For a Few Dollars More (1965)

Director: Sergio Leone

Now my records indicate I have seen this—I would’ve done so most likely in ’95 when I was doing film studies at UNSW and that particular class on film genres, wherein we studied the western and Fistful of Dollars was one of the films we looked at, and I do recall watching the rest of the “Dollars trilogy” and OUATIW as additional viewing—but damned if I could remember anything about it, other than the fact of having seen it some 20 years ago, so this was one of those rewatches that may as well be a first viewing… Anyway, a few days after I recently rewatched Fistful, ABC wheeled out this one late at night, but it was a pan/scanned print and I knew that wasn’t going to pass muster, so I invested in a proper digital edition for tonight’s viewing. This was clearly the right decision, cos more than a few of cinematographer Massimo Dallamano’s compositions (this being one of his last films in that job) would’ve suffered terribly from being cropped (even more so than in Fistful). This time Clint’s man with no name has a name, albeit one that no one’s entirely sure of apparently, and he’s kind of partnered with Lee Van Cleef as an army colonel turned bounty hunter; both of them find themselves in pursuit of the same criminal with a high price on his head, though for one of them the money isn’t the main attraction. The scene in which the two meet kind of sums the film up in some ways, taciturn hard men being taciturn and hard while letting their weaponry do the talking; if you ever thought guns acted as a kind of penis substitute, well, this scene is an outstanding bit of dick-swinging. Leone has clearly progressed from Fistful, and the film exudes a feeling of much greater confidence; he was clearly unafraid to let the film carry on with longish stretches of minimal to no dialogue. If the film does feel a bit self-conscious in some of its moves, and if in the end it’s perhaps slightly longer than necessary, it was still very pleasing to revisit; at least now I know what happens in it…

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