The Good, the Bad and the Ugly DVD
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Directed by Sergio Leone
Produced in 1966
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - European Film
Contrary to its European popularity, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – like the rest of Leone’s ‘Dollars’ trilogy, met with ambivalence on its release in America. It’s easy to see why; Leone took the lowest worn-out currency of the western genre – the loners and the crackshots, the shoot-outs and the hidden gold, drew them out to their extremes and presented them in a form of delirious, comic-book baroque that looked something very like mockery. Gone were the noble dreams of nation-building or laying a trans-continental railroad. Motivation was entirely stripped down to naked self-interest, greed and vengeance.
If it wasn’t enough that the mythology of the western was being re-presented as a set of devalued clichés, this was compounded by the films looking just so damned good in a Spanish landscape that couldn’t be readily placed. It certainly wasn’t John Ford’s Monument Valley. Place had been hijacked as well as mythology and was filmed in a way reminiscent of the surrealist art that Leone admired, with touches such as Tuco’s pretty frilled pink parasol during the scorching desert walk a case in point.
As well as the TechniScope panoramas, the film is a homage to eyes, glances and the allure of weather-beaten faces, though there may be more than a grain of truth in the thought that Eastwood and Van Cleef appear so inscrutable because of their lack of understanding of the language on set. It’s notable too how well Eastwood’s Blondie (not ‘The Man With No Name’ as later publicity would have it) is set off by Eli Wallach’s garrulous, scheming Tuco.
The opening credits by Lardani are economical, funny and absurd, and Ennio Morricone’s immediately recognisable score, its haunting theme of a modulated coyote cry supplemented by the jangly treble of guitar, rifle shots, bells and trumpets is the perfect complement to Leone’s supremely enjoyable hokum.
Graeme Hobbs on 7th April 2004
Author of 297 reviews
Sergio Leone's classic spaghetti western, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly forms the final part of the trilogy that brought Clint Eastwood to Hollywood's attention. During the American Civil War, the paths of three loners - Joe (Eastwood), Tuco (Eli Wallach) and Setenza (Lee Van Cleef) - cross as they search for the grave of Bill Carson, home to a hidden fortune. As the war intensifies, the treasure seekers become drawn into a battle that dwarfs their own mercenary pursuits. Ennio Morricone's score complements the visuals perfectly.
Length: 161 mins
Aspect ratio: Widescreen
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 7th February 2000
Cat No: 15813DVD
- Digitally Remastered
- Film guide.
by Anon on 16th February 2004
Set at the time of the American Civil War, three very different men go on a search for $200,000 worth of gold coins buried in a graveyard. The Good, The Bad, and The U... Read on
Set at the time of the American Civil War, three very different men go on a search for $200,000 worth of gold coins buried in a graveyard. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly by Sergio Leone was one of at least 400 westerns made by Italian directors between 1963 and 1973 and is one of the best I've seen. In the film, "Blondie" (Clint Eastwood), is the good, "Angel Eyes" (Lee Van Cleef) the bad, and Tuco (Eli Wallach) the ugly, though there is a thin line between the categories and Eastwood's designation as "good" is questionable. At one point, Blondie implies that only power matters when he says: "In this world, there are two kinds of people-those with loaded guns and those who dig." Deserving of the label "good" or not, Blondie is one of Eastwood's best roles and his cynical and super cool demeanor brings the character to life.
We first see Blondie carrying out a scam in which he arrests Tuco a dangerous criminal, collects the reward for turning him in, then frees him as he is about to hang. Their partnership is dissolved when Blondie leaves Tuco stranded in the desert, only to return the favor when he makes Blondie march across the desert without water. It is when they run into a stagecoach filled with dead and wounded soldiers that they learn about buried gold, but only Blondie knows the name of the grave in which the cache is buried. Tension mounts as the two fortune seekers must deal with opposing Union and Confederate armies before they can reach the money. An exciting three-way face off between the protagonists, photographed from multiple angles, with the lush score of Ennio Morricone in the background, brings the film to a memorable conclusion.