Per qualche dollaro in più (1965)
Two things are quite apparent with Per qualche dollaro in più, Sergio Leone's second in his renowned Dollars Trilogy featuring Clint Eastwood as the man with no name (who incidentally had many names): (1) The success of the first film had raised the budget for the follow-up considerably, and (2) Leone was in a hurry to get the film underway. The first of these points is what provides the wonderful images and impressive sets of the first half of the film. With better equipment, Leone was given more artistic freedom, and few western-makers worked better on location than did Leone. Per qualche dollaro in più is spellbinding initially, as we get to know 'The Man in Black', in Lee Van Cleef's sly figure, providing competition for Eastwood as the most crafty and immoral bounty hunter around. The first encounter between the two characters shows Leone at his most stylish.
However, in contrast to Per un pugno di dollari and, most of all, to Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Per qualche dollaro in più hasn't got the most ingenious of plots. Towards the end, Leone must turn to repeated twists and turns in order to be able to wrap up his story. This segment is also evidence of perhaps the only time during his trilogy that Leone loses his otherwise superior command of spacing. Proof that underlines my second point above. The character of El Indio turns out to be less potent than Volonté's previous Ramón, and Leone doesn't return to form until the very final scene, which is more an individual set-piece than an integral part of the story, and thus is most interesting as a "warm up" to the fantastic final scene of Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo, making this film the weakest entry in the Dollars Trilogy.