For A Few Dollars More (1965) – REVIEW

by Jordache Wee

Original Italian Title: Per qualche dollaro in più
Release Date: November 18, 1965
Directed by: Sergio Leone
Music by: Ennio Morricone
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonté, Klaus Kinski

Colonel Douglas Mortimer (Lee van Cleef) and The Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood) are a pair of bounty hunters.

In the beginning they do not know each other until one day El Indio was busted out of prison with his gang help. In the same time, El Indio killed the man who made the key for El Paso’s safe. He gathered his gang members in a place not far away from El Paso.

In pursuit of “El Indio” (Gian Maria Volontè), one of the most wanted fugitives in the western territories, and his gang (one of whom is played by Kinski). Indio is a ruthless, intelligent man addicted to smoking cannabis. He has a musical pocketwatch that he plays whenever he wishes to kill someone.

“When the chimes finish, begin,” he says, and sure enough when the music stops he shoots his victim. Through flashbacks we learn that Indio’s pocketwatch (and perhaps cannabis addiction) originates from a young woman who killed herself while being raped by Indio, after Indio finds her with her lover and kills him out of jealousy.

Lee van Cleef as Col. Douglas Mortimer standing guard after shooting a couple of apples along with Manco

The film begins with Colonel Mortimer illegally stopping a train in Tucumcari in order to collect a bounty of $1000 on Guy Calloway (José Terrón). Mortimer’s gunslinging is displayed as he easily kills Guy Calloway from long distance.

After collecting the bounty he inquires about Red “Baby” Cavanagh (José Marco) who has a $2000 bounty, and was last seen in White Rocks. However he is a step behind the Man with No Name who finds Cavanaugh at a saloon playing 5 card draw poker.

The Man with No Name kills Cavanaugh and takes the bounty. Eastwood’s character is referred to by a lawman in Tucumcari as “Manco” (meaning one-armed in Spanish – see below for an explanation). Eventually, the two bounty hunters meet and team up to take down Indio.

Gian Maria Volontè as El Indio (the cannabis smoker)

Indio’s primary goal is to rob the Bank of El Paso and its safe containing “over half a million dollars”. Mortimer and Manco realize that Manco must join Indio’s gang during the robbery in order to “get him between two fires.” Manco is offered membership in the gang after rescuing one of Indio’s friends from prison.

When Indio robs the bank, he brings the gang (and the money) to a small border town, where Mortimer reunites with Manco. The two plan to steal the bank money from Indio, but the bandits catch them in the act and beat them severely. Indio, stoned on marijuana, releases the bounty hunters and informs his gang that they “got away”.

He does this with the intention of setting the gang against the bounty killers while he and an accomplice take all the loot for themselves. The next morning, Manco and Mortimer shoot down the gang, one by one, in the streets of the town, and then finally face Indio himself.

Indio shoots the gun out of Mortimer’s hand and takes out his pocketwatch and begins playing it. As the chimes end, Manco appears with a pocketwatch, playing the same tune as Indio’s, while holding a Winchester rifle at Indio. Mortimer looks into his pocket and finds his watch missing.

Clint Eastwood as Manco (along with his famous Poncho trademark)

“Now we start,” Manco announces, and sits while Mortimer and Indio face off. During the standoff, Manco looks down at the pocketwatch and sees a picture of the woman Indio raped. The music finishes and Mortimer guns down Indio.

At this juncture, Mortimer reveals that the woman in the pocketwatch is his sister. His revenge complete, he decides to take no part of the bounty.

Therefore, Manco takes it all, $27,000 worth. As he leaves, he recovers the money stolen from the bank of El Paso. He then rides off into the distance with a wagon full of the lifeless bodies of the entire gang tied to his horse.

Reviewer’s Notes:
The film is considered as the indirect  sequel to A Fistful Of Dollars for The Dollar Trilogy/ The Man With No Name Trilogy.

All of three were directed by Sergio Leone and starring Cleef and Eastwood together. A simple tale about bounty hunters and to show whose best in getting the bad guy and it also holds morale and respect and discipline and not to forget principles.


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