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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - A perfect film.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (DVD)
Member Name: TimListfield
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (DVD)
Advantages: From the deep, rich plot to the action and tension, this is just perfect.
Disadvantages: None at all.
Once in a while, a film comes along that can only be described as perfect. Everything falls into place, from the writing through to the directing and acting. There is no doubt that The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is one of those films. From the start to the finish, this is just such a fine piece of film making, and everything about it is perfect. The film's setting is the first great thing about this film. It's set during the American Civil war, which gives it a believable background and the main plot frequently uses the civil war to advance the film, such as the prison camp scene and the bridge scene. The acting in this is just as stunning, and boasts Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach together on screen in some of their finest moments. There is some beautiful scenery in this, and some absolutely relentless action from the start of the film to the perfect ending. To top it off, this has one of the finest and most recognizable musical scores of all time as well.
The film starts in a ghost town during the latter stages of the Civil War. Three men attempt to kill Bandit Tuco - the Ugly (played by Eli Wallach). But he is able to escape, and shoots the men dead.
Meanwhile, miles away, a man called 'Angel Eyes' - The Bad (Lee Van Cleef) arrives at the home of a man. He asks the man about a soldier named Bill Carson, and when he gets his answer, ruthlessly kills the man in cold blood, then kills his son. It turns out that the man Angel Eyes is searching for, Bill Carson, knows there whereabouts of $200,000 in gold ($4 million in today's money).
Tuco is then found being hunted by 'Blondie' - The Good (Clint Eastwood). Blondie kills the men after him Tuco, but then captures Tuco himself and takes him to the Sheriff to claim the reward. But before Tuco is killed, Blondie rescues him and they escape, splitting the reward between them. They continue this, until Blondie decides he should get rid of Tuco. He leaves Tuco in the desert.
However, Tuco is strong willed and manages to live. He then goes after Blondie and in a pretty harrowing scene marches him through the desert. Which is when the two men meet Bill Carson, who tells them about the gold.
Now, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly all know about the gold, and all set out to find it in a variety of different ways while the civil war rages on in the background. This leads to, without a doubt, the finest western climax of all time.
This film may be three hours long, but there isn't one moment in this that is slow, and not one moment that doesn't keep you glued eagerly to the screen for every second. It is a visual masterpiece from Sergio Leone, who's camerawork, locations and variety of shots are just absolutely stunning. And that's putting it lightly. Certainly the scene in which Tuco marches Blondie through the desert truly are harrowing and really do capture the feeling of the desert and lack of water. But what really makes this film is the action. Every action scene in this is directed and acted to perfection. There are some stand out scenes though, such as the desert scene, the civil war prison scene, the explosion of the bridge and the final climax, which tops this film off. The pace is totally relentless all the time, and the depth of this story, such as the background with the civil war and the history of the characters is totally engrossing.
As for the acting, what can anyone say. We have the coolest man in the west with Clint Eastwood, one of the most compelling character villlain in Lee Van Cleef, and the hugely enjoyable Eli Wallach as Tuco, the man you love to hate and hate to love. Between all three, there are some hugely memorable scenes, and because each actor's style is different, they actually compliment each other perfectly.
The final thing that really does make this film is the outstanding and very memorable musical score by Ennio Morricone. The score has since become the score that instantly refers to any western, and not just this one.
Summary: A western that has so much depth of character and plot. Nothing stops this film.