FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965)

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Elizabeth

Chris and I watched The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly the first day we started dating, so all of these movies are dear to my heart (even though I haven’t seen them all). Now, I liked The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and I wasn’t really expecting to. I kind of thought it would be boring and/or hard to follow. But it wasn’t at all! But I still went into For A Few Dollars More thinking the same thing, but again, it wasn’t like that all . . . even less so.

This movie has everything: bromance, beautiful cinematography, a revenge killing, etc etc. Once the story was kind of established, that Manco (Clint Eastwood) and Colonel Mortimer (Van Cleef) are bounty hunters after the same guy, Indio (Gian Maria Volonté), I said (out loud), “They just need to team up and work together!” And about 5 minutes later that’s exactly what happened. The whole movie went exactly the way I wanted it to go. That’s not to say it was predictable, because I didn’t really think it was going to go the way I wanted. It was just great!

It’s just really hard for me not to see Manco and Mortimer as totally in love. I know that sounds crazy and I’m not talking about homosexuality. I’m talking more about this mutual feeling of respect, admiration, and LOVE (yes!) as well as having mostly the same goals. First of all, let’s talk about their meetcute:

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Amazing.

For a while, like many cinematic couples, Manco and Mortimer are just sort of bitchy to each other – they push each other’s buttons and test each other’s loyalty (both passing and failing at different times). But once it comes out that Mortimer is after Indio not for the bounty but because at one time Indio murdered Mortimer’s brother-in-law (or his sister’s partner or some kind), raped his sister, and basically was the cause of her killing herself mid-rape, shit gets serious. They don’t really test each other anymore – they’re on a mission. Manco wants Indio for the money and Mortimer wants him for revenge, but they both want him bad. The only real difference is that Manco doesn’t care who kills him and Mortimer does. In the last scene Manco and Mortimer sort of team up against Indio, except it’s really Mortimer vs. Indio, with Manco watching from the side, gun drawn toward Indio. Manco didn’t have to do that . . . he could have not risked it or he could have just stolen the money Indio had and ran off, leaving Indio for Mortimer. But, instead, because Manco fucking loved Mortimer, he stays behind for the sole purpose of making sure Mortimer gets his revenge. It’s beautiful, really.

Also, can we talk about Lee Van Cleef for a second? This came up before when we watched The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance but I truly don’t understand how Lee Van Cleef was able to be totally fucking sexy while also totally looking like a rat. How is that possible?? It should be a Wonder of the World, really. But in general, Lee Van Cleef and Clint Eastwood were so comically better looking than literally anyone else in the movie’s universe that it would have been distracting if the movie wasn’t so good. I do love how whenever they show up, if there’s a woman around, you better believe she’s swooning and/or staring. Who could blame them?

Christopher

When looking at the trilogy that falls into I absolutely love The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly the best. I feel like it’s so rich in story I get something out of it each time I watch it. However, For A Few Dollars More was always my second favorite by far. I was never that into A Fistful Of Dollars but I do love Yojimbo

The reason For A Few Dollars More was always my second favorite in the trilogy was definitely because Lee Van Cleef was in it. I really think he’s  a fantastic actor and I always get excited when he shows up in stuff. I really need to watch some of those westerns he’s solely the main character in…I’m kind of not sure why I haven’t done that yet.

This movie builds such a romantic world to me. I mean, it’s not something I would necessarily like to live in but everyone just looks cool to me. It makes this movie so easy to watch even though I feel like people would find parts boring. The movie has such a nice build and of course ends in a deadly showdown.

One of the funniest things about this movie to me is the fact that Klaus Kinski has a very small role as a hunchback. When I first knew this movie I definitely had no clue who he was but when I first saw Aguirre in high school I knew I had seen him somewhere. 

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3 thoughts on “FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965)

  1. This trilogy — Leone, really — is the benchmark, for me, for Westerns. Trilogies where all the films are good are rare (only The Godfather is coming to mind), and even rarer that they improve steadily the way these did (only THIS one comes to mind). I really dug Fistful. Really, really. “Ugly” is the magnum opus, but I don’t remember that I ever settled on a favorite among them. I also put Once Upon A Time In The West up at this level. Fantastic film, fantastic Western.

    There are only the rare old Hollywood Westerns that I like at all, and none of the super-huge classics (e.g. Stagecoach, The Searchers, High Noon, et al.), because they feel a bit too much like they were pulled out of a Shepler’s catalog. Leone’s were the first time — and dramatically so — that made me think I was looking at the *dangerous*, *dirty* West that American films only thought they were showing. And they were funny and strikingly stylish, to boot (if you’ll pardon the pun).

    I will give a shout-out to the two Hollywood Westerns I *do* like — The Big Country and, my easy fave, The Magnificent Seven. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen TBC, so I’m a little afraid it won’t be as good as I remember. But I’ve seen TMS so, so many times — EVERY screening that has been at The Paramount, for a start. I love that movie. But neither of those made me particularly keen on the genre. Leone changed that with this trilogy.

  2. There will never be another Lee Van Cleef. He out acted Eastwood in GBU and Few Dlloars More.
    His face, voice and body screamed sex. One of the most underrated actors of all time. May he rest in peace and never be forgotten.

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