For a Few Dollars More 4K Blu-ray Review

The panache of Italian flair

by Simon Crust

For a Few Dollars More Review

When the chimes end, pick up your gun

The man with no name – except he’s called Monco.

After the runaway success of Fistful of Dollars, a sequel was assured. Free from the confines of a re-make, Leone and his screenwriter penned a new film, not a follow on, not even the same characters, but reuniting many of the same cast and crew to produce another stunning western, only this time with a deeper story, deeper characters, and with some genuine emotion to the motivations of those characters.

There was more money this time around, so gone were the day for night shots, cinematically it looks better, the Andalusian landscape has never looked better. Joining Eastwood was Lee Van Cleef and the pair work seamlessly together; their standoff is one of the films greatest highlights, with the motivation behind Van Cleef’s character being the driving force of the narrative. Bad boy Gian Maria Volontè was far more restrained this time around, and his character is brutal and vicious without the pantomime. Indeed, the whole script is a perfect ensemble the captures the brutality of the Old West with the panache of Italian flair.

Also returning is Ennio Morricone, whose score is even better, I mean it is simply gorgeous; the sumptuous integration of the chimes into the score is ear melting.

The whole film drips energy and is so assured in its presentation. In every way it is a better film than Fistful. It even lays the groundwork for what would become the pinnacle of Leone’s westerns, especially at the climactic shootout which is the same location as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly which would come next.

Movies & TV Review

117

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 4K Blu-ray Review

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 4K Blu-ray Review

by Cas Harlow ·
One of the greatest Leone movies, greatest Eastwood movies, greatest Westerns, and greatest films of all time enjoys a stunning 4K Blu-ray release in the US courtesy of Kino Lorber.  
10

For a Few Dollars More 4K Video

For a Few Dollars More (1965)

For a Few Dollars More was shot on 35mm film using the Techniscope, 2-perf, format, and this release is touted as the ‘complete restored edit with extensive shot-by-shot colour grading’ forming a new 4K DI, from which this UHD is sourced.

The disc presents a native 3840 x 2160p resolution image, in the widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio, uses 10-bit video depth but is in standard definition colour space, and is encoded using the HEVC (H.265) codec.

We reviewed the Region free US Ultra HD Blu-ray release of For a Few Dollars More on a Panasonic TX-65HZ1000B Ultra HD 4K TV with a Panasonic DP-UB450 Dolby Vision HDR10+ 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

No HDR

When the film first starts up, it is a bit soft and quite grainy, this is due to the optical nature of the credits which come over the top; once finished the picture immediately cleans up and shows some incredible detail. There are a lot of vista shots, showing the barren desolation of the Andalusian landscape, and this is photographed really well: the terrain, scrub vegetation, screes, barrancas, sand, rocks, strata – having been there I can attest as to how good this image represents what is actually seen. The same can be said of the detail in skin texture, the many close-ups showing pores, sweat, missing teeth, watering eyes (with veins) and eye lashes. Clothing shows clear weaves, whether it's patches, worn or pristine stitching, see the wall coverings of the inn, or the wood carvings in the bank.

Colour is far more natural: flesh tones are sunburned and deep, or pale and alive depending on the character, while the reds of the interiors of the inn are bold and the landlady’s green dress shimmers. The rich blue of the daytime sky is glorious, while firelight is dense and hot. The bold colouring of the lighting as Monco and Mortimer are beaten is glorious.

Black level is deep and strong giving some good depth to frame, especially at the night shots – check out the ‘hat shooting’ scene, with no crush. White scale is good, with some decent natural whites (check out the buildings), the occasional clipping is due to the source and not digital tomfoolery.

Digitally, there are no compression issues, the original source is clean and solid, with a good natural grain structure throughout.

Opinion: Filmed on a budget in 1965 in Italy – one cannot expect this image to be perfect even with all the technical wizardry that now exists, and it is not. One does have to ask the question as to how much manipulation of the image constitutes moving away from director’s or cinematographer’s intent. One thing is obvious, when originally shown there would have been variance between reels, even between shots, the photochemical process tries to get everything the same for continuity, but due to the filming process (lighting, lenses, daylight variances etc.) nothing is perfect. The trouble begins when expectation of a perfect image due to modern filming techniques encroaches on what is an imperfect process from the past. This is exemplified by something like Project 4K77, which, unlike the official Disney 4K release that is processed to an inch of its life, and looks magnificent for it, shows all the flaws inherent in how older films were presented upon their release; grain, colour and contrast variances exist between reels, sometimes between shots that were photographed on different days. The same is said with For a Few Dollars More. The image is not perfect, nor should it be, but what it is, is the best it is ever likely to look without overprocessing and making it look like a modern film.

For a Few Dollars More 4K Audio

For a Few Dollars More (1965)

Two tracks, English DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono and 5.1 surround, both suit the film well. The mono track, which I actually prefer in this case, has a strong presence, especially with dialogue which is clear, precise and natural sounding. Effects, gunshots, ricochets, explosions, horse hooves, punches etc all have a good presence and are suitable heavy, while the score resonates so well, with good depth and great layering.

The 5.1 surround track demonstrates reasonable separation, even if the presentation is a tad front heavy; effects fare best with all the above given more presence and definition especially with the added benefit of the sub. Bass is reasonable without being overbearing adding to, rather than taking over effects. Dialogue is a touch lighter compared to the mono and rooted to the centre, but is natural sounding and well layered, while the real benefit is the score which makes good use of the surround environment.

Review System: Denon AVR-X4300H, MK Sound LCR750 and SUR55T, XTZ S2 Atmosphere ceiling mounted, SVS PB-12 Ultra.

For a Few Dollars More 4K Extras

For a Few Dollars More (1965)

Nothing new, but extensive all the same.

UHD

Audio Commentary – With Christopher Frayling, biographer of Sergio Leone.

Audio Commentary – With critic Tim Lucas.

BLU-RAY

Audio Commentary – As Above.

Audio Commentary – As Above.

The Frayling Archives: For a Few Dollars More – Frayling delves into the film showing of his memorabilia.

A New Standard: Christopher Frayling on For a Few Dollars More – Frayling and his encyclopaedic knowledge return for more.

Back For More: Clint Eastwood Remembers For a Few Dollars More – What the titles says.

Tre Voci: Three Friends Remember For a Few Dollars More – Alberto Grimaldi, Sergio Donati, and Mickey Knox discuss Leone in regard to this film.

For a Few Dollars More: The Original American Release Version – The minor cuts the film received prior to its first theatrical run.

Location Comparisons: Then and Now

Trailers From Hell – Episode of Trailers From Hell with director and actor Ernest Dickerson.

On Location in Almeria and Granada – Alex Cox visits locations of the film.

Promoting For a Few Dollars More – Posters and more!

For a Few Dollars More: On the Set – Production stills.

For a Few Dollars More: Color Stills – Colour stills.

For a Few Pictures More – More stills.

Radio Spots

Trailers

Conclusion

For a Few Dollars More 4K Blu-ray Review

For a Few Dollars More (1965)

For a Few Dollars More is - in every way - a better film than Fistful of Dollars; it is more accomplished, more polished, a leaner, meaner and more meaningful script, it packs a punch, and its characters are driven by emotional backstories. The actors are harder, the direction tauter, it is more cinematic in scope and Morricone’s score is beautiful. Hard to believe it could be bettered …. But it was!

More in every way

The 4K UHD from Kino is terrific; the native 4K image may not have HDR, but the attention to detail with regard to the remastering and image quality, means this is the best the film is ever likely to look while managing to retain the essential filmic quality from the original presentation. The soundtracks, whichever flavour, match the visuals well, while the extras, even without anything new, are extensive and encompassing.

For a Few Dollars More is released on 4K Ultra HD in the US from 31 May 2022

Scores

Movie

.
9

Picture Quality

.
9

Sound Quality

.
.
.
7

Extras

.
9

Overall

.
9
9
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

Our Review Ethos

Read about our review ethos and the meaning of our review badges.

To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.

Related Content

Dog Soldiers 4K Blu-ray Review
  • By Simon Crust
  • Published
Edge of Tomorrow 4K Blu-ray Review
  • By Mark Costello
  • Published
Heat 4K Blu-ray Review
  • By Casimir Harlow
  • Published
Event Horizon 4K Blu-ray Review
  • By Mark Costello
  • Published
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 4K Blu-ray Review
  • By Casimir Harlow
  • Published

Latest Headlines

Disney+ confirms price increases coming in December
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Movies Podcast: 8th August 2022
  • By Casimir Harlow
  • Published
Freeview Play unveils latest Explore TV update
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Top Bottom