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|Index||714 reviews in total|
The Magnificent Seven: (The ones with Ennio music and (except for The
Great Silence) Leone-directed or produced):
A Fistful of Dollars 1964
For A Few Dollars More 1965
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly 1966
The Great Silence 1968 (directed by Sergio Corbucci)
Once Upon A Time in the West 1968
Duck, You Sucker! / aka A Fistful of Dymanite 1971
My Name Is Nobody 1973 (produced by Leone, he directed a few scenes)
+ 18 Honorable Mentions, making it a "Top 25": (a cut below Leone, but still good, most of which have at least one "Leone element" in them, mostly from the years 1965-1969, '66 and '68 being particularly banner years):
A Bullett for the General 1968 (Gian Maria Volonte and Ennio music)
Face to Face 1966 (Gian Maria Volonte and Ennio music)
The Big Gundown 1966 (Lee Van Cleef and Ennio music)
Death Rides A Horse 1968 (Lee Van Cleef and Ennio music)
Day of Anger 1967 (Lee van Cleef)
Sabata 1969 (Lee van Cleef)
The Grand Duel 1972 (Lee van Cleef)
The Mercenary 1968 (Ennio music)
Run, Man, Run 1969 (Ennio music)
A Pistol for Ringo 1965 (Ennio music)
The Return of Ringo 1965 (Ennio music)
Ace High 1968 (Eli Wallach)
Under-appreciated (in the US, at least) Corbucci efforts
Navajo Joe 1966 (Ennio music)
Hellbenders 1967 (Ennio music)
Companeros 1970 (Ennio music)
Miscellaeneous (very good spaghettis with almost no "Leone elements")
A Minute to Pray, A Second To Die 1968
The Ruthless Four 1968
+ 25 Other Spaghettis (not necessarily "good movies", but "of interest" due to "Leone elements", the participation of James Coburn, Eli Wallach, Charles Bronson, and Ennio Morricone being the most prominent)
A Genius, Two Partners, and a Dupe 1975 (Ennio music, plus Leone may have directed a scene or two)
The Guns of San Sebastian 1968 (Charles Bronson and Ennio music)
Red Sun 1972 (Charles Bronson)
Chino 1973 (Charles Bronson)
Beyond the Law 1968 (Lee Van Cleef)
The Return of Sabata 1971 (Lee Van Cleef)
Long Live Your Death / aka Don't Turn the Other Cheek 1971 (Eli Wallach)
The White, The Yellow, and the Black 1975 (Eli Wallach)
A Reason to Live, A Reason To Die 1972 (James Coburn)
Tepepa 1968 (Ennio music)
Five Man Army 1968 (Ennio music)
Sonny and Jed 1971 (Ennio music)
What Am I Doing in the Middle of a Revolution? 1972 (Ennio music)
Other vaguely interesting Spaghetti's mainly due to the cast involved:
Adios, Sabata 1970 *Yul Brynner
A Bullet for Sandoval 1969 *Ernest Borgnine
A Man Called Sledge 1970 *James Garner
Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears 1973 *Anthony Quinn
The films of the "other Sergio", Sergio Corbucci (plus The White, The Yellow, and the Black, Sonny and Jed, and What Am I Doing in the Middle of a Revolution? mentioned above, are of interest for mainly historical reasons.)
Massacre at Grande Canyon 1963
Minnesota Clay 1964
Ringo and His Golden Piston / aka Johnny Oro 1965
The Specialist 1968
The "Comedy Spaghettis" with the Terence Hill/Bud Spencer, known as the "Trinity" films (Whether you find these Hill/Spencer westerns funny or not is a matter of taste. The Italians love them, I personally prefer the first three more serious Westerns they made in the 60's to the Trinity films. I have already mentioned Ace High which also stars Eli Wallach, above. Actually, it was part of a non-comedy trilogy with the Hill/Spencer team. Boot Hill and God Forgives, I Don't are the other two.)
God Forgives, I Don't 1968
Boot Hill 1969
They Call Me Trinity 1971
Trinity is Still My Name 1971
*Well that's it for the "top 50". Actually, I'm not so sure about 26-50, but 1-25 are must see and rock-solid. If you can't get enough of this type of movie, rather than wasting your time with the mostly substandard 400 to 500 hundred remaining Eurowesterns (the vast majority of which stink to high heaven), I would recommend trying the Clint Eastwood films Hang 'Em High (1968), Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970), Joe Kidd (1972), High Plains Drifter (1973), Outlaw Jose Wales (1976), Pale Rider (1985) and Unforgiven (1992). Obviously, they aren't spaghetti westerns, but the Leone kinship is obvious. Think of them as the Leone/Eastwood films they never got around to making together.
Also, the films of Sam Peckinpah, especially, The Wild Bunch (1969), The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970) and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1972), which were also key films in the "deconstruction" of the Western. Oh, McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) by Robert Altman is another key film.
P.S. By all means, avoid Spanish "Paella" Westerns, which are even worse than the very worst Italian made ones. Especially A Town Called Hell (1971) by Eugenio Martin, it is absolutely lousy despite the stellar cast.
P.P.S. Contrary to what some people may try to tell you, there are no Late Spaghetti Classics (after 1973). No, Keoma, Four of the Apocalypse and China 9, Liberty 37 are not lost classics, they are pretentious, preposterous failures, deservedly (and mercifully) forgotten. The two post '73 spaghettis I did mention were only due to the involvement of Leone and Corbucci, I wasn't endorsing those films necessarily.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, a 1966 spaghetti western from director
Sergio Leone, sums up everything an "epic" movie should be. It has a
huge scope, a unique ensemble of characters, and well done drama.
The film is overacted at times, as one would expect. But that serves it well. Eastwood does his tough/cool guy act better than it has ever been done. He is clearly at the top of his game here. The dialog is well written, the tough talk is as over the top as it can get without getting campy. The script also provides some humor to lighten the mood a bit.
The story is the movies greatest strength. It has a massive arc, and multiple story threads that eventually unite to form one. There are many major events in the plot, and no pointless scenes, despite the films long length. There is never a dull moment to be found in The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.
The film is highly unpredictable. It leaves the viewer guessing as to what will happen next up until the famous climax.
This movie has some of the best shootouts ever put on screen. Eastwood is given many moments to show of his effortless coolness, and many of the fights are quite suspenseful. Later in the film, there are larger scale battles. These are shot perfectly by Leone.
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly is far more than a mere western. it is probably the best example of the epic film-making style that dominated the 50's and 60's(i.e Ben-Hur) This is a masterpiece that will stand the test of time.
Clint Eastwood returns as The Man With No Name in this final
installment in Sergio Leone's epic Dollars Trilogy (or Man With No Name
Trilogy). He plays Blondie (the Good), a sharp-shooter of debatable
honor, iron will, and questionable motives. Leone also brings back Lee
Van Cleef as Angel Eyes (the Bad), a sadistic man who always keeps his
promises as long as you pay him for it. Eli Wallach rounds out the
trio as Tuco (the Ugly), a thief worried only about his own hide. The
three men are held together by the wish to locate a stash of gold, its
location imparted to them by a dying man. Alas, things are not so
simple. The man whispers some of the information to Tuco, but only
Blondie knows the true location. And so our thieves must overcome
backstabbing and betrayal, as well as their mutual enemy of Angel Eyes,
to reach the treasure.
Sergio Leone creates a visual masterpiece. Not even Orson Welles can hold the audience in his hands the way Leone can. The cinematography and editing are perfectly in sync, working together to mold the audience as Leone sees fit. The famous Mexican standoff, with its rapid-fire cutting and incredibly close shots, is jaw dropping, forcing you to hold your breath. And of course, the film simply could not work without Ennio Morricone's incredible (I repeat, incredible) score. Even if you don't bother seeing the movie, look up The Ecstasy of Gold on YouTube. It will leave you speechless and blow your mind.
After a disastrous experience with my first foray into Westerns (for the record, "Shane" is a horrific movie), I all but damned the entire genre to the pits of hell. But after repeatedly spying "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" atop film lists, I decided to give it a try. It had me on the edge of my seat, my eyes shining, my entire being entranced. In my opinion, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" is one of the most spectacular movies ever made. Is it historically accurate? No. Is the plot nice and tight? Not really. But those are trivial matters in the face of what it is an incredible spaghetti western. And as far as I am concerned, it is one of the best movies ever made.
A big, bravado, bold and exquisite film for its time, Sergio Leone's
"The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" remains one of the most seminal,
influential, and exciting films of all time. With its superb cast, its
beautiful and wide scenery, and its superior action sequences, this
film is a masterpiece. A picture that embodies the perfect
personification of masculinity. A true man's picture, and one that will
stand tall among most movies today.
The simple tale of how three gunslingers form an unlikely alliance of hate, in order to find $200,000 (that's $6 million by today's standards) worth of stolen gold, in a country that is ravaged by war, is elegantly told by the maestro of westerns, Sergio Leone. For its time, Spaghetti Westerns were not considered genuine art, but rather, entertainment instead. Sergio Leone is probably the only director who is smart enough to make his film compelling to mainstream and critical audiences alike. His direction is smart and strong, and you see how well his direction is as per the amount of manpower and creativity in handling the action sequences. The action sequences are raw, crisp, grand, explosive, and taut. Especially the Standoff at the end. Leone should probably be awarded a Nobel Prize for that scene alone. Leone is probably why westerns are popular among the youth of the '60s, hell, he probably influenced would be filmmakers at the time. I know of one who was particularly influenced by Leone's direction - Quentin Tarantino himself said that this film is the best-directed film of all time. And yes, although the film may be long, there's not a scene that goes by that you'll say boring.
Clint Eastwood - The Good. The legendary Man With No Name. His character perfectly embodies with the true meaning of masculinity. As per in his previous films, he plays a mysterious gunslinger, one with a deadly aim and a strong sense of honor and pride. He is the perfect hero, and this film stands out as one of Clint's, if not his, best film ever.
Lee Van Cleef - The Bad. Here, instead of the fatherly Doug Mortimer in the previous "For A Few Dollars More", we get the stone-cold assassin Angel Eyes. Van Cleef plays him chillingly to the bone. He is wicked, he is ruthless, he is cruel. He would kill anyone, be it his targets or even his own client.
Eli Wallach - The Ugly. He is Tuco, a criminal on the loose. He is the most interesting character in the film, as we see the ugly side of man through him. He is two-faced, slimy, arrogant, and hate-able. But that what makes his character great. There is no substitution for Wallach, he will always be Tuco no matter what.
The cinematography is absolutely beautiful. We get to see the backdrop of the glorious Wild West and the battlefields of war in all its unfaded glory. Even the cemetery scene is filmed extremely well. The music - that's another thing. The music, is masterful, so sublime, so grandiose, and so haunting. It's mesmerizing, really, to hear the great Ennio Morricone's score while looking at the actions of people, it perfectly matches the film. Not forgetting to mention the iconic and haunting theme song that's embodied itself in popular culture even until today.
So, yes, this is truly cinematic brilliance. If you want to see the film in all it's glory, I reckon you readers get the extended cut DVD of the film. It's Leone's true version of this film, and it would do you some good to see his true film, not to mention the remastered picture and 5.1 sound so that you can hear the gunshots and explosions in all its fury. Make no mistake readers, this film is one of the most iconic movies ever made, and it can be proud of its status as "Greatest Western Ever Made". Now if only movies like these were made today as well...
Overall rating: 10/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Three separate mercenaries drifting through the US Civil War in 1862
hear about a cache of looted Confederate gold, rumoured to be buried in
a cemetery. Picking up clues, and with many criss-crossing adventures
en route, they each make their way to the treasure. Can they find it,
and who will emerge alive ?
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, or Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo to give it it's proper name, is simply the finest western ever made. Many accused Leone of being a hack; he made westerns, but he made them in Spain, and he wasn't even an American. Not only was he not a hack, he made pure cinema - a genre stylist unburdened by all the boring moral constraints of so many westerns (clean-cut good guys, white supremacy, social responsibility). As a result, this film is the purest distillation of the western myth, with the most amazing cinematic treatment ever committed to film. Its style is beyond criticism and its influence cannot be underestimated; Leone's themes, his camera angles, his use of music, his intuitive widescreen style, his moves, his incredible closeups - all have been and continue to be copied by lesser men. At a time when everyone was making crappy new age films like Barefoot In The Park and Georgy Girl, Leone was going back to his cinematic childhood of Gone With The Wind to create an astonishingly mythic epic which is the greatest depiction of the American Civil War despite not being about it. The three main characters are larger than life in the best way possible; Eastwood is extraordinary as The Man With No Name here, his character gradually mellowing from the hardened bounty-hunter he was as he witnesses the horrors of the war. If you do not cry at the scene near the end where this hardest of hard men dispassionately comforts a dying boy you are truly heartless. Wallach is amazing as Tuco, giving one of the greatest physical performances I have ever seen, all darting eyes, fastidious little movements and operatic comedy; he can be scary, funny, vicious and tender, all in the same scene. Van Cleef on the other hand is the purest depiction of black-hearted evil in any film. His introduction, as he rides a black horse out of a desert sundown and commits three horrific murders is amongst the greatest screen villainy of all time. These three incredible turns are all-time career bests for three astonishingly talented and prolific actors. Also superb are Guiffrè as the doomed drunken Yankee Captain Clinton, Pistilli as Tuco's brother Pablo and Brega as Wallace, Van Cleef's burly henchman (Brega plays similar heavies in the two previous Dollar movies). The other unforgettable element to this movie is Ennio Morricone's astounding music, which I think I must say is simply the greatest score ever recorded. There is no movie I can name with better, more original or dynamic music. The music is in unique harmony with the images and emotes from the first note to the last crescendo. The music completes every scene. It is lustful, haunting, touching, humorous, ominous, grandiose, suspenseful, operatic, delicious, magnificent, riveting, quiet, melancholy and philosophical. There are too many great musical moments to mention, but perhaps the greatest of all is the L'Estasi Dell'Oro sequence as a crazed Tuco runs amongst the graves of Sad Hill accompanied by the silken soprano voice of Edda Dell'Orso. Morricone is probably the most gifted film composer who has ever lived - he is certainly the most prolific - and this is the finest of his many many great scores. In an average movie I hope for maybe five strong scenes with atmosphere and originality. In this long movie, every single scene, bar none, is a brilliant little vignette, yet each flows into the other with perfect rhythm. What else is there to say about this extraordinarily beautiful film ? It is a diamond, an absolute diamond of world cinema, made by one of the few truly original directors, and don't believe for a second anyone who tries to write it off as trashy or simplistic. It contains so many moments of pure storytelling genius it would take me forever to list them. It is a great story, an astounding assault on the senses, a hugely entertaining masterpiece and an everlasting testament to Leone's total command of cinema. Featuring exquisite photography by Tonino Delli Colli and fantastic sets by Carlo Simi, it was shot at Elios Studios in Rome, in Castilla-Leon in northern Spain and in Leone's favoured locations in Almeria. Stunningly well written by Agenore Incrocci, Furio Scarpelli, Luciano Vincenzoni and Leone. Re-mastered and re-released in 2003, with several additional scenes which didn't make it into the original US release, notably a sequence where Tuco reunites with his gang and one where Angel Eyes visits a ruined fort. Trivia - Eastwood/Blondy is the good (buono), Wallach/Tuco is the ugly (brutto) and Van Cleef/Angel Eyes is the bad (cattivo); the latter two are often transposed in much of the English-language publicity and merchandise for the movie. This is the great Sergio Leone's best film, the best film of the sixties and the best western ever made.
A truly magnificent 3 hour long tale of three bandits, on the trail of half a million dollars in stolen confederate gold. Clint Eastwood is Blondie, a mercenary gunman who partners up with the Mexican bandit Tucco (Eli Wallach) to play a con on several different western towns. Tucco plays the part of captured bandit, Blondie the part of bounty hunter who has captured the wanted criminal. Subsequently he collects the reward, and Tucco is to be hung. But being a con, naturally Blondie just shoots Tuccon down off the hangman's rope, and into the sunset they ride to their next con job. Into the fray rides Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef playing the role to menacing perfection), a ruthless killer on the trail of the stolen gold after two of the thieves turn on each other, both hiring Angel Eyes to murder the other. He may be a ruthless killer, but he does have a perverted sense of honor, and thus fulfills both contracts, but not before one of the men tells him the story of the stolen gold, and whom he should seek out to get it, another thief in on the heist, who has now joined up with the Confederate army. As the broad backdrop of the Civil War rages on, we are given a microcosm of the conflict with not two, but three competing sides. What's interesting here is the dichotomy of the characters being almost mirror images of one another. Each a skilled gunman, and proficient killer. However, what separates the three is the degree of morality each has; Blondie killing only when necessary, when he's confronted with no other choice. Tucco kills for convenience, his life of crime has made him many enemies, so he's often faced with the end result, those out for revenge. But Tucco has a softer side, and we see several revelations about his upbringing that place him in a somewhat more heroic light than he first comes across as. Finally, there's Angel Eyes, a demonic killer with no empathy, sympathy or moral direction. He's out to get everything in life for himself, and will sell out anyone that tries to stop him. He delights in torture, but seldom sullies his own hands. He prefers to let others do the dirty work, and enjoys the spoils. I really think he's a representation of the Devil. Someone that enjoys manipulating, killing and causing chaos. A being totally involved with the pleasures of life regardless of the cost to others. The film's climax with a Mexican standoff is priceless, and the entire film is a enjoyable, riveting experience that should be on the beginners list for Western film viewing. Interestingly enough, it is so deep and nuanced, it can easily go onto an Experts list for WEstern viewing as well.
Beautifully shot and packed with a wickedly grim sense of humour this
is one of the finest westerns this side of John Huston. Starring a
stony faced don't-laugh-don't-blink Clint Eastwood and a crafty,
weasely Eli Wallach it covers most of the genre's typical themes,
albeit in a more gonzoid fashion, ranging from public hangings to duels
Sergio Leone goes to great lengths to create just the right atmosphere, filming even the smallest rolling tumbleweed if it improved on his vision. Consequently this an epic of epic length, which is bound to put some people off.
However, the huge amounts of iconic moments, the sweeping Morricone soundtrack and the sheer wide-eyed sense of adventure it oozes turns it into a great slice of cinema.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The first thing to say about this movie is that it is probably a
prequel to the first two dollar movies.I say this because towards the
end of the movie Clint Eastwood's character actually finds the poncho
that he wears in the first two films. This is a great movie and in my
opinion the finest western ever.I think that it has gained respect
critically with each passing decade and rightly so.It comes in at
almost three hours and it really does need to be that long. What is so
great?The three leading actor's are all top notch here.Clint Eastwood
fits the role to perfection,Lee Van Cleef oozes menace and Eli Wallach
chews up every scene he is in in probably his best loved role.The story
is basically a hunt for missing gold set against the backdrop of the
American Civil War and is beautifully told.Then there is the music
which is tremendous throughout. This is a pretty long and violent
journey but boy is it worth it.The final 30 minutes of the film are
tremendous and the final shoot out grips with tension.I remember the
first time I saw it and couldn't believe that Clint could possibly
leave poor old Tuco to hang in the middle of the graveyard and even
though the character of Tuco is a bit of a swine I was really pleased
Clint decided to save him after all.
Watch this movie.Not only is it a great western,it is a fantastic film in it's own right.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is totally brilliant. It is with out a doubt the best
western ever and (I think) the best movie ever. The last scene in the
graveyard were Eli Wallach is running and the shootout after wards is
easily the best scene ever. I just love it. The drama in this movie can
probably never ever be achieved again. This is the masterpiece of
masterpieces. For those people who think this movie is boring and do
not understand what I mean with drama I will explain - what you think
is most boring in this movie is what makes it the best. What you think
is the most boring is the drama.
The plot is brilliant in its way of not building up the conflict right away as it does in many movies. I mean it takes more than an hour to get to the real conflict and then the journey to the resolving of the conflict is not long. The cast is incredible and simply genius. All the actors fits perfectly into their role they all do a solid effort. Eli Wallach and Clint Eastwood being the best actors in this production. Their characters are a perfect match and they play out against each other making them grate. The only downside when it comes to the cast is that all the actors look like crap.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've borrowed this DVD (the English/French/Spanish version) from a
college friend of mine. Boy, was that movie long! But still, this is a
great western. A spaghetti western, actually.
I loved how the authenticity of the old American West was depicted in this film (even though it was all shot in Spain and Italy). I also liked that this starred Clint Eastwood; he was a great cowboy movie star ala John Wayne and Gene Autry. Some of my favorite parts included action with guns, getting down hanging people, and best of all, the bridge explosion, which required a lot of time, effort, and work to do! "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" is considered the best western movie ever made according to this website. I certainly agree.
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