I honestly don’t know why I even bothered putting the poll at the end of part 1 because as of today every single vote cast was for “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. I guess it was just a formality as I had to put something at the end for you guys to be able to voice your opinion.
For me, watching this film is like listening to my favorite singer’s favorite song, or reading my favorite author’s favorite book. My favorite film director is Quentin Tarantino who he has said that “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is his favorite film. After watching the film it was obvious that it has influenced every one of his films and not in a subtle way at all, but I suppose the line between paying homage and ripping off is another matter entirely.
Once again, the movie stars Clint Eastwood as the man with no name (they call him “Blondie”) a gunslinger, his face having the same wrinkles around the eyes, and his mouth having the same cigarette between his lips; he is the good. Lee Van Cleef is “Angel Eyes”, someone who gets paid to kill and it is not hard to see that he enjoys his job very much; he is the bad. And Eli Wallach plays “Tuco”, a goofy little bandit that is wanted all over; he is the ugly. Now don’t expect their nicknames to match them perfectly because if they did the movie would be called “The Ugly, the Ugly and the Ugly” with Van Cleef being the ugliest of the trio. The three of them are after confederate gold buried in a cemetery, and the journey they take to get there is thrilling, funny, interesting, and filled with western clichés that never descend into camp.
Sergio Leone gives us a movie that could make everyone scratch their heads thinking “Are you sure this was directed by the same person who directed ‘A Fistful of Dollars’?” and they would be right because while fistful was an hour and a half of waiting for the credits to roll, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is three hours of wishing the credits never roll.
Some great scenes include the introductions of the three men with title screens, the blowing up of a bridge during a battle of the civil war, and of course the infamous Mexican standoff; yes if you are a Tarantino fan you will see a pattern here. But this movie is basically one great scene after another so trying to single out one in particular would be futile. The point is this is a terrific film with some of the most memorable moments in cinema and some unforgettable sequences that really make you appreciate a director with a vision.
And what would a review of this film be without talking about the wonderful Mr. Ennio Morricone. His music in the film is perhaps the first thing people think of when westerns come to mind, and it is so masterfully crafted that it makes you wonder if it was written for the movie or by the movie. What do I mean by that? Well you see when composers write music for movies they sit and watch the movie, pick up on the style, talk with the director and decide what type of music fits each scene. But with this movie I just can’t imagine Morricone writing this; to me it just existed in the film. Or maybe Morricone had a time machine went to the future, saw the movie, and then went back and ripped of the theme; much like Chuck Berry in “Back to the Future”.
Creativity is a great virtue and shouldn’t be weighed down by budgets. This movie is proof of it but sadly when studios only look to make money we only get masterpieces like this once every couple of years. Have faith though fellow moviegoer because among the thousands of money making directors out there, there are still a handful of them that actually will stop at nothing to make a perfect film. And even if the movies turn out to be shit you can always count on old classics like “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.
But what about you? What is your favorite character out of the trio? Click here to cast your vote.