For a few Dollars more Special Edition DVD Review
From The Spaghetti Western Database
Released by Paramount in Germany (2-DVDs, completely uncut, English mono and 5.1 track, English subtitles, English extras)
Buy now at amazon.de or buy 4-Disc Edition with A Fistful of Dollars or buy all two Special Editions in a wooden box with senitypes, dollar coin and golden watch replika
Two bounty hunters come to El Paso to catch El Indio (Volonte) while robbing the bank there. First, they seem to rival for the bounty, but then they join forces. Bounty hunter Mortimer (Van Cleef) on the one hand, staying outside, and the other (Eastwood) infiltrating his gang. But Indio is clever, stealing the safe from the bank, which brings in Mortimer who claims he be the one able to open it without damaging the money. Being rich now, the entire gang withdraws to a lonely mexican town to wait till things calm down. But the bounty hunters are after the money in the safe, and Indio is suspicious... and Mortimer has a score to settle nobody knows about.....
This is THE Spaghetti Western. If you had to pick one Spaghetti Western that stands as the role model for all others, it wouldn't be A Fistful of Dollars, it would be For a Few Dollars more. Why? I think because it went a lot further in terms of style, the story is a lot (!!) better and the music is also a huge step forward. Where the first Dollars film started a revolution, Dollars More established the symbolic features of the Italian western. The film is full of style, original ideas and an iconic trio that is Volonte, Cleef and Eastwood. I love this film from beginning to end. Now finally uncut, this film offers everything you typically want from a Spaghetti Western: a) Great Morricone music b) lots of Leone-style close ups c) great scale duels d) posterbook western towns e) a tale of revenge f) funny cameos g) great production design. It's all there. A must see.
Audio and Video
The DVD offers optional English or German subtitles on Extras and Film. The Menus are in English or German.
- German & English Dolby Digital 1.0 (restored/remastered)
- English Dolby Digital 5.1 upmix (taken over from MGM)
The film sounds great (talking about the German dub here). It is especially nice to hear how detailed they've cleaned up the mono tracks. All the sounds, effects and all. It just sounds very good, although there is audible crackling and it does sound old, but it still sounds great. The English dub on this case (it sounded very cheap in the first dollar film) is now loads better and you can hear they put a lot more effort into it, and yes the English dub makes a lot more sense than the German one. The 5.1 upmix again is a matter of taste. It doesn't sound as realistic as the mono track and it has some problems here and there, but thunder and music sounds a bit better. If you listen closely and compare you'll notice that it is not as throughly restored as the mono track is.
2.35:1 widescreen (16x9 enhanced), PAL
The picture looks a tad better than the one from the first Dollar film, but here as well you can spot a lot of edge halos and other noticeable bright spots as if the print was too thin on some spots. But they've done a great job cleaning up this transfer, which is a notch better than the MGM one and has a higher bitrate. The colors look especially good and the film doesn't look as blueish as the MGM does.
- Audio commentary by Sir Christopher Frayling: Again, Frayling packs his commentary with his insider knowledge on Leone and co. Very interesting.
- DVD Promo Trailer. Just like the other release you'll find trailer advertising the release of the Dollars and Nobody films by Paramount
- On the Transfer. Just like the other release, a text document by TLEFilms explaining the mastering of the DVD
- Again, there are 12 radio spots. All very exploitative american radio teasers.
- Then there's the American trailer and the Double Bill trailer also present on the other Dollar DVD.
- Featurettes. "A new standard" (19 mins) is an interview mit Frayling explaining the innovations of the film and gives insight into the making of it. He's elaborating into the evolution Sergio Leone has undergone and how his directing as even more improved and how he establishes his trademark style. There are a lot of film scenes and some pictures matching the interview. Actually a lot of information that should've maybe been in the audio commentary, for an interview there's too much film footage. But a very interesting addition to the commentary nonetheless.
"The Original American release version" (5 mins) shows what had been cut for the US release, among them the removal of the reference to Eastwood's character as "Monco" in order to fit in with UA's "Man with no name" campaign. There's also an explanation of how Volonte's laughter was trimmed and there's the cut beating scene with additional dialogue. "Restoration Italian style" (4 mins) is once again a little featurette explaining the restoration for the film, where a lot of work had to be done. This is actually not much different from the featurette on the other DVD. Note that this does not the additional restoration work done by TLEFilms, who produced this DVD, but only what Triage and MGM did. "Back for more" is another piece of Eastwood interview (adding up to the one on the other interview) (6 mins) where he remembers working on the project. A very nice interview by the way, also due to the genius of the aged wise man Eastwood is today. "Three Voices" (10 mins), again, brings Alberto Grimaldi the producer, Sergio Donati the screenwriter and Mickey Knox the dubbing specialist together in an interview remembering the film. It is not the same as on the other DVD, as the title of the featurette may suggest, it its a follow-up. "Location comparisons" is again a several minutes presentation of film scenes and pictures of how the places look like today.
This is the essential piece in Spaghetti Western history, and such an enjoyable masterpiece by Leone. An absolute must see, and the DVD is worth every cent. The Quality is outstanding and the sound tracks are masterfully restored. A magnificent fistfull of extras is rounding up the package of this must-own 2-DVD set. Bravo.
--Sebastian 22:05, 6 Oct 2005 (CEST)