Review of 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'

good_bad_ugly.jpg A classic of cinema and of the western genre sees Clint Eastwood return as the “man with no name” in the final instalment of the “Dollars Trilogy”. Set in the American civil war we are introduced to the good, “Blondie” (Clint Eastwood), the bad, Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) and the ugly, “Tuco” (Eli Wallach). Angel Eyes learns of a hidden trunk of gold owned by Confederate soldier named Bill Carson (Antonio Casale) and promptly goes in search of it. Tuco and Blondie have a partnership going - Tuco has a bounty on his head so Blondie turns him in to claim a reward only to then rescue him when he is sentenced to death by hanging. After repeating this several times Blondie grows tired of this then abandons Tuco in the dessert. Soon after the tables are turned with Tuco wrecking his revenge on Blondie in the same way until they stumble across a stagecoach where they come across a dying Carson who reveals the location of the gold to Blondie before passing. Angel Eyes tortures Tuco into revealing what he knows of the location of the coins but after discovering only Blondie knows exactly where he proposes a partnership to go in search of the gold but, knowing his usefulness will be short lived, Tuco escapes Angel Eyes' gang to rejoin Blondie and go on their own pursuit. After an encounter with the armies in the war Tuco, Blondie and Angel Eyes eventually come face to face in iconic piece of modern cinema.

This is an incredible piece of cinema that is not afraid to take it's time to tell the story of these rather unsavoury, though oddly lovable, characters. This film is purely for entertainment with very little in the way of redeemable qualities so the viewer best not hung up about morality. The cinematography is compelling as we are treated to amazing perspectives yet also deep insights into the minds of these characters through extreme close-ups. The battle scene is incredible in it's scope and looks amazing without sacrificing believe-ability by turning away from the brutal realities of the event (lots of blood and guts). The acting is much as you might expect with each of the three convincing in their roles. The music by Ennio Morricone is very much tied into this film and adds so much to it with it's by now generally familiar musical elements (the title track in particular). Without the music this film would very much have now been constrained to the dustbin of history.

I suspect many modern audiences would find this film a bit boring and slow moving but if you just sit back with a bit of patience and soak it all in you will very much be rewarded.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2018-10-07

Directed by: Sergio Leone

Studio: Produzioni Europee Associate (PEA)

Year: 1966

Length: 148 minutes

Genre: Action/Adventure