Blondie (The Good) is a professional gunslinger who is out trying to earn a few dollars. Angel Eyes (The Bad) is a hit man who always commits to a task and sees it through, as long as he is paid to do so. And Tuco (The Ugly) is a wanted outlaw trying to take care of his own hide. Tuco and Blondie share a partnership together making money off Tuco's bounty, but when Blondie unties the partnership, Tuco tries to hunt down Blondie. When Blondie and Tuco come across a horse carriage loaded with dead bodies, they soon learn from the only survivor (Bill Carson) that he and a few other men have buried a stash of gold in a cemetery. Unfortunately Carson dies and Tuco only finds out the name of the cemetery, while Blondie finds out the name on the grave. Now the two must keep each other alive in order to find the gold. Angel Eyes (who had been looking for Bill Carson) discovers that Tuco and Blondie met with Carson and knows they know the location of the gold. All he needs is for the two to ...Written by
After Eli Wallach agreed with Sergio Leone that Tuco would carry his pistol on a lanyard, the director asked him to grasp the gun by shaking his neck, thus making the gun land in his hand. Wallach claimed that he wasn't able to do the intended action, and asked Leone to demonstrate it. When Leone tried, the pistol missed the director's hand and hit his crotch. Leone then told Wallach to hold the gun in the belt. See more »
You can see a car passing by in the background when Tuco is balancing on the cross on the graveyard in the end of the movie. See more »
You're... from Baker?
[Angel Eyes is silent, eating a bowl of stew and staring at him]
Tell Baker that I told him all that I know already and I want to live in peace, understand? That it's no use to go on tormenting me! I know nothing at all about that case of coins.
[Angel Eyes stops eating and looks interested]
Now that gold has disappeared, but if he'd listened we could have avoided this altogether. I went to the Army court; there were no witnesses. They couldn't uncover any more....
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The versions of this film can be summarized as follows:
The full Italian version runs about 174m.
The "International Export"/ Original U.S. theatrical version supervised by Leone runs 161m - this is the version available on VHS, laserdisc and DVD in the UK and USA. The other 14m were never dubbed into English - these additional sequences appear as extras on both the UK and USA DVD releases and the last laserdisc release.
In the UK the theatrical release was cut by the BBFC and ran to a similar run time of 161m due to distributor cuts and censorship cuts - the main distributor cut was the removal of the entire scene with Eli Wallach in the gun shop; the censors hacked about 2m out of the scene when Wallach is tortured by Mario Brega in the prison. It is believed the 1986 UK VHS contains this BBFC cut since later videos from 1999 are slightly longer (c. 1 minute). UK videos and DVDs released from 1999 are uncut and run 161m (156m PAL running time). Various other scenes may have been filmed but excised by Leone before release. One of the laserdisc releases contains a still on the inside cover of Eastwood in bed with a woman that has never appeared in any version of the film.
This is the third,and arguably the best, of the so-called "spaghetti western" trilogy. It is ironic that, at the time the three Sergio Leone westerns were released, they were largely panned by critics as being poor and even laughable imitations of American-made westerns. The fact that they were filmed in Italy and Spain resulted in them receiving their amusing nickname which was intended to degrade them at the time.
Somehow, over the quarter century or so since their release, the critics have tended to change their opinions, and now these movies are generally regarded as classics. Perhaps this is because Clint Eastwood was principally known only as the second banana, Rowdy Yates, in the television series "Rawhide" when the films were produced but since then has achieved superstardom. But I also think it goes beyond that. I believe the critics decided to take another look at these films and realized that they had been premature in writing them off. Actually, I believe the three films were considerably better than most of what Hollywood produced. In fact, I think that TGTBATU ranks among the best westerns ever produced bringing to mind the magnificent films of John Ford, the undisputed master of that genre, and his protege, the incomparable John Wayne.
I have nothing but praise for this film. In fact, I rank it as one of my favorite films of all time. I could write volumes of what is good about this film. But since its qualities have been oft repeated in other viewer reviews, I will focus on what others didn't like about it. Most of the IMDb reviews had only one major complaint: the film is too long. I disagree. In fact, in spite of its nearly three hour length, I was disappointed that it ended. I was so absorbed in the film that I was disheartened to have to return to reality. The combination of story, cinematography, acting and musical score left nothing to be desired other than more of the same! The sequences that seemed to drag on in the opinion of other reviewers were necessary to fully create moods and to drive home important points. For example, the opening sequence might be regarded as needlessly long as Angel Eyes taunts a hapless man over a leisurely meal. But to me, scenes like that are what makes the movie great! The time allows the viewer to fully appreciate the amazing replication of the primitive home and the pitiful life of its dirt-poor inhabitants. I felt as though I was sitting there at the table; I was half tempted to reach for a bowl and spoon to partake of the meal. And all the while the suspense was building towards the inevitable climax. You know it's coming but not when and the length of the scene drives you crazy but makes it all the more satisfying when it does happen.
Another example is when Tuco punishes Joe by forcing him to walk through the desert. This is possibly the only time that one might become bored with the film. But again, I think the time for the scene was justified in that we are able to receive the full impact of that experience and enjoy the haunting music at the same time. Joe's subsequent predicament might not have had much credibility had this sequence been abbreviated.
In my opinion, one of the essential elements of a great film is creating moods that absorb our attention. This often takes time, lots of time. For example, many of the scenes in the magnificent film "Dr. Zhivago" were almost painfully long but they were necessary to create those startling surrealistic moods, and the film would not have been great without them. In many ways, TGTBATU has this same sort of greatness. It is a sweeping epic with very compelling characters and magnificent settings that draws the viewer in and doesn't release him until the closing credits begin to roll. When it's over, you feel that you've been on a long and exciting journey. Such a journey takes time.
In summary, if you haven't seen this film, buy it right away. Don't rent it because you will not want to part with it once you've seen it.
Then curl up with it on a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon when you are in no hurry to do anything.
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