Frank Wolff plays Edmund Kean, an actor like his English namesake who has turned to crime in the Old West. Disguised as a preacher, he's won the confidence of a stagecoach team who'll be carrying a big shipment of money out of town to the Springwood Bank. The harmless minister asks them to carry along a Bible for the congregation in Springwood. Inside is a time-bomb set to blow somewhere outside town; afterwards, Kean plans to collect the strongbox from the ruins. But he hasn't reckoned on Moses (Antonio Sabato), the generic lone Mexican bandit who holds up the stage before the bomb goes off. Not knowing about the cash shipment, he takes the mailbag (containing the bomb) and sends the stage on its way. Moses rifles through the bag impatiently, finding a few bills and a necklace, and tosses the Book away moments before it blows. Kean arrives moments later and decides to hang Moses for ruining his plans. But once Moses understands the situation he tells Kean that he knows how to break into the Springwood Bank and get at the money.
Kean spares Moses and the film briefly becomes a caper movie. While the actor distracts the populace outside the bank with an impromptu morning sermon, Moses gets the cash after tunneling into the bank overnight and surprising the bank president. When Kean's suddenly dragged off to officiate at a funeral, Moses absconds with all the loot. Kean prepares to give chase but has his plans complicated by Clay (John Saxon), a gambler whom the bank president owes a fortune after a night at the card table. The way Clay sees it, a good chunk of that money belongs to him, so he wants to join the chase for Moses. Kean doesn't want more partners and is willing to fight for his principles, but the arrival of a posse compels the men to join forces to get out of Springwood.
The stars of One Dollar Too Many all have gimmick weapons, but you're meant to laugh at them. John Saxon's gun (below) has a built-in music box that plays after he shoots. "It's a German tune," he explains.
Saxon slugs Hercules Cortez (above, playing the Bolo Yeung of Mexico) while fighting his way through an angry village.
Videoasia goes too far in proclaiming One Dollar "the first comedy of the genre" on the box cover for Spaghetti Western Bible Vol. 3: The Fast, The Saved and the Damned. Cox reports Franco and Ciccio had already done a parody of the Leone films by 1966. It's possible that Castellari's was the first one (or even the last one) to be good, but I'd need to see more spaghettis before drawing that conclusion. In any event, the Videoasia copy could be sharper, but it looks to be letterboxed correctly. It's one of ten films in the new set (I've already reviewed The Price of Power), and you shall hear from it again before long.
Earlier this month, Mr. Spaghetti Western posted the original Italian-language trailer to YouTube. The picture quality is actually better than the DVD.