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Soundtrack review: For a few dollars more (Ennio Morricone – 1965)

Ennio Morricone Sundays Film scores

Soundtrack review: For a few dollars more (Ennio Morricone – 1965)



The second part of “The dollars trilogy” of spaghetti westerns directed by Sergio Leone has my favorite score from the bunch. I know that many think of Ennio Morricone and place “The good, the bad and the ugly” on top of their list but for me the movie “For a few dollars more” tops its more famous sequel. The tale of revenge…Lee van Cleef’s performance and that pocket watch…they are all part of my childhood memories.

The main theme is alive and adventurous and it makes me feel like I’m on the back of a horse riding in the Wild West. The official recording of this score still has sound effects like shots and steps and sounds of horses and roosters and I love it like that. It is part of its charm. When the music kicks in though, I am mesmerized. The suspenseful cues like “Prison break” and “Discovered” are still landmark cues even today. “Indio and Nino” is so tense it’s almost unbearable.

But nothing tops the emotional ending…The infamous pocket watch chime “Carillon’s theme”. This is one of the most recognizable Morricone tunes ever. There’s no way you haven’t heard it at least once. People still use it even as a ring tone today. With just a few simple notes and sounds the Maestro created an immortal melody. It’s like a trigger which sends me back to when I first saw the movie. I rewatch that end scene quite often because it is just so powerful and music increases its effect tenfold.

The intensity of that scene wouldn’t be complete without one of the most beautiful, emotional and heartbreaking cues Morricone has ever written: “Adio collonelo”. All of Morricone’s craft is in there. This theme is not even two minutes long but I don’t think there are ten more beautiful themes ever written by him. Listen to this a fight the tears that will form in the corner of your eyes…

Cue rating: 84 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 31 / 48

Album excellence: 64%

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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