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In the late sixties and early seventies, in the days before video and DVD, I used to regularly go out to watch the Dollar movies in the West End of London. What more can you say about this fabulous movie that hasn't already been said. Not much more. To me the music makes it. I really think this is the greatest sound track of all time. There was a cover version of the title theme by Hugo Montenegro that was No 1 in the UK hit parade for at least 6 weeks and I can remember Jimmy Saville in his Blondie outfit with cheroot introducing the record on Top of The Pops. So this movie, the music and the characters were constantly in the public consciousness and at the office we were constantly using the line "There are two types of people in the world my friend...." To all the people who haven't yet seen this movie - lucky you. Do yourself a favor and go and get it. You won't be disappointed.
Before watching this movie, I have seen A Fistful of Dollars and For a
Few Dollars more and I was quite impressed with both. However, after I
have seen this, Leone instantly became one of my favorite directors.
Leone has a distinct style in his films and this movie pulls it out
The cinematography in this film is incredible. His use of extreme long shots and extreme close ups are unsurpassed. The film opens with the close up of a man with an expressionless face creating a sense of mystery and excitement. What will this guy going to do? What's going to happen? Then we are introduced to two new unknown men and the three walk towards the entrance. Silence. Then suddenly, the 3 bust in, guns are shot and Tuco busts through the window and escapes with a half eaten chicken (or pork) leg. One of the men is injured, tries to make a futile final attempt to kill him and falls to the floor; the other 2 are already dead. Just in that one scene, we are introduced to Tuco and can already guess his character, his background info, and skill... without a single spoken line of dialogue.
As a matter of fact, nobody speaks until about 10 minutes into the film. It is all visual. We, the audience, are forced to imagine what the characters are thinking, what might be taking place. Leone gives the viewers a chance to guess what might happen. Even in Once Upon a Time in the West, we see his mastery at the No-Dialogue introduction. I also believe that this is his way to introduce the character's personality traits without the viewers actually knowing that they know it. A subtle technique so when they see a character do something later in the movie, the viewers can accept the character's actions.
However, Leone would not be as great as he is if it wasn't for his partner Ennio Morricone and his unique and memorable soundtrack. The coyote-like music sets the mood for this film like no other western. It is something you must listen to and experience it to retain the full appreciation of it, and know why it has become the trademark music for the western genre.
These techniques go on throughout the film and bring us to the ultimate scene in film history, where Leone's style shines to it's full extent. His incredible use of long shots to set the stage, close ups to catch the expressions, music to set the mood, montage to create the tension, expand it and finally when you are at the edge of you're seat, the scene goes off like lighting in the incredible climatic ending.
Leone is not just any director. He is one of the best, and THIS is his western!
this movie is by far the best western ever made. yes unforgiven is
great but it was made after and with the benifit of the latter. this
movie was made in 1966 that is 40 years ago. I have watched this movie
twenty times and maybe more. It has been a part of my life and I find
it to be a great why to kill a rainy afternoon. I see something new
almost every time I watch it. this movie changed the way gun movies
Sergio in his wisdom or luck got it right, as they say three is a charm. If you are a fan of horses check out the Arabian that Lee rides in on, best western horse ever except for maybe Beau in True Grit. many forget that the horses are important too. this movie and director should have won the best movie and best director for 1966
Civil War, gold is up for grabs, and three dirty cowboys all want it.
Seems like a regular Western. It's a good thing film-directing God
Sergio Leone and cowboy-extraordinaire Clint Eastwood paired up,
because in that genre, there isn't a better match. To this day, there
hasn't been a movie that comes close to the depth and craft that his
It's a beautifully woven-together piece of cinema that Sergio knows what to do with. He creates a feeling of both intensity and humor by portraying the three key characters with one trait only; The Good (Clint Eastwood), The Bad (Lee Van Cleef), and The Ugly (Eli Wallach). These characters follow their own instincts, whether it be good or bad, and let nothing stand in their way of recovering the gold. The only problem is, they have to work together to get it. One knows the place of the gold (a graveyard), and one knows which grave it's buried under. Just how long does it take until the cowboys let their pride and betrayal ruin their treasure hunt? Though the beautiful directing is immensely distinct and original, the movie is very plot-driven. The characters don't matter to us. We could have The Good play The Ugly and it would still be the same outcome. But from Sergio's vision, comes a truly magnificent submission into the psychology of the Civil War civilians and determined, gun-shooting varmints.
At first, we meet the characters by obviously seeing them do what they're intended to do. The Ugly robs a store, The Bad kills a few people, and The Good saves someone's life. After that, we see that The Ugly and The Good are actually working together to do what dirty cowboys do best; collect their money. Upon finding out about the treasure, all three characters become The Determined, and both work together and hang each other by the necks (literally) to find the gold.
From beginning to end, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" is utterly entertaining and unique. It can be called both a Western and a War movie. As the plot develops and thickens, we see more of the setting than in all other Westerns combined. Everything is twice as big, and everything is twice as dirty. A definite classic, that defined cinema in more than one way, with its memorable score, to the never before seen directing, the movie stands as one of (if not the) best movies of all time.
I'm going to start this review by saying this: there is not western
that can compare to this, hell, there may not even be any movie that
can compare to this. Only a handful come to my mind, and it's a very
small handful at that.
Sergio Leone's classic western provides the perfect ensemble of cinematography, direction, acting, story, and last, but not least, music. Leone's film about three greedy men in the search for 500,000 in gold exemplifies the dirty west. This is not your typical American western, where the sun-drenched west is romanticized. No, it's dirty and rough, just like the west was. If anyone wanted to watch the film that is the antithesis the "chick-flick," I would recommend The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Clint Eastwood reprises his iconic Man With No Name in this final film in the Dollars Trilogy. Lee Van Cleef returns from A Few Dollars More; however, he plays a different (much different) character. The actor who steals the show has to be Eli Wallach. Wallach, a western veteran, plays Tuco with great viciousness and humor, making him likable and unlikeable at the same time; he truly is "ugly." Leone and his cinematographer Tonino Delli Colli pack the film with great shots of the west, from the tired sands of the desert, to the endless graves of a cemetery (which was actually located in Spain). Ennio Morricone combines Colli's lush cinematography with the greatest score ever put onto film. From the easily recognizable theme, to the sad Story of a Soldier, to the excitement of Ecstacy of Gold, this soundtrack has it all.
What more can I say? If you haven't seen The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, see it now! I can not press you more. This is one of those films that could be considered perfect, or the closest to perfection. A classic that shall never be forgotten; a classic that shall always be admired.
'Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il' was at its release in 1966 a very
unconventional Western epic that follows the travails of three
gunfighters looking for $200,000 in stolen Confederate gold.
Also known as 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly', it was Italian-born (Rome, 3 January 1929) Sergio Leone's third so-called spaghetti Western after 'Per un pugno di dollari', aka 'For a Fistful of Dollars' (1964) and 'Per qualche dollaro in più', aka 'For a Few Dollars More' (1965).
It is generally considered one of the best films of its kind ever made, a masterpiece, one that almost inexplicably continues to get better with each viewing. In a way, it's a morality play, weighing the consequences of good and evil, but it does so in its realistic portrayal that sometimes, crime DOES pay, at least in the short term, and sometimes good DOES go unrewarded.
This film ushered in a new concept of a previously all too oft told Western story, probably tolling the death knell for the traditional American-made, Good guy/ Bad guy, White hat/ Black hat Western that was so prevalent before it.
The three main characters of the film are as powerful as Leone's brilliant vision of the Civil War era America, he used as their backdrop. Lee Van Cleef ('The Bad') is evil in the flesh. Beedy-eyed and totally ruthless, he believes it only takes one thing to be successful: whatever is necessary.
Clint Eastwood ('The Good') is the now legendary 'Man With No Name', but 'good' only in a Western concept of non-traditional good. He has a sometimes detectable and occasionally observable sense of honor that motivates his behavior and conduct from time to time.
Eli Wallach ('The Ugly') is Tuco, and he's easily the most colorful character in the film. Impulsive and full of barely suppressible rage, Tuco gyrates wildly throughout the movie, stealing, lying, pretending to be a best friend in one scene, trying to kill in another. Tuco truly represents 'the ugly' side of human behavior.
At two hours and forty-one minutes, the movie was lengthy for its day, but there's neither a single scene that seems unnecessary, nor does the film seem lengthy while viewing it. The film unfolds with a charismatic style and grace, slowly revealing more and more about each character and the film's story. The pace of the film expertly captures the flavor of the time, giving the viewer a rare peek into a page of American history come alive on film.
Director Sergio Leone (who contributed to another epic of note: 'Ben-Hur' as an uncredited second unit director in 1959) manages to build a lot of sometimes unsettling tension in the film, thus preventing the longer than usual movie from ever getting uncomfortable or predictable. Every typical Western cliché possibly imaginable is either given a unique twist or utterly destroyed by Leone's masterful storytelling. Of special honorable mention is Ennio Morricone's original music score, which is about as masterful and complementary as it gets, culminating in the climatic gunfight in the cemetery at the end of the film. The music is so rich and powerful it easily stands on its own merits, and is one of the biggest selling original movie soundtracks to date. It is impossible to imagine the film without it.
'Unforgiven' may well have been the sequel to 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly', the story of what eventually happened to the 'Man With No Name', and won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director, and the nomination for Best Actor for Eastwood in 1992 (the film also was nominated in six other categories and won in three of those). Eastwood dedicated this movie to Sergio Leone who died 30 April 1989 in Rome, and who had believed in him early in his career.
Call it 'Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il' or call it 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly', but after seeing it you'll call this movie absolutely brilliant at MANY levels, including the one mentioned above by Kitchener.
It is a classic like no other, and is easily one of the best Westerns and films of its kind ever made.
There are hundreds of comments here on this movie and most of them are of high acclaim which comes as no surprise to me. Many have included this in their all-time top 10 films and again it comes as no surprise. With those I agree, this is a great film. There is little I can add that hasn't been said here but I will go back to the beginning. I was a Clint Eastwood fan when I was a kid from his role as Rowdy Yates in Rawhide. When he made the Spaghetti Westerns as they were called, I of course had to see him on the big screen. A Fistfull of Dollars and A Few Dollars More were unlike the typical Hollywood Westerns of the 50's and 60's. Italian and American actors in low budget productions with overdubbed dialog filmed in Spain which was supposed to be Mexico or the US Soutwest. Heavy on style with strange music. Raw realism emerged from this strange brew and I loved them. Then this came out. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Just the title itself was so impressive you knew this was going to go to another level from the first two. And it did. Ennio Morricone's music was so different and wonderfully strange and remains so even today. It was the perfect soundtrack score for this film. Sergio Leone's direction and his story and screenplay along with Luciano Vincenzoni and cinematography by Tonio Delli Colli are superb. A great cast with Eastwood, Van Cleef and Wallach. Eastwood's Hang Em High and High Plains Drifter that would follow were good but they couldn't top this. I've seen this dozens of times on TV but I haven't seen it on the big screen since it's initial release. This film ran a little long but it didn't matter because this was clearly a masterpiece. And so it remains. I would give this a 10 and highly recommend it. I'd love to see it on the big screen again.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was never really a fan of westerns until I saw The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. This is one of the greatest movies ever. Sergio Leone is a master director, who has also made Once Upon a Time in America, and Once Upon a Time in the West. He is probably the best visual director of all time. He films the cowboys like they are a part of the vast western landscape themselves. His pacing is patient, which works very well in his films. Some criticize his movies for moving too slow, but that allows for much build-up and some scenes and sequences that you will never forget. Clint Eastwood is the ultimate western gangster in this movie. This is where he first truly showcased his brilliance as an actor. If you have not seen this film for some strange reason, get up and watch this masterpiece before you die. Did I mention the score? It is in the same league as the score for Jaws. Intense. Powerful. Mesmerizing. Beautiful.
Varying opinions on this film posted, but for me its a top quality,
ground breaking film that is timeless. This is the ultimate test of a
great film. It stands up with any modern classic, it has humour,
twists, stylised violence, and its just a top film.It wasn't the first
spaghetti western i know, but i think its by far the best. I just wish
they had done a sequel to this. Some how i don't think Tuco was a man
to take this lying down .... or hanging around.
"Hey, Blond ... You know what you are? Just a dirty son of a-bi ....."
Tuco now had all the money he could wish for, but no one double crosses Tuco and lives . . .
It is already a long time ago, I have seen this film for the first time. I think it was sometimes in the eighties. The impression was good but not excellent. But until now i have seen this film so many times!! And I must say, with every looking, this film gets better and better. I have also seen the two other films of the "Dollar"-trilogy and this film is the best by far. The sense of humor of this film is the key factor. Especially the performance of Eli Wallach is outstanding. For me the best actor ever. On the one side there are great actors (Eli Wallach, Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef) and on the other side there is a remarkable storyline. It's a story about three "criminals" who are playing some tricky games during the war between the South States and the North States. All in all its a very entertaining film with much suspense and great music! 10 points out of 10!!
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