Monday, September 27, 2010

A Review Of The Hit Film For A Few Dollars More Starring Clint Eastwood

By Lori Harmon

Leone's Dollars Trilogy is without a doubt one of the all time classic series when it comes to all out action, suspense and, well, coolness. The film in the series that is considered a "Great Film" would have to be The Good the Bad and the Ugly, but the absolute coolest of the series is, without a doubt, For a Few Dollars More. Maybe not the best, but certainly the most fun of the entire trilogy, and definitely one to put on your queue the next time you sign into your movie download service.

The movie is really all about the cool little details Leone packed into the film. It starts with a great sequence of Eastwood beating a bounty up with a single hand, and then goes on to Lee Van Cleef selecting one of his dozens of long barrel guns to take out a bad guy, and eventually we get to see one of the coolest western villains of all time.

He uses a musical pocket watch every time he kills one of his victims. When the music stops, he draws and fires. The story surrounding this watch is interesting, too, forming the heart of the subplot involving Lee Van Cleef.

Cleef and Eastwood make a great team as the heroes. Cleef plays Colonel Mortimer, a former Civil War hero turned bounty hunter, while Eastwood plays, again, the Man With No Name. This film is, chronologically within the world of the film, the final act, even though it was released second (The Good the Bad and the Ugly serves as a prequel to Fistful of Dollars), and Eastwood has had enough violence and wants to retire, but still plays the Kid role to Cleef's older, wiser bounty hunter.

One great scene has the two shooting each other's hats off, and then shooting said hats down the street, as, essentially, a way of chest pounding, showboating, to impress the other. It begins with the two wanting the other to back off their bounty, and ends with the two building a strong partnership that's a lot of fun to watch develop.

There really isn't another film in almost any genre outside of the musical that uses music quite as effectively as this film. The pocket watch plays a little melody written by Ennio Morricone, and in the finale, the melody is layered into an epic orchestrated piece that really builds an incredible amount of tension before anyone draws a pistol and finally fires.

Leone is without a doubt one of the all time greats, and this is one of his funnest films. It's only too bad that his career was cut short before he could finish Stalingrad, his epic WWII film he had plans to create.

If there's only one thing missing from the film, it's Eli Wallach, who's turn as Tuco may have been one of the all time great western performances, but regardless, the film is a whole heck of a lot of fun.

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