For a Few Dollars More
VIDEO of For A Few Dollars More
|For a Few Dollars More
(Per qualche dollaro in più)
|Directed by||Sergio Leone|
|Produced by||Alberto Grimaldi|
|Screenplay by||Luciano Vincenzoni
Sergio Donati (uncredited)
|Story by||Sergio Leone
Fernando Di Leo
Lee Van Cleef
Gian Maria Volontè
|Music by||Ennio Morricone|
|Edited by||Eugenio Alabiso
|Distributed by||PEA (Italy)
United Artists (US & UK)
|Box office||$15 million|
For a Few Dollars More (Italian: Per qualche dollaro in più) is a 1965 Italian spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Gian Maria Volontè. German actor Klaus Kinski also plays a supporting role as a secondary villain. The film was released in the United States in 1967 and is the second part of what is commonly known as the Dollars Trilogy, following A Fistful of Dollars and preceding The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Film historian Richard Schickel, in his biography of Clint Eastwood, believed that this was the best film in the trilogy, arguing that it was “more elegant and complex than A Fistful of Dollars and more tense and compressed than The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” Director Alex Cox considered the church scene to be “the most horrible deaths” of any Western, describing Volontè’s Indio as the “most diabolical Western villain of all time.”
The Man with No Name—“Monco”/”Manco”— and Colonel Douglas Mortimer—the “Man in Black”—are two bounty killers in pursuit of “El Indio,” one of the most wanted fugitives in the Wild West, and his gang. El Indio is ruthless, clever, and brutal. He has a musical pocketwatch that he plays before engaging in gun duels: “When the chimes finish, begin,” he says. Flashbacks reveal that El Indio took the watch from a young woman whom El Indio found with her lover (in Joe Millard’s novelization of the film, her newly wed husband), killed him, and raped her; she killed herself while being raped. There is a photograph of the woman inside the cover of the watch; it was a gift from her lover (in the novelization, it was a wedding gift from her brother).
Mortimer illegally stops a train in Tucumcari and kills Guy Calloway, displaying both his arsenal of weapons and his gunslinging skill as he easily kills Calloway at long range while the outlaw is shooting at him. After collecting a bounty of $1,000, Mortimer inquires about Red “Baby” Cavanagh, who has a $2,000 bounty on him and was last seen in White Rocks. He learns that Cavanagh has already been targeted by “Manco” (“Manco”, “one-armed” in Spanish — see below for an explanation).
Manco rides into White Rocks and finds Cavanagh in a saloon playing five-card draw poker. Manco kills him and his men and collects the bounty.
El Indio’s gang, led by his right-hand man Niño, break into the prison where Indio is being held and free him, killing the warden and most of the guards.
El Indio’s next target is the Bank of El Paso and its disguised safe containing “almost a million dollars.” The two bounty hunters arrive separately in El Paso, learn about each other and, after butting heads, decide to team up to take down El Indio and his gang. Mortimer persuades a reluctant Manco to join El Indio’s gang for the robbery in order to “get him between two fires.” Manco breaks one of Indio’s friends out of prison and is admitted to the gang.
El Indio’s plan includes Manco and some of El Indio’s gang providing a distraction by robbing another bank in another town, but Manco guns down the gang members and sends a false telegraphic alarm. Once the El Paso sheriff and his posse leave town, El Indio and the rest of his gang invade the bank and carry off the safe, which they can’t open. They ride to the small border town of Agua Caliente, where Mortimer is waiting. One of El Indio’s men, the hunchback Wild, recognizes Mortimer from a previous encounter in which Mortimer had deliberately insulted him. He forces a showdown and Mortimer kills him.
Mortimer then proves his worth to El Indio by cracking open the safe without using explosives. El Indio then says he will wait a month before dividing the loot, to allow the furor over the bank robbery to die down, and locks the money away.
Manco and Mortimer attempt to steal the bank money from El Indio, but are caught in the act. El Indio’s men severely beat them and tie them up. Later, Niño, on orders from El Indio, kills their guard, Slim and releases them. El Indio informs his gang that Manco and Mortimer “got away”, and sends the gang in pursuit, intending to let his gang and Manco and Mortimer kill each other off while he and Niño take all the loot for themselves. However, Groggy, one of the more intelligent members of the gang, figures out what El Indio is up to and kills Niño. Before he can kill El Indio, he finds that Mortimer has already removed the stolen money from where El Indio had hidden it. El Indio convinces Groggy to join forces with him to trap Manco and Mortimer.
The next morning, El Indio’s men confront Manco and Mortimer in the streets of Agua Caliente. Manco and Mortimer kill the gang, one by one, in a running gun battle. Standing alone, Mortimer shoots Groggy as he runs for cover, but then has his gun shot out of his hand by El Indio. El Indio then takes out his pocket watch and starts it playing. As the music nears the end, Manco suddenly appears with an identical pocket watch, which plays the same tune as El Indio’s and which Mortimer realizes has been taken from him earlier. Manco covers El Indio with a rifle (an 1854 Jennings Rifle Company Volcanic Rifle) and forces El Indio to wait while he gives his own gunbelt and pistol to Mortimer, evening the odds.
“Now we start,” Manco announces and sits down while Mortimer and El Indio face off, with the watch playing again. During the standoff, Manco looks in Mortimer’s pocketwatch and sees the same photo as in El Indio’s watch. The music finishes, and Mortimer outdraws and guns down El Indio.
Mortimer takes El Indio’s pocket watch. Manco gives him back the other watch and remarks on a family resemblance to the photo. “Naturally, between brother and sister,” Mortimer answers. His revenge complete, Mortimer declines his share of the bounties and rides away. Manco tosses the bodies of El Indio and his men into a wagon, adding up the bounties, and finds he is short of the $27,000 total. He spins around to gun down Groggy, who had survived and was sneaking up behind him. As he leaves, he recovers the money stolen from the Bank of El Paso, though it is not clear whether he intends to return it. He then rides off into the distance with two horses towing the wagon.
- In the English-dubbed version of the film, Eastwood’s character is said to “go by the name of ‘Manco.'” “Manco” means “one-armed” and “lame of one hand” in Spanish and “limp” in Portuguese; Eastwood’s character performs nearly all actions using only his left hand, to leave free his right hand, with which he draws his weapon. His behavior thus bears a joking resemblance to that of a one-armed man.
- In the original Italian version, Eastwood’s character’s sobriquet is “Monco”, the Italian equivalent of the word “manco”. Thus in many written sources, the Man with No Name is called Monco, due to the Italian form. In any case, the English-dubbed voices of the film’s characters seemingly pronounce “Manco” when they refer to him.
- Lee Van Cleef as Colonel Douglas Mortimer:
- Colonel Douglas Mortimer is a rival bounty hunter, though he is much older than Eastwood’s character: “almost fifty years of age.” Manco, Clint Eastwood’s character, travels to visit a man known as “The Prophet” early in the movie to find out all he can about his rival. “The Prophet” explains Colonel Douglas Mortimer to have “once been a great man, a soldier” and “the best shot in the Carolinas. Now he’s reduced to being a bounty killer same as you.” Unlike Manco, Mortimer’s motivation throughout the movie is not the bounty over El Indio and his gang, but vengeance for the death of Mortimer’s sister many years before, who killed herself while being raped by Indio. During an encounter with El Indio in the movie, Mortimer exclaims, “This is Colonel Mortimer, Douglas Mortimer. Does the name mean anything to you?” Having seen the death of Indio, Mortimer leaves all of the bounty to be collected by Manco at the end of the movie. When Manco mentions the reward money to Mortimer, Mortimer says, “It’s all for you, I think you deserve it.” Mortimer rides off alone at the end, as his purposes were then completed.
- Gian Maria Volontè as El Indio:
- El Indio (Spanish for “The Indian”) is a ruthless psychopath, considered by the authorities in the film to be one of the worst criminals of the times; according to a bank official – “Not even Indio would dare to rob that one.” In a flashback sequence it is revealed that he shot a young man (Peter Lee Lawrence) and raped his wife (Rosemary Dexter). The girl, who was the sister of Colonel Mortimer, shot and killed herself during the rape. El Indio smokes marijuana to ease the intensity of the memory (it has been claimed that Indio’s use of the drug makes this the first use of marijuana by a character in a major film production). El Indio has a gang of fourteen men who rob the bank in El Paso. Although he is otherwise completely insensitive and ruthless, the act of killing Mortimer’s sister distresses him to an ascertainable degree, as it lingers in his memory profoundly; notably, most Sergio Leone films have antagonistic or authoritarian characters with some form of psychopathology.
- Mario Brega as Niño
- Luigi Pistilli as Groggy
- Aldo Sambrell as Cuchillo
- Klaus Kinski as Wild, the hunchback
- Benito Stefanelli as Hughie (a.k.a. Luke)
- Luis Rodríguez as Manuel
- Panos Papadopulos as Sancho Perez
- Werner Abrolat as Slim (uncredited)
- Eduardo García as Fausto (uncredited)
- Enrique Santiago as Miguel (uncredited)
- Antonio Molino Rojo as Frisco (uncredited)
- Frank Brana as Blackie (uncredited)
- José Canalejas as Chico (uncredited)
- Nazzareno Natale as Paco (uncredited)
- Dante Maggio as Carpenter in cell with El Indio
- Diana Rabito as Calloway’s girl in tub
- Giovanni Tarallo as Santa Cruz telegraphist
- Joseph Egger as Old Prophet
- Lorenzo Robledo as Tomaso, El Indio’s traitor
- Mara Krupp as Mary, hotel manager’s wife
- Mario Meniconi as Train conductor
- Roberto Camardiel as Station clerk
- Sergio Mendizábal as Tucumcari’s bank manager
- Tomás Blanco as Tucumcari’s sheriff
- Antoñito Ruiz as Fernando, Manco’s El Paso informant (uncredited)
- Carlo Simi as El Paso’s bank manager (uncredited)
- Jesús Guzmán as Carpetbagger on train (uncredited)
- José Terrón as Guy Calloway (uncredited)
- José Marco as Red “Baby” Cavanagh (uncredited)
- Guillermo Méndez as White Rocks’ sheriff (uncredited)
- Román Ariznavarreta as Half-Shaved bounty hunter (uncredited)
- Antonio Palombi as El Paso bartender (uncredited)
- Diana Faenza as Tomaso’s wife (uncredited)
- Francesca Leone as Tomaso’s baby son (uncredited)
- Kurt Zips as Hotel manager (uncredited)
- Rosemary Dexter as Mortimer’s Sister (uncredited)
- Peter Lee Lawrence as Mortimer’s Brother-in-Law (uncredited)
- Sergio Leone as Whistling bounty hunter (voice, uncredited)
After the box-office success of A Fistful of Dollars in Italy, director Sergio Leone and his new producer, Alberto Grimaldi, wanted to begin production of a sequel, but they needed to get Clint Eastwood to agree to star in it. Eastwood was not ready to commit to a second film when he had not even seen the first. Quickly, the filmmakers rushed an Italian-language print (a U.S. version did not yet exist) of Per un pugno di dollari to him. The star then gathered a group of friends for a debut screening at CBS Production Center and, not knowing what to expect, tried to keep expectations low by downplaying the film. As the reels unspooled, however, Eastwood’s concerns proved to be unfounded. The audience may not have understood Italian, but in terms of style and action, the film spoke volumes. “Everybody enjoyed it just as much as if it had been in English”, Eastwood recalled. Soon, he was on the phone with the filmmakers’ representative: “Yeah, I’ll work for that director again”, he said. Charles Bronson was again approached for a starring role but he passed, citing that the sequel’s script was like the first film.Instead, Lee Van Cleef accepted the role. Eastwood received $50,000 for returning in the sequel, while Van Cleef received $17,000.
The film was shot in Almería, Spain, with interiors done at Rome’s Cinecittà Studios. The production designer Carlo Simi built the town of “El Paso” in the Almería desert: it still exists, as a tourist attraction Mini Hollywood. The town of Agua Caliente, where Indio and his gang flee after the bank robbery, is Albaricoques, a small “pueblo blanco” on the Níjar plain.
As all of the film’s footage was shot silent (i.e. without recording sound at time of shooting), Eastwood and Van Cleef returned to Italy where they dubbed over their dialogue, and sound effects were added. Although it is explicitly stated in the movie that the Colonel Mortimer character is originally from the Carolinas, Van Cleef opted to perform his dialogue using his native New Jersey accent rather than a Southern accent.
The musical score was composed by Ennio Morricone, who previously collaborated with director Leone on A Fistful of Dollars. Under Leone’s explicit direction, Morricone began writing the score before production had started, as Leone often shot to the music on set. The music is notable for its blend of diegetic and non-diegetic moments through a recurring motif that originates from the identical pocket watches belonging to El Indio and Colonel Mortimer. “The music that the watch makes transfers your thought to a different place,” said Morricone. “The character itself comes out through the watch but in a different situation every time it appears.”
|For a Few Dollars More|
|Soundtrack album by Ennio Morricone|
|Released||1965 (Original album)|
|Ennio Morricone chronology|
A soundtrack album was originally released in Italy by RCA Italiana. In the United States, Hugo Montenegro released a cover version as did Billy Strange and Leroy Holmes who released a cover version of the soundtrack album with the original American poster art. Maurizio Graf sang a vocal “Occhio Per Occhio”/”Eye For An Eye” to the music of the cue “Sixty Seconds to What” track that did not appear in the film but was released as a tie-in 45rpm record.
All tracks written by Ennio Morricone.
|1.||“La Resa Dei Conti”||3:06|
|3.||“Il Vizio Di Uccidere”||2:24|
|6.||“Per Qualche Dollaro In Più”||2:50|
Release and reception
For a Few Dollars More was released in Italy in December 1965 as Per Qualche Dollaro in Piu. In the United States, the film debuted on 10 May 1967, four months after the release of A Fistful of Dollars, grossing $5 million.
At the time of its Italian release, the film proved to be even more commercially successful than its predecessor. By 1967, the film became the highest-grossing film of any nationality in the history of Italian cinema. Although, it initially received mediocre reviews from critics.Bosley Crowther of The New York Times said, “The fact that this film is constructed to endorse the exercise of murderers, to emphasize killer bravado and generate glee in frantic manifestations of death is, to my mind, a sharp indictment of it as so-called entertainment in this day.”Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times described the film as “one great old Western cliché after another” and that the film “is composed of situations and not plots.”
The film has since grown in popularity, while also gaining more positive feedback from contemporary critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports a 94% approval rating with an average rating of 7.8/10 based on 33 reviews. The website’s consensus reads, “With Clint Eastwood in the lead, Ennio Morricone on the score, and Sergio Leone’s stylish direction, For a Few Dollars More earns its recognition as a genre classic.”
In a retrospective review of the Dollars Trilogy, Paul Martinovic of Den of Geek said, “For A Few Dollars More is often overlooked in the trilogy, awkwardly sandwiched between both the original film and the best-known, but it’s a stunning film in its own right.” Paolo Sardinas ofMovieWeb said, “Eastwood gives it his all and turns in another iconic performance along with scene stealer Lee Van Cleef, who helps make For a Few Dollars More twice as good as its predecessor.”
In popular culture
- A Fistful of Dollars (The Christopher Fraying Archives: A Fistful of Dollars) (Blu-ray). Los Angeles, California: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 1967.
- Cox, 2009
- Hughes, p. 8
- Munn, p. 54
- “For a Few Dollars More, Box Office Information”. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
- Variety film review; 16 February 1966, p. 6
- Alex Cox. “Blood, Guts, and Bullets”. The Guardian. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
- After killing the man at the start of the film, Mortimer inquires about another outlaw and the sheriff tells him that another bounty hunter has made the same inquiry. This bounty hunter is called Manco (presumably Eastwood). The Italian original says literally: “Lo chiamano ‘il monco'” (“They call him ‘the one-handed'”).
- Scherpschutter. “For a Few Dollars More Review”. SpaghettiWestern.net.
- Schneider, Dan (2010). “For a Few Dollars More (1965)”. CineScene.
- Sir Christopher Frayling, For a Few Dollars More audio commentary. Retrieved 1 June 2014
- Sergio Leone Web Board. Retrieved 26 January 2010
- Sir Christopher Frayling, For a Few Dollars More audio commentary. Retrieved 3 May 2014
- Munn, p. 53
- Schwartz, John (25 September 2013). “Luciano Vincenzoni, Screenwriter, Dies at 87”. The New York Times. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- For a Few Dollars More (Tre Voci – For a Few Dollars More) (Blu-ray disc). Los Angeles, California: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 1967.
- Munn, p. 56
- Frayling, Christopher (2006) . “Preface”. Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone. New York, USA: I.B. Tauris. p. ix. ISBN 1-84511-207-5.
- Munn, p. 57
- Hodgkinson, Will (14 July 2006). “A Fistful of Dollars? It’s my worst ever score'”. The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- Leinberger, Charles (1 September 2004). Ennio Morricone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: A Film Score Guide. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 35.
- Doran, John (8 April 2010). “Ennio Morricone Interviewed: “Compared To Bach, I’m Practically Unemployed””. The Quietus. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- Smith, Jeffrey (15 November 1998). The Sounds of Commerce: Marketing Popular Film Music. Columbia University Press. p. 135.
- Hughes, p. 10
- Hughes, Howard (9 December 2004). Once Upon a Time in the Italian West: A Filmgoer’s Guide to Spaghetti Westerns. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 53.
- Smith, Jeffrey Paul (15 November 1998). The Sounds of Commerce: Marketing Popular Film Music. Columbia University Press. p. 135. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- Crowther, Bosley (4 July 1967). “Screen: ‘For Few Dollars More’ Opens: Trans-Lux West Shows New Eastwood Film 2 Rivals in Murder Are Presented as Heroes”. The New York Times. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- Ebert, Roger (15 May 1967). “For a Few Dollars More (1967)”. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- “For a Few Dollars More (Per Qualche Dollaro in Più)”. Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- Martinovic, Paul (18 January 2013). “Looking back at Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy”. Den of Geek. Dennis Publishing. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- Sardinas, Paolo (21 September 2009). “For a Few Dollars More DVD”. MovieWeb. WATCHR Media. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- Cox, Alex (2009). 10,000 Ways to Die: A Director’s Take on the Spaghetti Western. Oldcastle Books. ISBN 978-1842433041.
- Hughes, Howard (2009). Aim for the Heart. London: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-902-7.
- Munn, Michael (1992). Clint Eastwood: Hollywood’s Loner. London: Robson Books. ISBN 0-86051-790-X.
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