Watched: December 26 2019
Director: Sergio Leone
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Lee van Cleef, Gian Maria Volontè, Mario Brega, Luigi Pistilli, Aldo Sambrell, Klaus Kinski
Runtime: 2h 12min
The Man with No Name (Eastwood), a.k.a. Manco or Monco (so… The Man with Potentially Several Names then..?) is now a professional bounty killer, roaming the wild west looking for bad guys to kill. For money, obviously. He’s not a complete psycho. He is not alone in this noble pursuit though – The Man in Black (van Cleef), a.k.a. Colonel Douglas Mortimer is a formidable rival.
Notorious criminal El Indio (Volontè) escapes from jail and reunites with his followers whom he preaches to about carpenters from a pulpit… Seems like an oddly familiar pastime. Manco/Monco/TMWPSN and Mortimer alpha off and then join forces to stop El Indio’s evil bank robbing plans.
The Man with No Name goes undercover in the gang, and then gets into hot water – quite literally as they ride to Agua Caliente, the unfriendliest town in the west. But who will outwit whom? What is the significance of El Indio’s pocketwatch and his flashbacks? And who will eventually Über-Alpha the other Alphas and become the one Alpha to rule them all?
The sequel to A Fistful of Dollars, later followed by The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), For a Few Dollars More has everything you could possibly want in a western. Strong, silent men, lots of pregnant pauses and tense silences, a fantastic soundtrack by Ennio Morricone, saloons with easily distracted piano players (is there a union rule that they all have to stop every time a new person enters the room?), hat shooting duels, and lots of violence and horses. What’s not to love?
We loved Mortimer’s arrival in Tucumcari, Indio’s flashbacks and backstory, the soundtrack, all of Clint Eastwood, the twists and turns, and the tension. Can’t wait for the next one!
What we learned: Keep your friends close and your frenemies closer. And would it kill you to call your frenemies once in a while..? They might be getting lonely you know.
Next time: Planet of the Vampires (1965)