Classic Intel: For A Few Dollars More - DVD Review

'a deeper work than A Fistful Of Dollars which performs on several very different levels'

The second film of Sergio Leone's 'Dollars' trilogy, For A Few Dollars More builds on the brilliant but blockbuster-like nature of A Fistful Of Dollars to produce a film which is once again both magnificently shot and densely plotted.

Magnificence may actually be the operative word here. Everything that could be mundane, trite or under-composed in your average film is, in FAFDM, elevated to the level of grandiosity that marks a Leone film. The stirring and oft-referenced Ennio Morricone score builds layers of atmosphere in scenes that would otherwise seem flat or unimposing whilst Leone's direction, most notable for its tasteful patience, creates tangible characters and locations.

The plot, which blends much darker tones with the Wild West showboating seen in Fistful, creates a triumvirate of central characters; Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name and Lee Van Cleef's Mortimer the pair of bounty hunters pivoting around Gian Maria Volonté's bandit, El Indio. As with all Leone's work, there's an tangible exploration of death as a theme, rather than just as a reaction and, much like Once Upon A Time In The West, it's addressed often and without conclusion.

In other themes, such as faith and family, Leone is less subtle but his surface explorations of these areas only help his other themes to blossom and bubble beneath trademark cinematography. Harrowing early scenes (the dealings with Indio's betrayer are particularly dark) are balanced by humour-filled moments later on, most of them stemming from Eastwood's character who surprisingly takes a supporting role in the eventual denouement. An innovative about-face by Leone which, perhaps despite initial audience reservation, works on several very satisfying levels. A deeper work than Fistful which performs on several very different levels, all at least as good as the first film.

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'Leone’s greatness comes from his oft parodied ability to stretch a sequence far beyond its natural limits' - Things That Don't Suck

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