Friday, 25 January 2013

For a Few Dollars More (1965)

Tom:
For a Few Dollars More,1965, Italy/Spain/West Germany
Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef & Gian Maria Volonté
Col. Douglas Mortimer: Any trouble, boy?
Monco: No, old man. Thought I was having trouble with my adding. It's all right now.

Sergio Leone's 'The Dollars Trilogy' is my personal favorite film trilogy of all time, while I love all three of the films I have always considered 'For a Few Dollars More' my least favorite. While I have seen both 'A Fistful of Dollars' and 'The Good, The Bad & The Ugly' dozens of times, I have never rewatched this film. Not because I think its a bad film in any way but I guess it just made the least impact on me. Yesterday I was able to pick up the Blu Ray very cheap so today I thought I would finally revisit 'For a Few Dollars More' to see If I could share the opinion of most people and call it my second favorite of the series.

The Man With No Name returns, this time with the moniker of Monco, who has taken up the life of Bounty hunter, but Monco's bounties are being taken by a new Bounty hunter known as Col. Douglas Mortimer. The two strike up a working relationship to catch the dreaded El Indio and his gang, but the two have very different agendas in mind.

After a rewatch, I believe I still consider this my least favorite of 'The Dollars Trilogy' but I can still definitely consider this a Great film in its own right. Sergio Leone is a master of cinema and 'For a Few Dollars More' is yet another shining example of that. This is an expertly crafted and incredibly atmospheric film experience and boast some of the most enthralling Cinematography in the Western genre. The film is superbly photographed by Cinematographer Massimo Dallamano who does an expert job of photographing the amazing landscapes of Spain and Italy.

Leone is absolutely brilliant at creating tension and a nail biting atmosphere, with the use of close ups, facial expressions and Ennio Morricone's amazing score, Leone can enthrall you like few other filmmakers can. Another film aspect that Leone specializes in is the climax, if film goers were to go and compile a list of the greatest climaxes in film history, I could guarantee at least four of Leone's would appear in the top 50. I may value this as the weakest film of the series, I can say that it has the second best climax. The last 15 minutes of the film is just complete cinematic greatness.

With this series, Ennio Morricone created     three uniquely terrific musical scores for all three films. His score for 'For a Few Dollars More' features his usual brilliance and only adds to the amazing experience. One of the things I love the most about this film, is the reoccurring musical motif from El Indio's stopwatch, every single time its used is just spell binding, especially during the climax.

The performances throughout this film are fantastic, Clint Eastwood is as enthralling and entertaining as ever reprising his iconic role as The Man With No Name. Lee Van Cleef is as terrific as always, its so fascinating to see him play a heroic character in this film in contrast to his villainous portrayal of Angel Eyes in the films ''sequel'' 'The God, The Bad & The Ugly', Van Cleef is just brilliant here. Gian Maria Volonté plays El Indio, the antagonist of the film, and plays the villainous role to perfection. I also got a kick out of seeing Film Legend Klaus Kinski play a small role in the film.

While I stated that I believe 'For a Few Dollars More' is the weakest of the series, I really do believe that it is still a great film and possibly one of the very best films of the Western Genre. Leone is a master of cinema and The Man With No Name is as iconic as film characters get.

****1/2

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