For a Few Dollars More
Treated much better by MGM/UA than A Fistful of Dollars, the Region 1 DVD release of For a Few Dollars More offers only the widescreen version of the movie, with non-anamorphic letterboxing that preserves the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The transfer is very good, starting with a good-quality source print that seems only to have a few dust speckles and the odd scratch to mar it. The transfer has been handled carefully, keeping the image reasonably sharp and free of grain, while at the same time preserving solid blacks. The contrast is superb, providing an excellent dynamic range across the image. Also, the transfer engineers appear to have been very cautious with compression, as artifacts seem not to be present anywhere; edge enhancement is likewise not to be seen, with the exception of a couple of shots where the pattern on Eastwood's poncho causes some shimmering. The colors are vivid and accurate, and flesh tones look very good (there is a fairly broad range of flesh tones in this movie, thanks to the way various characters are made up). The sound is dual-channel mono and has undergone some cleaning and pressing. Effective use of noise reduction and re-equalization has been made, opening the dynamic range somewhat and providing clearer high and low ends. The soundtrack has also been maximized, which overcomes the disparity between the MGM/UA logo and the following film. The French soundtrack, also dual-channel mono, is much more confined to the mid-range, and appears to have been maximized to the limit, with some evident distortion and a constant rumble. Dubbing appears to be as accurate as it could be, considering the multiple-language nature of the original film, and subtitles are also included. The sole extra is a trailer for the movie -- curiously enough, this appears to be the U.K.-release trailer, which has an English narrator doing the hard sell. There are animated menus with sound and 32 chapter stops. The eight-page booklet enclosed with the DVD looks pretty, but is an absolute headache to read.