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THE GODFATHER OF WESTERNS
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (DVD)
Member Name: vincent.buchan
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (DVD)
Date: 28/09/02, updated on 28/09/02 (530 review reads)
Advantages: amazing film
Disadvantages: I don't kkow
Famous actor Clint Eastwood, famous for his westerns, packed up his cowboy gear with the Colt 45 and travelled to Europe to take part in yet another western but this time with the presence of the gifted director Sergio Leone. The final result was the "Dollars Trilogy" of which 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly' is the final and most probably the finest episode. This was the movie that put Clint on the map and notorious as the fastest draw in the West.
There have been many, if not too many, spagetti westerns on the television in the 'Western Week' and most of them starring Clint, but I'm sure all Western fans would admit that you can not get too many westerns and if a movie of such quality as 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly', it is all worth it.
The story is simple. It's all about money. The three characters are set on making as much money as they can in the easiest possible way, either fake claiming rewards or being a bounty hunter. Tuco and Blondie are teamed up right from the start collecting the ever increasing rewards for Tuco's arrest and hanging. Blondie always cuts the noose before Tuco pays the ultimate price and then they run away on horseback to the next town to perform the same dirty deed, but Tuco gets unhappy because Blondie is cutting the rope later and later. The last is Angel Eyes, the cold blooded killer for hire who specilizes in the old double-cross - killing the employer as well as the victim. Later on, all three characters hear about the story of the lost army payroll which is $200,000 in gold buried somewhere, and what easier way of getting money is there apart from finding it? You would think it would be easy but they go through great troubles tempting death to get it.
Blondie is Clint Eastwood or The Man With No Name, also known as "The Good" (his first persona in the first two films even though the film was set some years before the US Civil War era so this i
s roughly a prequal to the rest) who is obviously The Good. Clint even got out his old brownish-green poncho just to set atmosphere for the always expected showdown scene at the end of good westerns even though you know who is going to win, they are still what makes a western a western. Also he has his notorious cobra handled colt used in the "dollars" film so it acts as a link to keep them together.
Angel Eyes, Lee Van Cleef, is " The Bad". He is the cold-blooded bounty hunter and his excellent performance never trails slightly from the enemy type. This is probably his best and most important role he ever had in his career. I think it is a pity that the main part of his acting career was spent as a minor bandit in Hollywood westerns as he is much more talanted than people gave him credit for and he proved that in "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly".
Eli Wallach, "The Ugly", is Tuco in a post graduate role as a bandit. If you are a serious western fan or your memory spans as far back as the 1960's, you may remember Wallach starring in one of the very first spagetti westerns in The Magnificent Seven with good guy Yul Brynner (I think that't the right spelling). Although Tuco has no fast hand with the old six-shooter, he has quite a considerable role in the movie, in my opinion. He gives a very fine performance in this movie and he is virtually the only means of comic relief in this movie with his wild comments. Tuco adds just the right dash of humour amongst the action to make give this movie the perfect blend that makes it such a classic.
The director is the extremely talanted Sergio Leone who has a great mind for picturing what he wants in his mind and not settling until he gets it. He does all this with great style with is panoramic shots mixed in with the oppressive close-ups, darting the attention of the camera from face to face causing great atmosphere and edge of your seat action for the
viewers. The movie's got a steady pace and never feels rushed to get to the end and the camera work is impeccable. If I was forced to choose one problem, I would have to say that the set isn't up to the standards of the movie, it's true that they are a little shoddy in some scenes but with the excellent artistic touch of Leone's camera work, a low budget scene can be easily forgotten. The thin dialogue, suggested by Eastwood, helps to build on the massive tensions between the characters - due to the effectiveness of this, each one has become an icon in the Western wall of fame. It's hard to say enough about the effectiveness of the script as it is so well done and builds so much atmosphere that it makes the viewer feel involved. Composer Ennio Morricone (I think that is right aswell - why does everyone good have long names?) may never have accomplished a better known piece like this.
The MGM DVD is presented in 2.35: 1 Widescreen. It is of a high quality with only a few minor passages which are slightly faded. I must admit that the soundtrack is better than I first expected and is a lot better than any of the American dubbed versions I have seen on the television. The gunfire sounds crisp, life-like, and something to fear (espeically with home cinema surround sound) rather than the tinny toy gun sounds there are in the earlier viewings.
One of the special features that come with the DVD include several scenes deleted before the international version was fazalized. As such, the scenes are only in the original recordings (Italian) and not in the bubbed english. There are roughly 14 minutes of cut scenes in total, and were wisely removed from the 3 hours of excitement called "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" but all in all, they are still good to watch as they have been unavaliable up to the release of the DVD.
The trailer included intrestingly reverses the names of Walach and Van Cleef's characters. Maybe it
was decided that Van Cleef is a much better actor at being the bad guy and Wallach is just plain ugly.
The Good, THe Bad, and The Ugly is a film every movie fan will love. Even if you aren't a die hard western fan, it is almost definite that this will still appeal to you and is always great to own. The DVD shouldn't really cost more the 10 pounds unless you are in an area where inflation has hit pretty badly (like this little island where thay charge as much as they want and there is little we can do. It costs something like 12-15 pounds here). Anyways, I think I've babbled on enough and I hope you like this five-star film as much as I do as it has an almost infinite shelf life.