The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Year:
1966
Country:
USA, Italy, Spain, West Germany
Genre:
Action, Adventure, Western
IMDB rating:
8.9
Director:
Sergio Leone
Eli Wallach as Tuco
Lee Van Cleef as Sentenza
Aldo Giuffrè as Alcoholic Union Captain
Luigi Pistilli as Father Pablo Ramirez
Enzo Petito as Storekeeper
Claudio Scarchilli as Mexican peon
John Bartha as Sheriff (as John Bartho)
Antonio Casale as Jackson / Bill Carson
Sandro Scarchilli as Mexican peon
Benito Stefanelli as Member of Angel Eyes' Gang
Angelo Novi as Monk
Storyline: Blondie (The Good) is a professional gunslinger who is out trying to earn a few dollars. Angel Eyes (The Bad) is a hit man who always commits to a task and sees it through, as long as he is paid to do so. And Tuco (The Ugly) is a wanted outlaw trying to take care of his own hide. Tuco and Blondie share a partnership together making money off 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) 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 they know the location of the gold. All he needs is for the two to ...
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Reviews
Sergio Leone's most visionary film...
Sergio Leone is arguably the most visionary director of all time. They say that before he even had a written script he could picture exactly what was to be on screen and the camera's direction in leading his characters. It was Sergio's World - an alternate place in an alternate time that he was free to control. He controlled the audience and his story like no other director.

To me, his best film was the one that was on many critics' ten worst films of 1984 list: "Once Upon a Time in America." I love the finished director's cut, the cut of the film Sergio Leone himself wanted and pictured in his mind while filming the movie. Unfortunately, the editor of the film cut everything into a two-hour picture and messed up the timeline for the theatrical release in 1984 - the result was a disastrous motion picture that now, with the director's cut, stands as one of the best of all time. James Woods once said that one of the critics who named it the worst film of 1984 later named it the best film of the decade.

"Once Upon a Time in America" was Sergio's dream project, one that took him ten years to get on the big screen and ultimately killed him by sucking the life out of him, but "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (1967) was undoubtably his most visual film. The extreme close-ups, the great way he lets the audience see nothing but what he wants - as far as he saw it, the audience should not wonder what is off-screen; whatever is within the frames is all there is. Compared to "Once Upon a Time" it seems a bit more corny and unrealistic - but it is a spaghetti western, and that is simply the point. It stands above the rest as the best spaghetti western of them all.

Leone is best remembered for his extreme close-ups. Director Quentin Tarantino once said, among many other things about Leone, his role model, that when he started out he knew not many camera directions, so when he wanted an extreme close-up in a film he'd shout, "I want a Sergio Leone on this guy!" Quentin Tarantino has such a respect for Leone that he even suggested the title "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" to director Robert Rodriguez, the title, of course, a derivation on "Once Upon a Time in the West" and "Once Upon a Time in America," both films of Sergio Leone.

"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," a.k.a. "Buono, il bruto, il cattivo, il," is the final film in the Dollars Trilogy - "A Fistful of Dollars," "For a Few Dollars More," and, of course, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." I have yet to see this film's predecessors, but I doubt they are much better than this film. It isn't really about anything per se - it's a showcase of art and camera techniques. It is a showcase for Sergio Leone and a great one at that. I have no real care about the themes or outcomes - I simply enjoy being controlled by a masterful director such as Leone. When there's a director who can literally push in and give the audience specifically what he wants them to see, without the audience feeling cheated, you know you have a great director, because there's a fine line between a selfish director and a visionary director. Leone has a bit of both, so indistinct that it is hard to notice. The same thing was done in Carol Reed's "The Third Man" (1949), and the same is done here. And it is pulled off without any objections from the audience.

Clint Eastwood is The Good - he rides around the desert kidnapping criminals, giving them to the authorities and claiming reward money, and then freeing the criminals before they are to be hanged. He meets Tuco (Eli Wallach), a.k.a. The Ugly, and does his routine - but The Ugly fights back and, ultimately, kidnaps good ol' Clint, taking him into the desert and practically torturing him in the heat.

Then The Good overhears where a stash of gold is hidden from a dying man. The Ugly wants the gold so much that he nurses The Good back to health so that they can go off on a wild goose chase and search for the treasure. But there is already another man searching for the treasure - Angel Eyes, a.k.a. The Bad (Lee Van Cleef), a man whose skills at gunfighting match those of The Good, a true marksman if ever there was such a thing.

There's a terrific scene towards the end of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," where three men have found the gold buried in a graveyard. At exactly the same time. They each have guns pointed at each other. They could all pull their triggers and die, or kill one of the three and the two could then take the money and split it. Leone zooms in with his extreme close-ups and truly gives the audience a sense of paranoia, a sense of what it would feel like in a circumstance such as that. Sergio Leone is a great director, perhaps the most visionary of all time, and now that his films are turning up again with their intended running times, the realization strikes and sinks in.

He's an even better director than we thought he was.

5/5 stars -

John Ulmer
2003-10-03
One Of The Best Films Ever Made?
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" has become the ultimate iconic film. Its broad images have become a staple for all that would eventually follow from Advertising, Pop Videos to future Western productions and Horror flicks. None can or want to escape the extraordinary visual flare and style of its Director. It is just too damn fashionable. Sergio Leone's influence cannot be overstated.

The exalted position of this Spaghetti Classic is #3 in the Top 250 films ever made according to The Internet Movie Data Base. Whether this position is justified is debatable but the good news is that this Classic Film was made over 41 years ago. The Top 250 list has proved somewhat unreliable because the latest Cinema Releases are voted on in greater numbers than the Classics of yesteryear and so it reflects a very modern bias. Substandard films like Martin Scorsese's poor re-make "The Departed" or "The Bourne Ultimatum" have found themselves in the Top 100 relatively quickly.

The positive of the IMDb Top 250 list is that it is constantly evolving and it also represents the general publics take on the medium. A crowd pleaser like "The Shawshank Redemption" has found itself consistently within the Top 5 and at present is at #2. That film found its audience not in the Cinema but by word of mouth and subsequent DVD sales.

The problem as a whole is that the general public forgets the older Classic rather quickly because they hamper for the newest release. In some cases what is old is regarded with contempt.

At a dinner in Hollywood I sat next to a famous producer and his beautiful doll-like wife. We began to talk about "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and what an impact it has had on modern cinema. His wife stopped our conversation with the subtly of shooting a blunderbuss into the air.

"Why would you want to see that" she said, "its old!"
2007-09-10
the greatest western ever
The beautiful cinematography , the excellent music and great camera work make this a stylish masterpiece. With a volatile mix of myth and realism The Good The Bad And The Ugly is the best of the spaghetti westerns and the greatest western ever made.This is Clint Eastwood's 2nd best movie (the best is UNFORGIVEN) Elli Wallach was excellent as Tuco, he is the real star of the movie, he had the best lines . Lee Van Cleef plays the bad guy to perfection.Sergio Leone is at his very best here.And Ennio Morricone's music is outstanding like always. The man with no name will always be the best. Buy it and experience the spectacle and greatness of a western like no other.
2007-08-22
One of the best movies ever made - will leave you breathless
Clint Eastwood returns as The Man With No Name in this final installment in Sergio Leone's epic Dollars Trilogy (or Man With No Name Trilogy). He plays Blondie (the Good), a sharp-shooter of debatable honor, iron will, and questionable motives. Leone also brings back Lee Van Cleef as Angel Eyes (the Bad), a sadistic man who always keeps his promises – as long as you pay him for it. Eli Wallach rounds out the trio as Tuco (the Ugly), a thief worried only about his own hide. The three men are held together by the wish to locate a stash of gold, its location imparted to them by a dying man. Alas, things are not so simple. The man whispers some of the information to Tuco, but only Blondie knows the true location. And so our thieves must overcome backstabbing and betrayal, as well as their mutual enemy of Angel Eyes, to reach the treasure.

Sergio Leone creates a visual masterpiece. Not even Orson Welles can hold the audience in his hands the way Leone can. The cinematography and editing are perfectly in sync, working together to mold the audience as Leone sees fit. The famous Mexican standoff, with its rapid-fire cutting and incredibly close shots, is jaw dropping, forcing you to hold your breath. And of course, the film simply could not work without Ennio Morricone's incredible (I repeat, incredible) score. Even if you don't bother seeing the movie, look up The Ecstasy of Gold on YouTube. It will leave you speechless and blow your mind.

After a disastrous experience with my first foray into Westerns (for the record, "Shane" is a horrific movie), I all but damned the entire genre to the pits of hell. But after repeatedly spying "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" atop film lists, I decided to give it a try. It had me on the edge of my seat, my eyes shining, my entire being entranced. In my opinion, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" is one of the most spectacular movies ever made. Is it historically accurate? No. Is the plot nice and tight? Not really. But those are trivial matters in the face of what it is – an incredible spaghetti western. And as far as I am concerned, it is one of the best movies ever made.
2008-11-25
We all know this is great, but here's my 2 cents..
Well first off, having seen so many films, I'm not sure why I waited so long to watch this but I'm glad I finally did, and you should too! It's unbelievably clear to me now where Tarantino borrowed his camera shots and editing techniques from in the likes of KIll Bill and Inglorious Basterds! (I knew about Morricone)

The film was years ahead of its time, but I have two gripes with this movie that stopped me from giving it the full 10/10.

1: The dubbing- All the foreign actors acted their roles in their native tongues which were dubbed over afterwards. It was quite noticeable and threw me off a bit, I'd much rather a foreign film with subtitles than dubbing any day.

2: A tad too long. I do feel the running time could have been shaved byt 20 mins.

Having said all that, it's a great film! Ennio Morricone's soundtrack is outstanding and the ending is spectacular.

Overall opinion: Milestone!

Other films from the time I rated 9/10: Cool Hand Luke. Bicycle Thieves. The Italian Job
2015-05-14
Fantastic, legendary masterpiece
In New Mexico Territory circa 1862, a mysterious bounty-killer known as "Blondie" (Clint Eastwood) and a shifty Mexican bandit, Tuco Ramirez (Eli Wallach), run a con job wherein Blondie turns Tuco in for money and then rescues him, splitting the reward money. However, the two engage in numerous double-crossings against each other, until stumbling across a dying Confederate soldier (Antonio Casale) who gives each man a clue to the location of a hidden cache of gold. Tuco and Blondie re-form their alliance to find the gold, only to find that Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef), a ruthless hired gun, is already after the gold. The three men form a frequently-changing series of alliances to get at the gold, and they must avoid the Union and Confederate armies operating in the region.

"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" is a landmark film in many respects. Its cultural influence is nigh-impossible to overstate, with its iconic musical score by Ennio Morricone, three memorably amoral protagonists, the close-ups, vast landscapes, and the title itself, all of which are instantly recognizable icons of cinema, having been referenced and replicated time and again in movies, TV shows, and even commercials. It is Sergio Leone's first truly great film, a transition from the low-budget Spaghetti Westerns ("A Fistful of Dollars", "For a Few Dollars More") to the big budget, artistic epics that Leone would make for the rest of his career ("Once Upon a Time in the West/America"). It is also a film of utmost importance to me; after watching this movie as an eleven year old, admiring its wonderfully quirky characters, style, music, and breath-taking cinematography, I realized for the first time that I wanted to devote my life to films, be it watching them, writing on them, or hopefully making them.

"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" is a full-blown epic, and one with an interesting subtext. We see three completely amoral characters whose crimes - robbery, murder, and racketeering - are minor compared to the brutal carnage we see the Civil War inflicting. Taking place during the little-known Sibley Campaign in New Mexico, the film is not a documentary depiction of the war, but an allegorical one. This was the first total war, and Leone uses it as a metaphor for conflict in general, with faceless mass slaughter inflicted by rifles, machine guns, and artillery. Blondie, Tuco, and Angel Eyes' transgressions are minor compared to a brutal, Auschwitz-like concentration camp, spies being executed in the streets, towns being shelled, and vicious, stalemated trench warfare over a "flyspeck" of a bridge. Even our amoral heroes have amounts of humanity which set them apart from the machine-like slaughter around them; Blondie saves Tuco's life and comforts dying soldiers of both sides; Tuco struggles with a mixture of affection and hatred for Blondie, and his troubled relationship with his brother (Luigi Pistilli), and even Angel Eyes shows disgust at the carnage he sees.

The movie is extremely episodic, the plot only secondary to the adventures of these characters. Leone's wonderful direction gives the film a fairy-tale quality, with an appearance of realism while being fanciful and at times almost surreal. The movie contains extremely memorable set pieces: the lengthy opening, with three gunmen going after Tuco; the "carriage of the spirits"; the prison camp; a shootout in a town under shellfire; an epic Civil War battle; Tuco running excitedly through the cemetery; and, of course, the unforgettable climactic "triello". Tonino Delli Colli's cinematography is simply breath-taking, with desert landscapes as impressive as David Lean's films contrasting with the most extreme close-ups imaginable. Carlo Simi's set designs, from shelled-out towns to prison camps to the cemetery, is breath-taking. And Ennio Morricone's score is, for lack of a better word, one of the most amazing ever written, the instantly recognizable theme tune and other brilliant pieces creating the movie's indescribable atmosphere.

The cast creates unforgettably iconic characters. Clint Eastwood is back as the Man With No Name, here much more human in this film despite retaining his cool, detached, shifty nature. Lee Van Cleef, who had played a likable character in Leone's previous film, now plays one of the most memorably evil characters ever. Aldo Giuffre, Antonio Casas, and Luigi Pistilli are effective in supporting roles, and Leone's usual stock cast - Mario Brega, Benito Stefanelli, Al Muloch, Aldo Sambrell, and many others - create their own iconography. But it's Eli Wallach who steals the show, as the scenery chewing Tuco, a shifty, double-crossing, foul-mouthed bandit who manages to be the most likable and human of the cast despite his faults; truly, one of the most memorable film characters ever.

"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" is one of the most well-known and influential movies ever made, and with good reason. In terms of style, it is an absolute triumph, being one of the most amazingly made movies ever made. Those only familiar with the movie for its cast, its score, or peripherally through its iconic stature, are missing out on one of the most breath-taking cinematic experiences ever. Thank you, Sergio Leone.

9/10
2007-07-10
"When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
I know some movie fans who consider The Good, the Bad and the Ugly the best movie ever made. While I don't even think it's the best thing Sergio Leone made, it's a solid Spaghetti Western that has all but transcended the sub-genre. There are images, such as Clint Eastwood in the poncho, and music, like the main title theme, that are known by people who have never seen the movie. I also know people who wouldn't be caught dead watching a movie made outside of the USA who love The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I can't think of another Italian made film, let alone an Italian made Western, that has become so universally known and enjoyed.

There are so many moments in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly that I enjoy. One of my favorites is that of Tuco running through the cemetery as Morricone's "The Ecstasy of Gold" plays in the background. It literally gives me goosebumps. It's one of those movie moments that I look forward to no matter how many times I've seen them. I'm also a fan of the techniques Leone used in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Leone's use of the widescreen shots of the landscape inter-cut with extreme close-ups of faces is brilliant. It adds a sense of intimacy to vastness of the setting that allows the viewer feel like they're part the movie and gain some insight into the characters. It's a technique that very few other filmmakers have the guts to employ.

But I sincerely doubt that Leone's film would be so widely and wildly regarded if it weren't for the music of Ennio Morricone. I've already mentioned the main title theme and "The Ecstasy of Gold", but these are only two examples found in this amazing score. Can you imagine the final showdown without Morricone's music? I can't think of many instances where music and film go together to create such tension and anticipation. I've already used the word "brilliant" to describe Leone, but it's also applicable to Morricone.

Finally, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly wouldn't be the same without the three lead actors. Each, at least in this movie, is brilliant (there's that word again) in his own right. Clint Eastwood is "The Good". He's "The Good" in the sense that he's not as "bad" as the other two. Lee Van Cleef is "The Bad". He's a ruthless killer who would just as soon shoot you as look at you – as long as the price was right. And then there's Eli Wallach as "The Ugly". As good as Eastwood and Van Cleef are, Wallach is really something special. Wallach's Tuco is one of the most crazed, but complicated characters I've seen. It's a special cast for a very special movie.
2006-07-02
not for me
I'm not a fan of westerns, but feel I've shoved myself in a sci fi horror orientated corner of ignorance so am slowly working my way through the IMDb top 250 in an attempt to broaden my horizons (and possibly catch that rare film that blows u away without expecting it) I did REALLY appreciate the level of accomplishment this film expressed. For its time the cinematic atmosphere of comedy, emotion and gritty drama was clearly above average for even now, and the acting skills were brilliant and really added personality.

however (and i don't think its cuz I'm a girl) this film just wasn't for me. it was very slowly paced and i didn't manage to follow or care much for the characters stories.

that said, i would definitely recommend watching it as its surely one of those films that depends heavily on personal tastes, and judging it as a western just doesn't give it the respect it warrants.
2011-03-22
The good, the bad and the ugly
Upon release of this movie the critics were not so mild with there comments, but this is in my opinion the best western ever made! Everything in this movie is well balanced. It shows how the west really was in my opinion. The director Sergio Leone takes his time to tell the story. He uses different types of camera angles, extreme close ups etc. This makes The Good The Bad And The Ugly a feast for your eyes! Also the actors are well casted. Eastwood plays his part with excellence as do the other two actors. Especially Eli Wallach is perfect in his role of Tuco. The music of Ennio Morricone is also the best! The openings-tune is known all over the world.It's a movie I can watch over and over again. And every time I do so, I discover new things.
2007-11-23
the greatest of the great!
I wasn't sure if I was going to comment on this film because everything has already been said by the hundreds of other people who have posted their thoughts, but I decided that I should really put my two cents in since this is my favorite movie.

This film, in my opinion, is not only the greatest spaghetti western of all time. It is the greatest movie of all time. Period. Regardless of genre. I could probably watch it every day, and be perfectly happy doing so.

The music is perfection. The way the music drives this movie is absolutely amazing. The musical genius of Morricone and the incredible direction of Sergio Leone is a combination that will probably never be equaled. The theme song will forever be etched in your brain. In fact, it probably already is, even if you haven't seen the movie! The scene where Tuco runs through the graveyard with the song "Ecstacy of Gold" is pure poetry. And the showdown at the end with that great music- just incredible.

The story is riveting. There is not a single dull moment. The movie is long, but Leone's direction is so good that you will love the fact that you can enjoy this movie for three hours.

Lee Van Cleef is my favorite spaghetti western actor, and he is incredible as "Angel Eyes." It is the part he was born to play. Eli Wallach is perfect as Tuco. He really shines in this movie. Some people say he steals the show, and I can see why they think so. Eastwood is excellent as "Blondie," although I don't think Eastwood has as strong of a presence as Van Cleef (I know many will disagree, and that's OK because all three actors are superb in this film so why split hairs?).

This movie is hypnotic. It's operatic. It's sad. It's funny. It's gritty. It's violent. It's art. It's action. It's pure entertainment. The film is just so incredible on so many different levels that EVERYONE should see it, regardless of what kinds of movies they are into. And it's so cool that the greatest flick ever just happens to be a spaghetti western. If you haven't seen this movie, stop what you are doing, and go get it now!!
2005-08-24
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