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For a Few Dollars More [Blu-ray]
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58 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2003
For A Few Dollars More is, in my opinion, by far the best of the "Man With No Name" trilogy! In "A Fistful of Dollars," director Sergio Leone bowled the viewers over with Clint Eastwood's character being a gruff gunslinger of few words and lots of action. In this sequel Eastwood's character has a lot more depth and even a little bit of humor. I am highly impressed with the script and acting in this particular film, especially in comparison with its predecessor. One can even consider it funny but useful that a few of the villains from the first film that were quite dead at the end of that one, are back now with new names! Magnificent performances by both Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef serve to enhance this movie's style.
The premise:
This movie has a wonderful beginning as we are introduced to Lee Van Cleef's character while he's in the performance of his role of a bounty killer. We are then treated to the reintroduction of Clint Eastwood's character, which actually does have the name of Monco, while he is taking care of his business as a bounty killer as well. Once the director has shown these two acts, he deftly shows how they end up on the same path as they both find out that they can score it big by killing Gian Maria Volonte's character, Indio and his gang. From there, we're taken to El Paso where the film's intrigue and suspense kick into high gear as both Eastwood and Van Cleef's characters meet.
If you've never seen this movie or its predecessor, I highly suggest you check these movies out as they're basically the mold for many of the westerns that followed. Prior to this movie and "A Fistful of Dollars," westerns were much tamer, which lends to the popularity of these movies which have a lot more grit and realism to them.
Special Features:
Just like "A Fistful of Dollars" this movie is jam packed with hours and hours of special features, documentaries etc... This DVD is all about what it's supposed to be, the movie! It does include a great theatrical trailer and an exceptional 8 page booklet that gives a lot of great information about the movie and the people involved. {ssintrepid}
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Federico Fellini is often credited as "the Greatest Italian Director." For me, however, Sergio Leone earned those laurels. More than deSica or Fellini, Leone's movies were Italian to the core: Grandiose, operatic, melodramatic, full of vendetta and vengeance. The irony is that Leone's most memorable movies took place not in Rome, the Abruzzi mountains or Sicily, but in the Old West.
With his epic "Once Upon a Time in the West" and "The Man With No Name" trilogy, Leone not only resuscitated the Western genre, but set a new standard. His first Western, "A Fistful of Dollars," was basically a retelling of Akira Kurosawa's "Yojimbo"; a Samurai tale transplanted south of the border in old Mexico. With "For a Few Dollars More," Leone really opens up as a screenwriter and director. Gone is the claustrophobic town of "Fistful," replaced by the full sweep of the great American Southwest (for which the drier regions of Spain provide a reasonable facsimile for those of us who know that Tucumcari is hardly so dry and El Paso nary as mountainous).
Leone also begins staking out his territory as director with this one, too. "For a Few Dollars More" bears more traces of Cecil B. deMille than Kurosawa, as Leone starts trending toward an epic production that reaches full fruition in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and "Once Upon A Time in the West." However, Leone's *style* of Western could never be confused with John Ford -- rather, it hearkens back to the more violent moments found in Westerns such as "Winchester '73" (Anthony Mann), "High Noon" (Fred Zinnemann) and "Rio Bravo" (Howard Hawks), and looks forward to the gritty, realistic violence from directors influenced by Leone, such as Sam Peckinpah, Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese.
"For a Few Dollars More" is a tale of three men, and their respective missions: Indio, played by the great Gian Maria Volonte, is a sadistic, psychotic, killer and bank robber. His performance reminds me of Toshiro Mifune's best roles -- big, tough, and foreboding. Clint Eastwood plays one of the men who try to hunt Indio down, a bounty killer named "Manco," reprising his role from "Fistful" as a mercenary for hire who plays by rules from his own book. But it's Lee Van Cleef as Colonel Douglas Mortimer who really steals the show. If you think Clint's squinty-eyed visage fills men with fear, then you ain't seen Van
Cleef -- his eyes are steely, intelligent, intense; you can tell when Mortimer has somebody's number that he isn't bluffing.
The opening scenes set up the story beautifully: Indio and his gang are planning a big robbery at the Bank of El Paso and both Manco and Mortimer have set out to round up the bad guys. After a couple barroom scenes establishing the bounty killers' credentials as ice-cold killers, Manco and Mortimer pair off in a battle of wits, a showdown during nightfall in the streets of El Paso.
After proving to each other what deadly accurate shots they are, Mortimer proposes they team up to go after Indio and his gang, backed up by the realistic observation: "When two hunters go after the same prey, they usually wind up shooting each other in the back."
So working "one on the inside" (Clint) and "one on the outside" (Van Cleef), the two manouever Indio and his gang after they dynamite the bank and steal the safe. The scenes on the streets of Agua Caliente (Spanish for "Hot Water," which Manco and Mortimer will soon be in) are eerily silent. Indio' gang has free rein in the town, the hoofbeats of their horses a harbinger to windows slamming shut on the whitewashed adobe houses.
Though Clint plays a wise guy, over the course of the movie he discovers wisdom beyond his own years in the person of Mortimer. Clint may be cool, but never as cool-headed as Van Cleef, who sees through all of Clint's ruses and double-crosses. Van Cleef rides them out, cutting Clint way too much slack it seems. But by the final scene, a showdown between Mortimer and Indio, all the patience and faith Mortimer has invested in Manco pay off. For the showdown is rigged entirely in Indio's favour, but -- having learned a thing or two at the feet of a real man of integrity -- Manco shows up to make the playing field even for Mortimer. It's a beautiful scene, to see that Manco has dropped his cynical pose and accepted Col. Mortimer as a father figure.
The quintessential Leone Western (I won't degrade it by calling it a "Spaghetti Western"), "For a Few Dollars More" is filmed and cut a lot tighter than "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," though it still comes out over two hours long. Ennio Morricone's soundtrack really melds seamlessly with the action onscreen. Morricone was to Leone as the great composer Bernard Herrmann was to Alfred Hitchcock: Leone's movies were only 60 per cent complete before Morricone laid down tracks just as pungent and larger-than-life as the story and actors on the screen. Today's composers, who are so busy trying to write "understated" scores for today's boring fare, could learn a thing or two from the beautifully bombastic Morricone.
The DVD widescreen presentation is much better than the fullscreen VHS. However, the colours are pretty washed out. I understand that MGM/UA has restored "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"; I hope "For a Few Dollars More" is slated as well for restoration or preservation.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 1999
A great presentation,lovely quality,well packaged.But why didnt they use a uncut trasfer?The scene where Eastwood and Lee-Van-Cleef,are beaten up.Is not complete.Check out the Laser disc version.Perhaps if enough people complain,they can rectify this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 15, 2012
There is much discussion elsewhere on this film in terms of plot summary, meaning, and value so I won't get into that. My reviews are strictly regarding the transfer from Standard Definition to Blu Ray. I did not have the Standard Def version so this is not a comparison between the two.

I've given this movie 4 stars because it is a good film....it would be 2 stars based upon the quality of the Blu Ray transfer alone.

When I first put in the DVD I went to 'Set Up' as always. You are given a choice between the original mono mix and the DTS HD 5.1. I went with the DTS tho that might have been an error on my part. It is also the first time I discussed the audio transfer prior to the video. The audio clearly was not given much of a remix. Rather the editors simply would pan to the front left or right depending upon who was providing the dialogue and where they were on the front stage. The audio pans were very obvious as the volume would also jump at the pan for a moment. While the movie score, so famous by now, was decently spread across the front channels, there was literally no use of the LFE channel except for one small moment when they blow up the bank. Otherwise, your sub will be sleeping through the movie. The rear channels were very rarely used. If I am wrong, and they really did remix the audio, it must be the worst case of mixing I have ever heard. On a positive note, the dialogue was, for the most part, clean and clear and the audio levels balanced.

The film starts with a lone horseman being shot off his horse as the opening credits come on. When I first saw this, I thought I was in trouble because there was a ton of grain in the picture as well as banding and wavering in the sky and desert. However, as soon as the credits were completed and the rest of the movie began, the imaging cleared up substantially. While this 1965 film retains some of that old film grain, I did not find it intrusive and I saw no artifacting or aliasing for the rest of the film. That is, until the very final scene where Clint is taking the bodies back to town as the final credits appear. Then the grain grew larger but not as bad as the opening scene.

Since I do not have the Standard Def version I can't make a recommendation that this is better than the Standard Def , but experience tells me that if you have the Standard Def version that this Blu Ray will not be that much of an upgrade.

All my movie reviews are of this nature and focus only on the quality of the transfer to BluRay so check them and see if they are of help as well.
Hopefully, this review has been of some help to you in determining your purchase, hope I am on the correct path with a review of the transfer quality as opposed to providing plot summaries.
Thanks
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2000
Yes - I know it's dubbed, etc. But something bad has happened to this film's transfer to DVD. The speech is so far out of synchronisation from the video that it is almost unwatchable. I have a VHS version of this film and the problem does not exist there. I also have DVDs of 'Fistful of Dollars' & 'Good, Bad & The Ugly', they don't suffer from the same problem. Can MGM (or somebody) get this sorted out?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2001
Few times in film history will you see a sequel that truly improves upon the original. This is one of those movies. Maybe it's because For A Few Dollars More is less a sequel and more a completely new realization of the Man with No Name. Certainly Eastwood is playing the same character, but otherwise this film has no connection to it's predecessor. Another reason may happen to be Sergio Leone. In "A Fistful of Dollars" the Italian maestro was just getting his feet wet. Playing around with the conventions of the genre. He made mistakes, but he was just warming up.
With A Few Dollars More, Leone has worked out the growing pains. There is an obvious effort to pull back from the overindulgent, over stylized and generally bombastic tendencies that occasionally reared up in Fistful. This time the film is expertly crafted througout and shades more on the subtle side. Leone's cinematography is even more enveloping, backed by an even richer score by Ennio Morricone. They seem to have perfected things here. There are so many moments here that just overflow with tension, it's hard to say which is best. But I must say that rarely has a score been so well used than in the melodic strains from a simple, gold pocket watch.
Then there are the performances. Not only are they just as big as Sergio style, it's hard to imagine any one else in these roles. Eastwood is just as fantastic as he was in the first film, even if his role is just a bit smaller. Lee Van Cleef's rival bounty hunter manages to be just as intimadating as Eastwood while creating a very different character. Both are very much different sides of the same coin. And the steely gaze from these men's eyes would make most men shake in their boots. There psyche out showdown is truly a battle of the superheavyweights.
Not to be overshadowed here is an absoulutely amazing performance from Gian Maria Volonte. His El Indio is a character working on so many psyschological levels, you can't help but be equal parts enthralled and terrified. Valonte seems fully unleashed here, a marked contrast to his much more cliched sort of villian in "A Fistful of Dollars". Unfortunately this talented actor is almost completely unknown to American audiences.
Woven together here is one of the greatest westerns ever produced. Some may call it to slow, but if you can allow yourself to get into this in a more cereberal way, I think you will find an amazingly rich film. Certainly a much darker one. A few logic leaps aside, I can find few faults here. The first two track downs and kills by the two bounty hunters are worth the price alone. So Get this and appreciate it if you love westerns. Appreciate it more if you simply love great filmmaking.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2001
This was the middle one, and is my personal favourite. It's deeper and more interesting than 'Fistful' and less overblown than 'The Good etc', and it has Lee Van Cleef as the coolest western gunfighter ever (looking as if he has stepped out of 'The Matrix' in a flowing black cape and 'guns, lots of guns'). It's the standard Leone stuff - gunfights, over-the-top stylisation, bizarre Ennio Morricone soundtrack - but it's done really, really well, and the final gunfight to the tune of a pocket watch is a classic. Everything is hyper-real, from the close-ups, to the personal soundtracks of the main players, even to the dubbing which actually helps the film's symbolic atmosphere, and it's light-years away from 'Rio Lobo'. Shame that the DVD offers nothing apart from a trailer, though.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2006
Despite the legendary status afforded "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly", "For a Few Dollars More" is considered by some to be the best of the Leone/Eastwood collaborations. This film certainly lacks the epic scope of that more famous picture, but the more limited focus is in many ways truer to the roots of the "Spaghetti Western" genre Leone popularized.

The little touches that defined Leone's revision of the classic Western are everywhere and ably serve to draw the viewer into his world. Ennio Morricone's score is an evolutionary predecessor to his better known work on the later film in the "Man with No Name" trilogy- and just as good. The bleak and desolate nature of the landscape is only emphasized by stylistic cinematography; Extreme longshots juxtaposed with full frame faces are a Leone trademark used to great effect. And those faces themselves are a distinctive touch; Hollywood casting agents would faint if they saw so many rough hewn, authentically sun-baked mugs in a studio picture.

What makes this movie stand out though is the performance of Lee Van Cleef in a rare "good guy" role. Van Cleef's performance as Colonel Douglas Mortimer is all the more difficult because he must play the older, wiser counsel to Clint Eastwood's younger bounty-killer, while at the same time being a credible rival to Eastwood's Manco. Ultimately, the two craft a warm, almost sweet relationship between their characters that is all the more notable when contrasted to the Blondie/Tuco relationship in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly". The antagonism in that film would have been believable in "Dollars", but the film ultimately works better as it is.

In the end, "For a Few Dollars More" is more rewatchable than the experimental "Fistfull" and the epic (in plot and running time) "Good, Bad, Ugly". No mean feat considering the place those two films rightly have in the pantheon of motion pictures.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2006
Reading up on this movie, it seems that For a Few Dollars More has been somewhat neglected by critics and fans, occupying the position it does as the middle child of the unofficial Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood epic Spaghetti Western trilogy. That's a crying shame, as For a Few Dollars More may not be the best of those three movies, but it does strike a near-perfect balance between the attributes of its series mates. It's certainly more complex and ambitious than its predecessor A Fistful of Dollars, but at the same time faster-paced and more focused than the following The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. That said, these three movies are still more alike than different, as all are linked by more than just the imposing presence of Clint Eastwood: their blunt depictions of violence, compromised protagonists, and general lack of redeeming social value all stand out as common themes. All three entries in the Leone/Eastwood trilogy were characterized by a cynical mood laden with gallows-humor dialogue, and this one is no exception, as the good guys aren't too good and the bad guys are really, really, really bad. Sure, a movie as stark and amoral as this one will probably be offputting to many, but for those seeking a testosterone-laden, violent ride it should fit the bill quite nicely. That's not to say For a Few Dollars More is some mindless action flick like the kind Hollywood so often turns out, though, as the movie's ambiguous characterizations, perpetually twisting plot, and grandiose direction and cinematography all work against such a label. Expansive scenes of a mountainous, desolate American West (yes, I know this movie wasn't *really* filmed in the U.S, but whatever) coexist with tense, harrowing standoffs and the kind of explosive, tightly filmed gun battles that are the staple of pretty much any western. And of course, there's Ennio Morricone's dramatic score to accentuate every important scene.

None of this would matter much, however, if the movie weren't populated with interesting characters, but fortunately For a Few Dollars More presented us with the kind of roles that helped create archetypes that persist even today (without actually giving in to archetypes themselves). I've watched tons of action movies, westerns, and crime dramas in my day, and seen dozens of characters in them who showed traces of this movie's two protagonists. Most of the movie's action centers around its two sharply contrasting bounty killers: a fearless, self-seeking loner (Eastwood as the Man With No Name) who seems to leave people either dead or running away wherever he goes; and a grizzled elder statesman (Lee Van Cleef as Colonel Douglas Mortimer) whose steely glare and deadly accurate shot are matched by his prudence and experience to create what may be the ultimate killing machine (okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but not by much).

After separately arriving in an out-of-the-way Texas town Eastwood and Van Cleef sort of orbit around each other for a while, but when they do run into each other their initial confrontation easily makes for one of the most memorable scenes in the movie, a sizing up that ends with a brilliantly filmed game of pistol-shooting oneupsmanship in a moonlit town square. However, that initial unpleasantness aside, the two soon realize their interests may converge as they both pursue the rewards for a band of murderous thieves led by the certifiable El Indio. For his part, Gian Maria Volante nearly steals the show as El Indio, as his character's almost cartoonishly greedy and vicious, but simultaneously intelligent, calculating, and even somewhat comtemplative at times. El Indio isn't the only obstacle the two main characters have to deal with, either: the working relationship between Eastwood's character and Colonel Mortimer is filled with mutual distrust, and they'll have to overcome each other's double-dealings and manipulations as well as El Indio's crazed gang in order to get what they want. In spite of their suspicions, though, Eastwood and Van Cleef's characters aren't entirely different: both make their livings killing people, and so clearly aren't paragons of virtue, but at the same time they both have a certain sense of honor that clearly separates them from the likes of those they hunt.

So, to sum up: For a Few Dollars More is a great movie, and it deserves more attention than it's gotten. I can't imagine anyone who enjoyed A Fistful of Dollars and/or The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly not liking this one.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2006
For A Few Dollars More is one of my favorite movies. The story is tight, lightning fast and the all of the actors are on top of their games. Clint Eastwood plays a hardened bounty hunter who has half a notion to settle down and runs into some competition from Lee Van Cleef while searching for the big fish of bandits, a vicious pyschopath named Indio.

Lee Van Cleef had the coldest stare ever captured on film and when he fixes his eyes on the wanted poster of Indio you just know this is going to be a fight to the death. As for Indio, from the first moment you see him in half shadow lying in a jail cell, it's obvious that he's a certified official Bad Guy. Indio enjoys killing people and he enjoys money but nothing really compares to the apparently greatest moment of his life -- a murder and rape. The only thing he treasures is a gold pocket watch that he took from the scene. When Indio opens that watch and thinks back to the woman he "lost" watch out because there will be a killing in the next few minutes. As the movie makes clear, there are three basic rules for dealing with Indio: 1. Don't ask any questions. 2. Leave the room when he starts fondling the watch and 3. Send your wife and kid to her mother's place in the next state if you think Indio might be stopping by for a drink.

The interplay between Clint and Lee Van Cleef is very well done. This is the one and only time in the Man With No Name trilogy that Clint comes across a man who is his equal in shooting, cleverness and drive. There are a number of shocking twists and turns and it all reaches a huge climax in a shoot out in a dusty street. There is great tragedy in this movie and quite a bit of humor. This is one of those movies that you can watch over and over again and not get tired of.
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