FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE

(Italian title: Per qualche dollaro in più)
(1965 - Italy, Spain, West Germany)
With Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volanté
Directed by Sergio Leone
Reviewed by JB
Don't Shoot Til You See the Black Slits of Their Eyes!

     A fine sequel to FOR A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE features a more sure-handed director in Sergio Leone and a more confident star in Clint Eastwood.  Leone's editing, including sound editing, is especially impressive, as is his use of extreme closeups, which capture every drop of sweat on the actors' faces.  Meanwhile, Eastwood's laconic Man with No Name grows from the intriguing character of the previous film into a classic screen icon. Like Leone, Eastwood seems more at ease with this original story (as opposed to the borrowed one for the previous film), a tale of two bounty hunters (Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef) teaming up to bring in El Indio (Gian Maria Volanté), the baddest bad-ass west of Venice... er... the Rockies. 

     Although the film is an improvement over FOR A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, it has some pacing problems.  Leone's story sets up what feels like it is going to be the film's climax - a bank robbery in El Paso - and then pulls the rug out from under us with a surprise that sends the story onward in other directions.  As such, the second half tends to meander, although it leads to an excellent shootout featuring all three leads.

     Leone, Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef would return in the third film of this loose "Man With No Name" trilogy, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY. ½ - JB

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