Review: Per Qualche Dollaro In Più (For A Few Dollars More, 1965)

clinteastwood

Personally, if someone shoots the tip of a cigarette out of my mouth I don’t think I’d keep smoking it. But, I’m not a pure BA like Eastwood, so that explains the difference!

Screenplay By: Fernando Di Leo, Sergio Donati, Sergio Leone & Luciano Vincenzoni
Directed By: Sergio Leone

Sergio Leone shows an upward trend with Per Qualche Dollaro In Più, and that trend will be repeated with Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo. With each film he builds upon what worked in the previous film, irons out the kinks and churns out a film a certain measure better than the previous. Per Qualche Dollaro In Più features the same themes and character types as Per Un Pugno Di Dollari, but every facet of Per Qualche Dollaro In Più is ramped up and refined that little bit extra to give it a boost so that it is a better work than its predecessor. You won’t find anything new in this picture, but you will find a continued trek towards excellence in the Spaghetti Western.

I’m sure I sound like a broken record in my reviews of Leone’s work, but once again Ennio Morricone has delivered a superb score, almost as renowned as The Ecstasy Of Gold. While it doesn’t quite reach those levels, it is still a fine piece of music, working with the film to build to the suspense, draw out the long moments and deliver great scene after great scene. I haven’t talked about the acting very much in any of my Leone reviews, and that’s not because it’s bad, but rather the main actors are all so perfect for their roles that they don’t need mentioning. In Per Qualche Dollaro In Più Clint Eastwood continues his ways as the deadly, but quiet man with no name. Lee Van Cleef brings a certain sensibility to Mortimer, a learned quality that isn’t usually present in the Leone films I have seen. Gian Maria Volontè is menacing and crazed as El Indio. No one ever stands out among the main stars in a Leone film, because they are so well suited to their roles.

Per Qualche Dollaro In Più is technically well crafted and like all Leone ventures, it is incredibly slick. Watching Leone’s work I can see where directors such as Quentin Tarantino developed their love for slick movie making. But, Leone remains in a class all by his own, because even in Tarantino’s best efforts you can see that he is trying to be slick. The same is not true of Leone, he knows how to make slick pictures effortlessly and that comes across in every film of his. The hat shooting scene between Eastwood and Van Cleef is a perfect example of this. There are still some minor problems present in Per Qualche Dollaro In Più, such as quick cuts, music cues being off the mark and some other things, but they are very minor and far less than what was present in Per Un Pugno Di Dollari. With Per Qualche Dollaro In Più you can see a marked improvement from Leone and everyone involved in the two projects.

There are so many great Westerns that one needs to watch, but I would definitely recommend the Man With No Name trilogy as a must see. Per Qualche Dollaro In Più is perhaps the most pivotal film in that trilogy, because while not as great as Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo it shows the progress Leone made from Per Un Pugno Di Dollari to the final film of his trilogy. Per Qualche Dollaro In Più is a fine piece of film making and another entry on the resume of Sergio Leone that I highly recommend.

Rating:

***1/2

Cheers,
Bill

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2 responses to “Review: Per Qualche Dollaro In Più (For A Few Dollars More, 1965)

  1. This is one of my favorite westerns. It’s really funny when the villain starts smoking a dooby and goes on a high after one puff. That always made me laugh. Regardless, Lee Van Cleef was great in both of is Leone appearances. Eastwood is so good in that stoic role of his, the vigilante and who brings justice in his own rough way.

    I have the trilogy at home (as well as A Fistful of Dynamite). I should re-visit them soon.

  2. They are definitely worth a revisit, and the more I watch Leone the more I realize he’s all about opening things up. Each of his films deal with opening up a part of the world, or at the least a part of his cinematic technique.

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