Still quite simple-minded. Overly-plotted, overlong, and mono-dimensional in its characters. As cool as an idea of The Man with No Name is in theory, its lack of nuance, background, or even a clear rationale, doesn't make for an interesting emotional anchor or an engaging narrative. The many films that took from the series are better in their building of a character/dramatic arc, as well as an engine for the machine.
By far my favorite of the Man With No Name trilogy. Clint Eastwood's best Western. What elevates this film is Lee Van Cleef as a man deeply haunted by the death of his sister (his greatest performance). Gian Maria Volonte also is in his most memorable role as the insane Indio lost in a drug haze. As Schickel said, "it is more elegant and complex than Fistful, more tense and compressed than Good, Bad, Ugly."
My western kick continues. Remains my favorite film in the trilogy, easily. The cruel, haunting back-story elevates Sergio's already-revelatory shootouts and showdowns with operatic emotionality he wouldn't match or outdo until 1968's "Once Upon a Time in the West." I get shivers just thinking about the melody of that musical pocketwatch.
So much better than its predecessor. Just rewatched it's much better than I remember it. Clint and Van Cleef make a great team and the story is actually fantastic, at times somewhat emotional and extremely fun as always. You can tell Leone improved vastly with each film in his storytelling abilities and technical skill. This film is a beauty to look at.
Or, Leone, Morricone, Van Cleef, and Eastwood taking off into the stratosphere. So much great stuff here. "This train will stop at Tucumcari." The organ bursting into the soundtrack during a showdown. The last 10 minutes are perfect, the beginning of the end for the Western.