Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday Westerns: For a Few Dollars More

Welcome a new weekly feature here at Movies With Abe. In an effort to provide a look back at older films and a desire to highlight a specific genre, I will be spotlighting a Western film each week, combining films from a course I took while at NYU called Myth of the Last Western and other films I have seen and do see. If you have a Western you’d like to write about, please let me know and feel free to submit a guest spot for future weeks!

For a Few Dollars More
Directed by Sergio Leone
Released May 10, 1967

After a brief hiatus for the Tribeca Film Festival, this series is back, and for the month of May, we’ll be looking at the four films from the famous Spaghetti Western director Sergio Leone, who brought his Italian influences to the genre and made some of the most compelling and memorable Westerns of all time. This is the first of his films that I had the pleasure to watch, skipping the first entry in his “Dollars” trilogy, “A Fistful of Dollars.” The pairing of young gun Monco (Clint Eastwood) with the older, just as trigger-happy Colonel Mortimer (Lee Van Cleef) is one of the most brilliant and inspired on film. It’s a blast to see the two duke it out for the chance to kill one of film’s best bad guys, Indio, maniacally played by Gian Maria Volonté. Indio features one of the best back stories, perfectly accompanied by a haunting theme that plays every time he opens his watch. Also, Ennio Morricone’s score here is superb, reused and retweaked for the next film in the series. It’s hard not to get drawn in to this world of bounty hunters, and both Eastwood and Van Cleef are so similarly and fantastically unemotive that it’s easy to get behind both characters as legitimate heroes who aren’t all that heroic and are certainly self-motivated, for profit. This Western is easily my personal favorite. If you haven’t seen the film, don’t watch the ending, embedded below, but it’s just too terrific and iconic not to include.

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