastwood and the Italian actor didn’t want to do it.

    • Eric says:

      I think Once Upon a Time in the West may be my favorite Western from that era. Although it would have been great to see Eastwood and Leone pair up again, I’m glad that we got to see Henry Fonda play the villain instead.

    • Eric says:

      It really was a lot of fun seeing Van Cleef and Eastwood together. Looking forward to revisiting The Good, The Bad & The Ugly now that I have seen the others as well.

  2. Chris says:

    Love the whole trilogy, and the acting is indeed great. The only thing that confused me in this sequel was the odd casting decision for the same actor(Gian Maria Volonté) who played the main villain in For a Few Dollars More, played a different villain in the first film A Fistful of Dollars? For a while I thought it was the same character, but looking on imdb they have different names, Ramón Rojo, and El Indio.

    It’s cool that Tarantino has Ennio Morricone on board for the soundtrack to Django Unchained, can’t wait to hear what that sounds like.

    • Eric says:

      Somehow I didn’t hear that about Morricone and Django. That’s awesome!

      One thing I liked about the Dollars trilogy was seeing the same characters play different actors. Volonte made for a great villain both times.

  3. SDG says:

    I think it was labour day when I sat down and saw all three together. Maybe it was because I was sitting in front of TV for like 11 hours but I thought Good, Bad, Ugly to be little too long. This one probably has better value for its length. Probably Good, Bad, Ugly is still the best of the three but this is my favourite of the trilogy.

    • Eric says:

      Haha, I would have probably been burnt out by the third movie, too. I tried to do the Godfather trilogy in one day but ended up stopping after the second. Probably for the best 😉

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