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Film: For a Few Dollars More

Where life had no value, death, sometimes, had its price. That is why the bounty killers appeared.
title card

For a Few Dollars More (1965) is considered as one of the greatest films of the Spaghetti Western, and a masterpiece of Sergio Leone. It is the second film in the Dollars Trilogy, A Fistful of Dollars being the first and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly being the third. Even That Other Wiki named this film as an Epic Western. And no wonder, in fact, the intro theme, along with The Good, the Bad and the Ugly theme, is the most known and memorable in the Sergio Leone's Western films.

The Man With No Name (nicknamed "Monco" or "Manco", respectively Italian and Spanish slang for "missing one hand", because he does nearly everything with his left hand in order to keep his right hand free to draw and fire) and Colonel Mortimer, a skillful bounty hunter, are both hunting the famed gang leader El Indio. The Man With No Name is motivated by money; the Colonel is motivated by revenge. After the two bounty hunters clash, they put aside their differences and team up to capture Indio. As part of their plan, Manco infiltrates Indio's gang by busting one of Indio's friends out of prison. However, the plan does not work out as hoped.

For a Few Dollars More provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Affably Evil: Nino, at least compared with Indio.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: Averted as the movie was filmed in Spain.
  • Anti-Hero: The Man With No Name (Manco) and Colonel Mortimer.
  • Arch-Enemy: El Indio to The Man With No Name (Manco) and Colonel Mortimer.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Col. Mortimer's Buntline Special. Its longer barrel gives Mortimer an edge in distance, meaning he can wait out of a pistol's normal range and line up shots, but that same long barrel also prevents him from quickdrawing it, a disadvantage in some of the situations he finds himself in. He carries a derringer up his sleeve for such emergencies. It was somewhat practical for those who preferred a pistol grip as opposed to the lever action.
  • Ax-Crazy: El Indio.
    • Heavily implied with Wild the Hunchback as well (especially given that he's played by Klaus Kinski).
  • Badass: The three main gunslingers—The Man With No Name / Manco, Mortimer and El Indio—qualifies.
  • Bad Ass Beard: Indio.
  • Bad Ass Mustache: Colonel Mortimer.
  • Bad Boss: El Indio. He sets up his own gang to be wiped out by Mortimer and Monco so that he can keep all the money for himself.
  • Bandito: El Indio takes the trope Up to Eleven.
  • Bang, Bang, BANG: At the beginning of the film, every single one of their shots also sounds like a ricochet, even though they only shoot into the air and the ground.
  • Bank Robbery
  • Batman Gambit: Mortimer tells Monco to make Indio go north. He tells him to go south, even though Indio was planning to go north to begin with. Indio splits the difference and heads east. Naturally, Mortimer is waiting for them at their destination.
  • Best Served Cold: Col. Mortimer has spent years honing his skills as a bounty hunter, tracking down the bandit who murdered Mortimer's brother-in-law and raped Mortimer's sister until she committed suicide.
  • Big Bad: El Indio, who is also The Heavy.
  • Big Damn Heroes: As shown above on the page image, Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name character saves Mortimer by intervening in Indio's unfair Mexican standoff by providing a gun for him to use against the villain. With his gun trained on Indio satisfied that the odds have now been evened in his friend's favor he sits down and says, "Now we start."
  • Black and Gray Morality: Monco's a ruthless Bounty Hunter, Mortimer a revenge-driven stalker, and El Indio a total headcase. Not a lot of white.
  • Bounty Hunter: Monco and his rival/partner Mortimer.
  • Breaking Out the Boss
  • Butt Monkey: Groggy (though he is the smartest of El Indio's gang).
  • The Chessmaster: Indio
  • Cold Sniper: Mortimer, who besides carrying a Colt Buntline, has his horse stocked with an impressive array of rifles.
  • Colonel Badass: Mortimer, natch.
  • Continuity Nod: The Man's injured hand is the same one he injured when being tortured in A Fistful of Dollars.
  • Crapsack World: The title card sets the stage by declaring, "Where life had no value, death, sometimes, had its price. That is why the bounty killers appeared." The film was even called Death Had a Pricenote  in Spain.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Mortimer often dresses in black and is clearly the good guy when compared to El Indio.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Let's face it, this film is more about Col. Mortimer and his quest for vengeance than Manco.
  • Defiled Forever: Colonel Mortimer's sister, whose reaction doubles as a Stupid Sacrifice.
  • The Dragon: Nino, to Indio.
  • Duel to the Death: Inevitable.
  • Evil Genius: Indio and Groggy.
  • Evil Laugh: Indio does this a lot.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Indio.
  • Faux Fluency: Gian Maria Volonté, who played El Indio, couldn't speak a word of English, but supplied his own voice to the English version anyway, speaking the dialogue phonetically with the help of a translator.
  • Freudian Trio: Manco's the Ego, Mortimer the Superego, and El Indio a very crazed Id.
  • For the Evulz: El Indio's reason (or lack thereof) for torturing Manco and the Colonel, and for raping Mortimer's sister and killing her husband.
  • Functional Addict: El Indio may spend most of the film under the influence of opium, but he's still an efficient and threatening villain.
  • Funny Foreground Event: Chickens start walking around in the streets of El Indio's base as Manco drives off with his bounty.
  • Genre Savvy: Indio reveals to Nino, his most trusted man, that he knew Manco and Mortimer were bounty hunters. He also knows that the gang has no chance against them, so he decides to take Nino and the money with him, and escape to anywhere far from there, while leaving the rest of the gang to face their doom.
    • It doesn't go as planned: Groggy figures everything out, killes Nino and takes Indio as hostage, but then they both realize that Manco and Mortimer had hidden the loot before they were imprisoned by the gang and that there's no other choice but face them.
  • Giant Mook: Indio's Dragon, Nino, portrayed by the 6 foot 4, 250 pound Mario Brega. Brega portrayed similar thugs in A Fistful of Dollars, as Chico, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as Corporal Wallace.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Nino has a festering, still bloodied one that covers one side of his face.
  • The Gunslinger: Manco, Mortimer and El Indio.
  • Hand or Object Underwear: A prostitute uses a hand bra after Col. Mortimer interrupts her bath with a fugitive.
  • Hey, You!: The protagonists settle into a friendly rivalry of sorts, addressing one another as "boy" and "old man", respectively.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: In the hat-shooting contest between Manco and Mortimer. Manco eventually proves he is unable to hit Mortimer's hat after shooting it too far away, but makes up for it by hitting the same spot in the ground at that range two times in a row. Mortimer then one ups him by shooting Manco's hat off his head from even father away, and suspending it in the air with every shot. Done a second time later when Mortimer grazes Manco's neck with a bullet, so he'll have a convincing injury to back up his story when he meets up with Indio again.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. Indio's goons kill a baby offscreen.
  • It's Personal
  • Jerkass: El Indio, in spades.
  • Kick the Dog: Indio gets a lot of them during the film:
    • When orders his minions to sacrifice the family of a man, and to add a properly sadistic touch, he forces the man to watch this.
    • Gets another when he kills Cuccilo (one of his own minions).
    • Then there's the flashback scene.
  • Knight Errant: Manco.
  • Light Is Not Good: El Indio. Sometimes he wears with white clothes, but this does not mean that he is a good person.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Mortimer has one. Indio has one, except that it isn't.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: As is typical of the trilogy.
    • Of course, Manco and Mortimer attempt to fight back, to little avail.
  • No Name Given: The Man With No Name.
  • Nostalgic Music Box: Two pocket watches, one belonging to Mortimer and the other carried by Indio, that play the same tune. The two watches originally belonged to Mortimer's sister and her husband. Indio stole one after killing him and raping her and uses the music to remind himself of the good time he had doing so.
  • Oh Crap: Manco gets one when, after climbing over a wall from a meeting with Mortimer, he steps on, and wakes up, one of El Indio's thugs. Mortimer follows, and gets one when he realizes Manco's not the one holding him up.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune
  • Psycho for Hire: Heavily implied with the hunchback.
  • Quick Draw: Indio likes to challenge people he's captured to these; playing the Ominous Music Box Tune with its end as the cue to fire. He also likes to place whoever he's facing at a disadvantage, such as surrounding them with goons or removing their guns from easy access. It's only when Manco steps in at the end that he actually has to fight fairly. Also, Indio's heard the song a thousand times while his opponents have no clue when the music might end. This of course puts him on equal terms with Col. Mortimer.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Young, bounty hunting, suave Manco, who improvises his solutions and out shoots men in a quick drawing blaze, contrasted with Mortimer, older, revenge seeking, and who carefully plans ahead of time and prefers to snipe his quarry.
  • Red Right Hand: The Hunchback, who is perhaps the most insane of El Indio's men.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Indio does this early on in the movie to a guy who took money to put him behind bars. The guy had used the money to start a family, and so Indio feels that the family is "partly his." He forces him to watch as his men take the guy's wife and baby boy outside and shoot them both to death, just before sadistically setting up a duel between them using the pocketwatch that he'd made him listen to during the whole thing.
  • Riding into the Sunset: How Mortimer makes his exit after getting his revenge.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge
  • Shout-Out: The musical pocket watches are an homage to The Bravados with Gregory Peck. Probably not coincidentally, Lee Van Cleef appeared in that film as a villain.
  • Smoking Is Cool: And totally badass.
  • The Sociopath: Indio, who else?
  • Tragic Keepsake: Colonel Mortimer's pocketwatch.
  • Tranquil Fury: Mortimer calmly eats his dinner while sitting across the table from the man who raped his sister and drove her to suicide.
  • Undying Loyalty: Nino to El Indio.
  • Wall of Weapons: Mortimer has a collection of firearms strapped to a rolled-up sheet of canvas carried by his horse.
  • Wanted Poster
    • The first villain we see adds two zeros on his own wanted poster, claiming it isn't anywhere near enough.
    • Colonel Mortimer also has a bit of a staring contest with El Indio's wanted poster as he shoots it with his mind.
  • Would Hurt a Child: El Indio ordering his men to kill a baby, setting the tone for how depraved he really is.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Sort of subverted, since Indio thought he would have profited from the bounty hunters killing off most of his gang (as he wouldn't have had to split the loot). Of course, it doesn't work out as well as he had planned.
  • You Look Familiar

A Fistful of DynamiteIndex of Film WesternsFort Apache
A Fistful of DollarsCreator/United ArtistsThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly
A Fistful of DollarsFilms of the 1960sThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly

alternative title(s): For A Few Dollars More
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