For the follow up to ‘Fistful of Dollars’, many of the old cast were joined by new ‘names’ such as Lee Van Cleef and Klaus Kinski. Like the first in the trilogy, the film’s title is a reference to Leone’s ‘state of the budget’.
Italian villain Gian Maria Volonte, in reality a Shakespearian actor, returned to play the marihuana-smoking baddy El Indio.
Religious symbolism played an important role in the film (there are twelve bandits helping El Indio and he explains his plan to rob a bank from the pulpit of an abandoned church, the Church of Santa Maria, Turrillas, Almería). Director Sergio Leone was in fact quite obsessed with religion, among other things.
The exterior of the church was another building altogether, as is often the way with the deceitful location finders of Hollywood. It was in fact the 16thcentury Alumbres Castle in the Rodalquilar Valley.