Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

You know that saying "third time's the charm"? That can most definitely be applied to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The main trio for Sergio Leone's film just compliment each other fantastically. Clint Eastwood is completely aloof but at the same time incredibly tough as "the Man with No Name". Lee Van Cleef's "Angel Eyes" (more like "Devil Eyes" in my book) is evil clad in a black hat. Eli Wallach is the perfect candidate as the greedy bastard that is Tuco. I can't see anyone else in the roles.

As I watched The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, I saw many elements that Leone would later use in Once Upon a Time in the West. Both captured the nature of a dying Wild West, as well as focusing on three pivotal characters with a similar goal. Many directors have tried to connect their films, but I think Leone was one of the few masters that could do such a thing.

I can't finish this review without talking about Ennio Morricone's score. I just can't. The whole score works in every scene, but there were three specific pieces that I adored. Those are the main theme, the piece playing as Tuco searches for the grave (and damn near loses his mind), and the piece playing during the Mexican standoff. (The second piece I promptly bought off iTunes afterwards.)

Saying that The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is one of the best Westerns ever made is an understatement. Seriously, how many Westerns are there that perfectly balance action, character study and the affects of battle in one film? No wonder Quentin Tarantino dubbed it "the best-directed movie of all time".

My Rating: *****


  1. This is among my all-time favorite films ever. It's just perfect. It's got everything you want in a western and more. Plus, the Maestro's score. Once Ecstasy of Gold kicks in, oh... you lose everything in your mind and just soak in the images and the music. That's why Leone is one of my all-time favorite filmmakers.

  2. Excellent review. There's not much to say except this film is and will always be a classic of its genre.

  3. This is one of the few films (Jaws is another) where even the general population remembers parts of the score for many years afterwards.


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