Friday, July 4, 2014

For a Few Dollars Less (1966)

Original title: Per Qualche Dollaro in Meno

Director: Mario Mattoli

Writers: Bruno Corbucci, Sergio Corbucci, Mario Guerra, Vittorio Vighi

Composer: Marcello Giombini

Starring: Lando Buzzanca, Elio Pandolfi, Gloria Paul, Lucia Modugno, Angela Luce, Luigi Pavese, Carlo Pisacane, Calisto Calisti, Pietro Tordi, Adalberto Rossetti, Tony Renis, Valeria Ciangottini, Raimondo Vianello, Alberto Giraldi, Alfonso Giganti

More info: IMDb

Plot: A bank clerk and his cousin, a "general", join forces to track down a Mexican outlaw.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? No.

In what's an obvious comedic play on FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965), it's a far less inspiring film than anything Sergio Leone ever did...but then that applies to most pictures.  The jokes are fast and mostly from the star, Lando Buzzanca as Bill the bank teller.  He plays it like he's aping Eddie Cantor (and largely helped by the English dub) which I can appreciate but it's just not funny.  BUT the opening credits are unique to Spaghetti Westerns in that their done with stop motion animation like the Rankin & Bass Christmas specials of the 60s. 

WAY cool!!!  I was totally digging it but then the rest of the picture started and it goes into uber silly mode where it comfortably stays until the end of the picture.  There are references to Leone's DOLLAR TRILOGY, DJANGO () and a few others I'm sure I'm overlooking but few of the gags went anywhere clever or even funny.  They're mostly just lame references to better films much like the modern SCARY MOVIE franchise.  The music mimics the theatrics on screen with slide whistles and other silly sounds and themes.  For genre completists only.

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