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
The grips on Clint Eastwood's pistol have an inlaid silver rattlesnake. His pistol in For a Few Dollars More (1965) had the same grips. In the TV series Rawhide (1959), Rowdy Yates (Eastwood) kills a gunfighter carrying a pistol with the same grips and takes it for his own. Eastwood's character would carry the pistol with the rattlesnake grips for the remainder of the series' run. See more »
Right after the scene where Blondie places the rock in the middle of the courtyard, (presumably containing the name of the grave), there is a close-up shot of Angel Eyes' face lasting about one second. To the right of Angel Eyes' head, you can see a person running in the far background. They are moving right to left. 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.
Brutal, brilliant, and one of the best Westerns ever made
A sprawling Western epic that follows the adventures of three gunfighters looking for $200,000 in stolen gold, Sergio Leone's `The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly' is a masterpiece, one that continues to get better and better with each viewing. In a way, it's a morality play, weighing the consequences of good and evil, but it does so in a realistic manner. Sometimes, crime does pay, at least in the short term, and sometimes good does go unrewarded. This film probably signaled the death knell of the traditional John Wayne `White Hat/Black Hat' Western.
The three main characters make the film. Lee Van Cleef (`The Bad') is evil personified. Totally ruthless, he'll do whatever it takes to get what he wants. Clint Eastwood (`The Good') is the Man With No Name, not really `good' in a traditional sense . . . but he has a certain sense of honor and tries to do the right thing. (Watch the scene when he gives a dying Confederate soldier a puff of his cigar - powerful, and it sums up everything that the Man With No Name is all about, without saying a single word.) Eli Wallach (`The Ugly') is Tuco, and he's easily the most complex - if not the best - character in the film. All impulse and rage, Tuco spins wildly throughout the movie, stealing, lying, pretending to be Clint Eastwood's best friend in one scene, trying to kill him in another - Tuco truly represents `the ugly' side of people.
The movie is long, but there's not a wasted scene in the film. Each one slowly lets the film unfold with a certain style and grace, revealing more about each character and what's going on. The pacing is incredible, as is the direction - Sergio Leone manages to build a lot of uncomfortable tension in the film, keeping the film from ever getting predictable. Any typical Western cliché that you can possibly think of is either given a unique twist or utterly destroyed by Leone's masterful storytelling. Of special mention is Ennio Morricone's score, which is absolutely perfect. Two scenes - one in a Union prison camp, one in the climatic gunfight in the cemetery at the end of the film - are amazing on their own, but they become absolutely astonishing with combined with Morricone's powerful score.
This movie is absolutely brilliant. If you haven't seen it yet, I strongly urge to do so. Immediately. (And then, go watch `Unforgiven' . . . in a way, I think that `Unforgiven' is the sequel to `The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - it's the story of what eventually happened to the Man With No Name.) `The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly' is easily one of the best Westerns ever made. A++
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