The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the events of Vietnam, Watergate, and other historical events unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75, whose only desire is to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart.
Blondie (The Good) (Clint Eastwood) is a professional gunslinger who is out trying to earn a few dollars. Angel Eyes (The Bad) (Lee Van Cleef) is a hitman who always commits to a task and sees it through, as long as he is paid to do so. And Tuco (The Ugly) (Eli Wallach) is a wanted outlaw trying to take care of his own hide. Tuco and Blondie share a partnership together making money off of 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 (Antonio Casale), 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 ...Written by
The white curtains on the Confederate coach that Tuco appropriates are more the twice as long as they need to be for their windows. Their constant flapping in the wind added a ghostly effect to what was dubbed The Carriage of the Spirits. See more »
In one scene, Tuco praises Lee and damns Grant out loud to the troops coming out of the desert. However, the movie takes place during Confederate invasion of New Mexico Territory in February- March of 1862, when both Lee and Grant were unknowns at this time. Lee didn't assume command of the Army of Northern Virginia until June 1862. Grant was a relative unknown when he won his first victory at Fort Donelson in February, 1862, hardly enough time for Tuco and Blondie to know who he was. That being said, in another scene, Angel Eyes mentions Confederate abuses in Andersonville Prison, which only became a prison and started accepting prisoners in February 1864. 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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Syndicated on US TV in 2006 as a 95-minute truncated version, missing almost half of its original length. See more »
On a partial first viewing, I didn't like "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." I thought it was a slow, tedious story about a bunch of unpleasant jerk characters involved in a bog-standard conflict over money. It all seemed very macho and self-consciously cool, and it had obviously inspired all the overrated macho directors I don't like in my own generation - Tarantino, for example, and Robert Rodriguez. In short, I was unimpressed.
Years later, I gave the film a second shot, watching it all the way through this time. I loved it. What had changed?
For one thing, I took more notice of the technical side of the film. I paid attention to Leone's famous use of close-ups, his selection of memorable character actors, and his wonderful scene-setting. I admired the detailed sets and the sweeping landscapes, the props and the costumes and all those weird, wonderful faces that Leone clearly loved to photograph.
I also got hooked by some of the quieter moments that I had skipped over in my first viewing. One of the most effective scenes involves Eli Wallach's character, Tuco, quarreling with his brother when they meet after they've been apart for years. Their argument is great, emotionally charged stuff, made all the more effective by the suggestion that they really do love and care about each other. It's the kind of sensitive, human scene you never get to see in a Tarantino or Rodriguez movie.
Before I get too fuzzy-wuzzy, I should also like to point out that, on my second viewing, I LOVED all the action, too. Every gunfight is great, in its own way, and they're all a bit different. The greatest of them all is, of course, the final confrontation between the trio, which is accompanied by some of the most rousing music I've ever heard in a film. And hey, there's even a huge Civil War battle to provide a change of pace from all the small-scale action.
Ultimately, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" is probably just a potboiler of a film, without too much to say about, for example, the human condition. But what a potboiler! It doesn't have to try to be cool - it simply IS cool. In fact, it probably defined heroic coolness for an entire generation. Eli Wallach's performance, Leone's direction and Morricone's music alone are enough to elevate it to classic status - and the fact that everything else in the movie is great, too, helps elevate it to the level of perhaps the greatest action film ever made.
And to think, I missed all that the first time through...
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