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For a Few Dollars More (1965) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • Monco is a bounty killer chasing El Indio and his gang. During his hunting, he meets Col. Douglas Mortimer, another bounty killer, and they decide to make a partnership, chase the bad guys together and split the reward. During their enterprise, there will be lots of bullets and funny situations. In the end, one of the bounty hunters shows the real intention of his hunting.

  • Two bounty hunters with the same intentions team up to track down a Western outlaw.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • The film begins with Colonel Douglas Mortimer (Lee Van Cleef) illegally stopping the train he is riding on outside the small town of Tucumcari. He rides on his horse to the town's brothel where he confronts, chases and shoots down a wanted criminal, collecting a bounty of $1,000 on Guy Calloway (José Terrón). Mortimer's gunslinging skill is displayed as he easily kills him from long distance. After collecting the bounty he inquires about Red "Baby" Cavanagh (José Marco), who has a $2,000 bounty, and was last seen in White Rocks. Mortimer is told that Cavanagh has already been targeted a stranger, who is referred to as "Monco" (meaning one-handed in Spanish - and Italian).

    We first see Monco (Clint Eastwood) ride into town and track down Cavanagh at a saloon playing five-card draw poker. Monco kills him and his men, and takes the bounty.

    Elsewhere, a Mexican bandit named Indio (Gian Maria Volonté) is serving a jail sentence but his gang arrive and kill several guards to free their leader. Indio escapes and more guards are killed but Indio spares the life of one so that he can let people know what he and his men are capable of.

    Soon, Indio gets hold of the bounty hunter responsible for putting him behind bars. He has the man's wife and child killed and challenges him to an unfair duel. Indio takes his life.

    Indio is a ruthless, intelligent man. He has a musical pocketwatch that he plays before engaging in gun duels. "When the chimes finish, begin," he says. Flashbacks reveal that the watch originates from a young woman (Rosemary Dexter), who killed herself while being raped by Indio after he had found her with her lover and killed him. The watch bears a photo of the woman and was presented as a gift by the young man before being killed.

    Having learned of Indio's manhunt and reward money, Monco arrives in the town of El Paso and soon crosses paths with Mortimer. Both men believe Indio will rob the town's bank - the Texan equivalent of Fort Knox, that holds a safe containing "almost a million dollars". The two hunters' theory is confirmed when several of Indio's men arrive to stake out the town and Mortimer tries to goad one of the gunmen, The Hunchback Wild (Klaus Kinski) into a fight but he refuses in order to keep out of trouble.

    From different sources, Monco and Mortimer find out that the other is a bounty killer and are obviously chasing the same purpose. Monco tries to get Mortimer out of town by proving his gun skills by shooting at the Colonel's hat. But Mortimer proves his own worth and does exactly the same thing to Manco. Realizing they each have skills that would be ideal against fourteen men,and in order to "get Indio between two fires" they reluctantly form a partnership and decide that Monco should go undercover with the outlaws. He rescues one of Indio's friends from prison and is quickly offered membership into the gang.

    Indio sends Monco with a few of his men to rob the bank of Santa Cruz in order to be decoys and get the sheriff and his men away from El Paso. Monco kills the men he is sent with and arrives in El Paso to bring Indio down with Mortimer but the plan goes wrong and the gang successfully rob the bank and take off with the loot. Monco tries to sever his ties with Mortimer but Mortimer convinces him otherwise.However when Monco joins back up with Indio, he convinces him to go in the opposite direction to what the Colonel planned.

    The gang arrive in the small border town of Agua Caliente, where Monco is surprised to find Mortimer waiting for him. The hunchback recognizes the Colonel from their previous encounter and forces a showdown in which he is killed by the Colonel. The Colonel then proves his worth to Indio by cracking open the safe without using explosives, but Indio states his intention to wait a month if necessary to allow the furor over the bank robbery to die down and locks the money away in a chest in the treasure room.

    That night, Monco and the Colonel meet in the treasure room and plan to steal the bank money from Indio. The Colonel had already taken the money out of the chest earlier and now locks it again with his special ability to open and lock locks without keys. When they leave the treasure room by roof (because the door is locked) they realize that the bandits are outside waiting for them, knowing that Monco is actually a bounty killer and that the Colonel is his cooperator. Just before Monco jumps down, he throws the bag with the money in a tree unnoticed. When Monco and the Colonel have climbed down, Indio's band severely beat them. Afterwards, Indio finds out that chest is still locked, which makes him believe that Monco and the Colonel never stole the money.

    Later that night, Indio's right-hand man Nino (Mario Brega), on orders from Indio, kills the guard of Monco and the Colonel and releases them. Indio informs his gang that they "got away," and sends them after the escaped bounty hunters. He intends to kill off his gang with the bounty killers while he and Nino take all the loot for themselves. However, the smarter Groggy (Luigi Pistilli) figures out what Indio is up to, and kills Nino. Before he can kill Indio, he finds that the Colonel has already removed the stolen money from the chest. Indio convinces Groggy to join forces with him to trap the bounty-killers.

    The next morning, Monco and Mortimer shoot down the gang, one by one, in the streets of the town. Standing alone, Mortimer shoots Groggy when the outlaw tries to run for it, but then has his gun shot out of his hand by Indio, who then takes out his pocket watch and begins playing it to start off a duel. As the chime nears the end, Monco suddenly appears with an identical pocket watch, playing the same tune as Indio's, which Mortimer realizes had been taken from him earlier. As this happens, Monco holds a Henry rifle on Indio and gives his gunbelt and pistol to Mortimer, evening the odds. "Now we start," Monco announces and sits while Mortimer and Indio face off. During the standoff, Monco looks down at the pocket watch and sees the same picture of the woman Indio had raped. The music finishes, and Mortimer outdraws and guns down Indio.

    At this juncture, Mortimer takes Indio's pocket watch. Monco gives him back the other watch and remarks on a family resemblance; the Colonel replies, "Naturally, between brother and sister," indicating that the young woman's portrait was that of Mortimer's sister. His revenge complete, he decides to take no part of the bounty. As Monco tosses the last of the bodies into a wagon and counts them by the reward for each one, he realizes he is short of the $27,000 total, and spins around to gun down Groggy who had survived and waited in ambush. As he leaves, he takes the bag with the bank money out of the tree, though it is not clear whether he intends to return it. Monco then rides off into the distance with his horse towing the wagon full of the lifeless bodies of the entire gang.

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