Over at Bleedingfool.com my extended meditation on the perils of prequels is now live and I give pride of place to the Man with No Name "trilogy" of films: A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
Today I want to talk about the second film in the series, which clearly builds on the first.
One of the best parts of the film is the rivalry between Clint Eastwood's "Manco" and Lee Van Cleef's "Colonel Mortimer." During the late 1950s and early 1960s, there were a lot of films that featured a pair of protagonists pulling dirty tricks on each other. Charade is a great example of this.
As one would expect of the author of a column on movie firearms, For A Few Dollars More is a drool-fest of vintage Geek Guns.
However, these pleasures are greatly offset by the extremely painful scenes where the villiain (Gian Maria Volonte's "El Indio) demonstrates his cruelty and depravity. The way in which these sequences are extended goes beyond any storytelling necessity and is clearly a moment of satisfaction for the director.
One thing I've learned over the years is that while there are some happy coincidences in movies, most of the time the things that end up in them are meant to be there. This is particularly true in extended sequences that create discomfort. It's now come to light that many controversial scenes were imposed upon the actors and far from being high art, these sequences were really just the directors getting their jollies.
That cuts into the otherwise enjoyable spectacle of Eastwood and Van Cleef double-crossing each other while making improbable shots with beautifully-crafted prop guns.