Irish Film Institute -For a Few Dollars More

For a Few Dollars More

For a Few Dollars More is the story of two selfish bounty-hunters (Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef) who are chasing the same prey: the psychopathic Mexican bandit Indio (Gian Maria VolontŽ). After various double-crosses and displays of prowess, the two men join forces in an uneasy partnership to wipe out Indio and his entire gang.
With a 200% rise in budget, witty scriptwriter Luciano Vincenzoni and veteran Hollywood baddie Lee Van Cleef, Leone kept ahead of the ‘crazy goldrush’ of Italian Westerns by at last getting into his stylistic stride. The result was, according to the director, ‘a reflection on cinema’. If the key Hollywood influence on Fistful of Dollars was Shane, the model this time round was Robert Aldrich’s Vera Cruz (1954), the story of two mercenaries (Gary Cooper as a mature Southern Major, Burt Lancaster as a gun-fighting confidence-trickster) who team up to escort Emperor Maximilian’s gold through Juarista territory in 1860s Mexico. The freewheeling structure, the setting (cacti and crucifixes), the cynicism and the theme of older-versus-younger hired guns all contributed significantly to the tone of For a Few Dollars More.

Italy/Spain/W. Germany, 1965.
130 mins.

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