Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 22nd, 2005
|Theatrical Release Date: Italy, December 18th, 1965
Director: Sergio Leone
Writers: Sergio Leone, Sergio Donati, Luciano Vincenzoni, Fernando Di Leo, Fulvio Morsella
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonté, Klaus Kinski
|Approximate running time:||131 minutes||126 minutes|
|Aspect Ratio:||2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen||2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen|
|Sound:||Dolby Digital Mono English||Dolby Digital DTS and 5.1 English and French|
|Region Coding:||Region 1 NTSC||Region 2 PAL|
The Film :
The man with no name/Monco (Clint Eastwood), and Colonel Mortimer (Lee Van Cleef), are two bounty hunters with whom you won’t want to mess with. Monco likes a challenge when hunting outlaws while Mortimer likes to show off his hunting ability with gadgets that he uses to bring his man down. The infamous bandit Indio (Gian Maria Volonté), is busted out of prison and 10 grand is placed on his head the two bounty hunters set out to catch Indio. Colonel Mortimer has personal reasons for wanting to see Indio dead since Indio raped and killed Mortimer’s sister. When Monco and Colonel Mortimer paths cross they size up the job and decide to form a partnership. Still things aren’t what they seem and just like in Leone’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly alliances change quickly, no one can be trusted. Their plan is too infiltrate Indio’s gang and help them rob the bank of El Paso.
MGM’s For a Few Dollars More region 1 looks slightly better then their region 1 DVD for a Fistful of Dollars. The colors look muted at times and details look soft through out. Overall this non-anamorphic transfer had seen better days. MGM’s recently released region 2 special edition restores the films lucid color palette and flesh tones look natural through out. There is an amazing amount of detail present in every frame and the black levels remains constant. There are no problems with edge enhancement or compression. This is the best For a Few Dollars More has looked to date on home video.
MGM’s region 1 release comes with two audio option English and French both are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. There is some minor hiss and other sound defects at times. The dialog sound to thin and action sounds muffled at times. For this new SE DVD release MGM has neglected to include the films original mono mix. Instead they have decided to include a new DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 both available in English and French. These new remixes will have their detractors who have preferred the inclusion of the original mono mix. Overall the DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mixes offer crystal clear dialog and the action sounds more robust. Ennio Morricone’s score comes to life and this film has never sounded better. Overall the main difference between the DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mixes is minor with the DTS offering a slightly more beefed up sound. French, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Danish subtitles have been included as well as English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired.
MGM’s region DVD 1 is essentially a barebones release that comes with the following extras the films original trailer and an eight page booklet that contains cast and production notes. MGM’s special edition region 2 DVD is fully loaded with extras including a photo gallery, radio spots, the films original trailer and a double bill trailer for the first two dollars films. Other extras include three featurettes “Restoration Italian Style”, “Location Comparisons” and “The American Release Version”. This release also comes with three documentaries “A New standard”, “Back for More” and “Tre Voci”. Rounding out the extras for this release is an audio commentary by Sergio Leone biographer Christopher Frayling. The extras included for this special edition release cover a lot of ground and rarely is any information repeated.
MGM have given For a Few Dollars More the red carpet treatment for this new region 2 SE release. Besides restoring the audio/video they have also added several juicy extras that should keep you busy for a while as well as increasing your knowledge about this film. MGM region 2 SE is superior to their region1 DVD in every way. Even though this current release is near perfect there will still be some fans of this film may be content waiting for the region 1 release from MGM which at this moment has no slated release date in the foreseeable future.