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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly ( ), is a 1966 Italian epic spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach in the title roles. The screenplay was written by Age & Scarpelli, Luciano Vincenzoni and Leone, based on a story by Vincenzoni and Leone. Director of photography Tonino Delli Colli, was responsible for the film's sweeping widescreen cinematography and Ennio Morricone composed the famous film score, including its main theme. It is the third and final film in the Dollars trilogy following A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and For a Few Dollars More (1965). The plot centers around three gunslingers competing to find a fortune in buried Confederate gold amid the violent chaos of gunfights, hangings, Civil War battles and prison camps.

Opening on December 15, 1966 in Italymarker and in the United Statesmarker on December 23, 1967, the film grossed $6.1 million, but was criticized for its depiction of violence. Leone explains that "the killings in my films are exaggerated because I wanted to make a tongue-in-cheek satire on run-of-the-mill westerns... The west was made by violent, uncomplicated men, and it is this strength and simplicity that I try to recapture in my pictures." To this day, Leone's effort to reinvigorate the timeworn Western is widely acknowledged: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly has been described as European cinema's best representation of the Western genre film, and Quentin Tarantino has called it "the best-directed film of all time."

Plot

In a desolate ghost town during the American Civil War, bandit Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez ("The Ugly," Eli Wallach) narrowly shoots his way past three bounty hunters to freedom, killing two but only wounding the third. Miles away, Angel Eyes ("The Bad," Lee Van Cleef) interrogates a former soldier called Stevens (Antonio Casas) about a missing man named Jackson who has taken on the name "Bill Carson" (Antonio Casale) and a cache of stolen Confederate gold, brutally killing Stevens and his eldest son after the interrogation but not before Stevens pays Angel Eyes to kill Angel Eyes' employer, another former soldier named Baker; Angel Eyes later collects his fee for Stevens' killing from his employer and then shoots him.

Meanwhile, during Tuco's flight across the desert he runs into a group of bounty hunters who prepare to capture him when they are approached by Blondie ("The Good," Clint Eastwood), a mysterious lone gunman who challenges the hunters to the draw, which he wins with lightning speed. Initially elated, Tuco is outraged and enraged when Blondie delivers him up to the local authorities for the reward money of $2,000. Hours later, as Tuco awaits his execution, Blondie surprises the authorities and frees Tuco by shooting the execution rope, the two later meeting to split the reward money, revealing their lucrative money-making scheme. After Tuco's bounty is raised to $3,000, the two repeat the process at another town before Blondie, weary of Tuco's incessant complaints, abandons him in the desert (keeping all of the money). A livid Tuco manages to make it to another town and rearm himself. Some time later In another town, Tuco surprises Blondie in his hotel room in the middle of a skirmish between Union and Confederate troops. As Tuco prepares to kill Blondie by fashioning a noose and forcing Blondie to put it around his neck, a cannonball hits the hotel and demolishes the room, allowing Blondie to escape.

Following a relentless search, Tuco captures Blondie using the same scheme with another partner (Tuco doesn't allow Blondie to shoot the rope this time and the unfortunate "Shorty" is hanged) and marches him across the harsh desert. When Blondie finally collapses from dehydration and heatstroke, Tuco prepares to kill him but pauses when a runaway ambulance carriage appears on the horizon heading their way. Inside, while looting the dead soldiers, Tuco discovers a dying Bill Carson, who reveals that $200,000 in stolen Confederate gold is buried in a grave in Sad Hill cemetery but falls unconscious before naming the grave. When Tuco returns with water, he discovers Carson dead and Blondie slumped against the carriage beside Carson's body. Before passing out, Blondie says that he knows the name on the grave. Tuco takes Blondie (both disguised as Confederate soldiers) to a Catholic mission run by Tuco's older brother Father Pablo, allowing Blondie time to recover before the two leave, still disguised. They inadvertently encounter a force of Union soldiers (who they take for Confederates due to thick coatings of grey dust on their uniforms). They are captured and marched to a Union prison camp.

At the camp, Corporal Wallace (Mario Brega) calls the roll. Tuco answers for Bill Carson, catching the attention of Angel Eyes, now disguised as a Union Sergeant stationed at the camp. Angel Eyes has Wallace torture Tuco into revealing Sad Hill Cemetery as the location of the gold, but Tuco also confesses that only Blondie knows the name on the grave. Angel Eyes offers Blondie an equal partnership in recovering the gold. Blondie agrees and rides out with Angel Eyes and his posse. Meanwhile, Tuco, chained to Corporal Wallace, is transported by train to his execution. During the trip, Tuco tells Wallace he has to pee and distracts Wallace long enough to jump off the train, dragging the Corporal with him. He then beats Wallace's head on a rock, killing him, and uses another train to cut their chain, freeing him.

We next see Blondie, Angel Eyes and Angel Eyes' gang arriving in a town that's rapidly being evacuated due to heavy artillery fire. Tuco, wandering aimlessly through the wreckage of that same town, is oblivious of the bounty hunter that survived at the start of the movie (Al Mulock), who tracks and ambushes Tuco. Despite the surprise, Tuco kills the bounty hunter. Blondie investigates the gunshot, finding Tuco and informing him of Angel Eyes's involvement. The two resume their old partnership, stalking through the wrecked town and killing Angel Eyes' henchmen before discovering that Angel Eyes has escaped.

The Mexican stand-off scene at Sad Hill Cemetery.
Tuco and Blondie find their way to Sad Hill Cemetery is blocked by large Union and Confederate forces, who are separated only by a narrow bridge. They are preparing to fight for it, but apparently both sides have been ordered not to destroy the bridge. Reasoning that if the bridge were destroyed "these idiots would go somewhere else to fight", Blondie and Tuco wire the bridge with dynamite. During the process, the two trade information, Tuco revealing Sad Hill Cemetery as the gold's location and Blondie saying that the name on the grave is Arch Stanton. The two then take cover as the bridge blows up and the two armies resume their battle. The next morning, the Confederate and Union soldiers have gone. Tuco abandons Blondie (who has stopped to tend to a dying young Confederate soldier) to retrieve the gold for himself at the cemetery. Frantically searching the sea of make-shift tombstones and grave markers, Tuco finally locates Arch Stanton's grave. As he digs, Blondie appears (now clad in his trademark poncho) and tosses him a shovel. A second later, the two are surprised by Angel Eyes, who holds them at gunpoint. Blondie kicks open Stanton's grave to reveal just a skeleton. Declaring that only he knows the real name of the grave, Blondie writes it on a rock in the middle of the graveyard and tells Tuco and Angel Eyes that "two hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money. We're going to have to earn it."

The three stare each other down in the circular center of the cemetery, calculating alliances and dangers in a famous five-minute Mexican standoff before suddenly drawing. Blondie shoots Angel Eyes, who rolls into an open grave, while Tuco discovers that Blondie had unloaded his gun the night before. Blondie directs Tuco to the grave marked "Unknown" next to Arch Stanton's. Tuco digs and is overjoyed to find bags of gold inside, but is shocked when he turns to Blondie and finds himself staring at a noose. Seeking a measure of revenge for what Tuco has done to him, Blondie forces Tuco to stand atop a tottery grave marker and fixes the noose around his neck, binding Tuco's hands before riding off with his share of the gold. As Tuco screams for mercy, Blondie's silhouette returns on the horizon, aiming a rifle at him. Blondie fires a single shot and severs the noose rope, dropping Tuco face-first onto his share of the gold. Blondie smiles as Tuco screams at him in rage and then rides off.

Cast

The Good (Blondie)
The Good (Blondie)
The Bad (Angel Eyes)
The Ugly (Tuco)


The Trio

  • Clint Eastwood as Blondie: The Good, a.k.a. the Man with No Name, a subdued, cocksure bounty hunter who competes with Tuco and Angel Eyes to find the buried gold. Blondie and Tuco have an ambivalent partnership. Tuco knows the name of the cemetery where the gold is hidden, but Blondie knows the name of the grave where it is buried, forcing them to work together to find the treasure. In spite of this greedy quest, Blondie's pity for the dying soldiers in the chaotic carnage of the War is evident. "I've never seen so many men wasted so badly," he laments.


Rawhide had ended its run as a series in 1966 and at that point neither of Clint Eastwood's Italian films had been released in the United States. When Leone offered him a role in his next movie, it was the only big film offer he had; however, Eastwood still needed to be convinced to do it. Leone and his wife traveled to California to persuade him. Two days later, he agreed to make the movie upon being paid $250,000 and getting 10% of the profits from the North American markets – a deal with which Leone was not happy.

  • Lee Van Cleef as Angel Eyes: The Bad, a ruthless, unfeeling and sociopathic mercenary named "Angel Eyes" (Sentenza - Sentence - in the original script and the Italian version), who kills anyone in his path. When Blondie and Tuco are captured while posing as Confederate soldiers, Angel Eyes is the Union sergeant who interrogates and tortures Tuco, eventually learning the name of the cemetery where the gold is buried, but not the name on the tombstone. Angel Eyes forms a fleeting partnership with Blondie, but Tuco and Blondie turn on Angel Eyes when they get their chance.


Originally, Leone wanted Charles Bronson to play Angel Eyes but he had already committed to The Dirty Dozen (1967). Leone thought about working with Lee Van Cleef again: "I said to myself that Van Cleef had first played a romantic character in For a Few Dollars More. The idea of getting him to play a character who was the opposite of that began to appeal to me."

  • Eli Wallach as Tuco: The Ugly, Tuco Benedicto Pacífico Juan María Ramírez, a comical, oafish, fast talking bandit who is wanted by the authorities for a long list of crimes. Tuco manages to discover the name of the cemetery where the gold is buried, but he does not know the name of the grave - only Blondie does. This state of affairs forces Tuco to become reluctant partners with Blondie.


The director originally considered Gian Maria Volonté for the role of Tuco, but felt that the role required someone with "natural comic talent". In the end, Leone chose Eli Wallach based on his role in How the West Was Won (1962), in particular, his performance in "The Railroads" scene. In LA, Leone met Wallach, who was skeptical about playing this type of character again, but after Leone screened the opening credit sequence from For a Few Dollars More, Wallach said: "When do you want me?" The two men got along famously, sharing the same bizarre sense of humor. Leone allowed Wallach to make changes to his character in terms of his outfit and recurring gestures. Both Eastwood and Van Cleef realized that the character of Tuco was close to Leone's heart, and director and Wallach became good friends. Van Cleef observed, "Tuco is the only one of the trio the audience gets to know all about. We meet his brother and find out where he came from and why he became a bandit. But Clint's character and Angel's remain mysteries."

In the theatrical trailer, Angel Eyes is referred to as The Ugly and Tuco, The Bad. This is due to a translation error; the original Italian title translates literally to "The Good, the Ugly, the Bad".

Supporting cast

Aldo Giuffrè as the Union Captain: A drunken Union officer who befriends Tuco and Blondie. He feels that the bloody confrontation his men are involved in is a futile waste, and dreams of destroying the bridge — a wish carried out by Blondie and Tuco. Mortally wounded in the Battle of Branstone Bridge, he dies just after hearing the bridge's destruction.
  • Giuffré was an Italian comedian who had become an actor.


Mario Brega as Cpl Wallace. A thuggish prison guard who works for Angel Eyes and tortures Tuco to get him to reveal the hidden location of the treasure. Angel Eyes turns Tuco over to Wallace so that he can turn Tuco in for the reward money; Tuco, however, kills Wallace.
  • A butcher turned actor, the imposing, heavyset Brega was a mainstay in Leone's films and Spaghetti Westerns in general.


Luigi Pistilli as Father Pablo Ramirez: Tuco's brother, a Catholic friar. He holds Tuco in contempt for his choice of life as a bandit, but ultimately loves him.
  • Pistilli was a veteran of many Spaghetti Westerns, usually playing a villain (as in Leone's For a Few Dollars More).


Al Mulock as One-armed Bounty Hunter: Wounded by Tuco in the early part of the film, he loses his right arm. He seeks revenge, only to be killed by Tuco, leading to the line: "When you have to shoot, shoot! Don't talk."
  • Mulock was a Canadian actor who later appeared in Once Upon a Time in the West as one of the three gunmen in the film's opening sequence. He committed suicide on the set of the latter film.


Antonio Casas as Stevens. Killed by Angel Eyes, who was paid to carry out the killing by Baker.
  • Casas was a Spanish footballer turned actor.


Saturno Cerra as Bounty Hunter in Ghost Town - a Bounty Hunter killed by Tuco.

Frank Brana as Bounty Hunter in Ghost Town - a Bounty Hunter killed by Tuco.

Sergio Mendizábal as Blonde Bounty Hunter. One of three bounty hunters killed by Blondie during an attempted arrest of Tuco.

John Bartha as Sheriff. Captures Tuco. Hat shot off by Blondie.

Claudio Scarchilli as Pedro, a member of Tuco's Gang. Killed by Blondie.

Sandro Scarchilli as Chico, a member of Tuco's Gang. Killed by Blondie.

Aysanoa Runachagua as Ramon, a member of Tuco's Gang. Pistolero recruited by Tuco in a cave (uncredited), - killed by Blondie.

Antonio Molino Rojo as Captain Harper. The good captain at the Union prison camp whose leg is slowly deteriorating due to gangrene. Harper warns Angel Eyes not to be dishonest on his watch, but Angel Eyes holds him in contempt and deliberately ignores his orders.
  • Rojo usually played henchmen in Leone's films and other Spaghetti Westerns, but here he played a more sympathetic character.


Benito Stefanelli as Angel Eyes Gang Member. Henchman killed by Tuco.
  • Leone's stunt coordinator who frequently had bit parts in Spaghetti Westerns.


Aldo Sambrell as Angel Eyes Gang Member. Henchman killed by Blondie.
  • Sambrell was a Spanish actor whose initially small parts in Spaghetti Westerns made him somewhat famous in his home country.


Lorenzo Robledo as Clem, Angel Eyes Gang Member. Henchman sent to follow Blondie when he leaves Angel Eyes' hideout, after Tuco kills the bounty hunter. Blondie discovers him and shoots him in the stomach.

Romano Puppo as Slim, Angel Eyes Gang Member. Henchman, he fires his rifle at Blondie and Tuco but misses and is shot down by Tuco from a building.

Enzo Petito as General store owner. The guileless store keeper robbed by Tuco.

Livio Lorenzon as Baker. The Confederate soldier involved in the money scheme with Stevens and Carson, he sends Angel Eyes to kill Stevens and extract information from him. However, Baker himself is killed by Angel Eyes, who was paid by Stevens to kill Baker before his death.

Angelo Novi as Monk. Head of the San Antonio Mission.
  • Novi was one of the film's still photographers.


Chelo Alonso as Stevens' Wife.
  • An Italian star of the sword and sandal films in the 50s and early 60s, she had worked with Leone on several of his films as an assistant director.


Development

After the success of For a Few Dollars More, executives at United Artists approached the film’s screenwriter, Luciano Vincenzoni, to sign a contract for the rights to the film and for the next one. He, producer Alberto Grimaldi and Sergio Leone had no plans, but with their blessing, Vincenzoni pitched an idea about “a film about three rogues who are looking for some treasure at the time of the American Civil War.” The studio agreed but wanted to know the cost for this next film. At the same time, Grimaldi was trying to broker his own deal but Vincenzoni’s idea was more lucrative. The two men struck an agreement with UA for a million dollar budget with the studio advancing $500,000 up front and 50% of the box office takings outside of Italy. The total budget would eventually be $1.3 million.

Leone built upon the screenwriter’s original concept to “show the absurdity of war...the Civil War which the characters encounter. In my frame of reference, it is useless, stupid: it does not involve a 'good cause.'" An avid history buff, Leone said, “I had read somewhere that 120,000 people died in Southern camps such as Andersonvillemarker. I was not ignorant of the fact that there were camps in the North. You always get to hear about the shameful behavior of the losers, never the winners.” The Betterville Camp where Blondie and Tuco are imprisoned was based on steel engravings of Andersonville. Many shots in the film were influenced by archival photographs taken by Mathew Brady.

While Leone developed Vincenzoni’s idea into a script, the screenwriter recommended the comedy-writing team of Agenore Incrucci and Furio Scarpelli to work on it with Leone and Sergio Donati. According to Leone, "I couldn’t use a single thing they’d written. It was the grossest deception of my life." Donati agreed, saying, "There was next to nothing of them in the final script. They only wrote the first part. Just one line." Vincenzoni claims that he wrote the screenplay in 11 days, but he soon left the project after his relationship with Leone soured. The three main characters all contain autobiographical elements of Leone. In an interview he said, "[Sentenza] has no spirit, he's a professional in the most banal sense of the term. Like a robot. This isn't the case with the other two. On the methodical and careful side of my character, I’d be nearer il Biondo (Blondie): but my most profound sympathy always goes towards the Tuco side...He can be touching with all that tenderness and all that wounded humanity.”

The film’s working title was I due magnifici straccioni (The Two Magnificent Tramps). It was changed just before shooting began when Vincenzoni thought up Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (The Good, the Ugly, the Bad) which Leone loved.

Production

The Spanish government approved production and provided the army for technical assistance; the film's cast includes 1,500 local militia members as extras. Eastwood remembers, "They would care if you were doing a story about Spaniards and about Spain. Then they’d scrutinize you very tough, but the fact that you're doing a western that’s supposed to be laid in southwest America or Mexico, they couldn’t care less what your story or subject is."

Wallach was almost poisoned during filming when he accidentally drank from a bottle of acid that a film technician had set next to his soda bottle. Wallach mentioned this in his autobiography and complained that while Leone was a brilliant director, he was very lax about ensuring the safety of his actors during dangerous scenes. For instance, in one scene, where he was to be hanged after a pistol was fired, the horse underneath him was supposed to bolt. While the rope around Wallach's neck was severed, the horse was frightened a little too well. It galloped for about a mile with Wallach still mounted and his hands bound behind his back. The third time Wallach's life was threatened was during the scene where he and Mario Brega - who are chained together - jump out of a moving train. The jumping part was fine, but Wallach's life was endangered when his character attempts to sever the chain binding him to the (now dead) henchman. Tuco places the body on the railroad tracks, waiting for the train to roll over the chain and sever it. Wallach and, presumably, the entire film crew were not aware of the heavy iron steps that jutted one foot out of every box car. If Wallach had stood up from his prone position at the wrong time, one of the jutting steps could have decapitated him.

Blondie and Tuco shortly before blowing up the bridge.
The bridge in the film was reconstructed twice by sappers of the Spanish army after being rigged for on-camera explosive demolition. The first time, an Italian camera operator signaled that he was ready to shoot, which was misconstrued by an army captain as the similar sounding Spanish word meaning "start". Luckily, nobody was injured in the erroneous mistiming. The army rebuilt the bridge while other shots were filmed. As the bridge was not a prop but a rather heavy and sturdy structure, powerful explosives were required to destroy it. Leone has said that this scene was, in part, inspired by Buster Keaton’s silent film, The General.

As an international cast was employed, actors performed in their native languages. Eastwood, Van Cleef and Wallach spoke English, and were dubbed into Italian for the debut release in Rome. For the American version, the lead acting voices were used, but supporting cast members were dubbed into English. The result is noticeable in the bad synchronization of voices to lip movements on screen; none of the dialogue is completely in sync because Leone rarely shot his scenes with synchronized sound. Various reasons have been cited for this: Leone often liked to play Morricone's music over a scene and possibly shout things at the actors to get them in the mood. Leone cared more for visuals than dialogue (his English was limited, at best). Given the technical limitations of the time, it would have been difficult to record the sound cleanly in most of the extremely wide shots Leone frequently used. Also, it was standard practice in Italian films at this time to shoot silently and post-dub. Whatever the actual reason, all dialogue in the film was recorded in post-production. The relationship between Eastwood and Leone had remained strained from their previous collaboration and it only worsened during the dubbing sessions for the US version because the actor was presented with a different script than the one they had shot with. He refused to read from this new version, insisting on using the shooting script instead.

Leone was unable to find an actual cemetery for the Sad Hill shootout scene, so the Spanish pyrotechnics chief hired 250 Spanish soldiers to build one in Carazo near Salas de los Infantesmarker, which they completed in two days.

Release

International release dates
Country Date
Italymarker December 15, 1966
United Statesmarker December 23, 1967
Germanymarker December 29, 1967
Japanmarker December 30, 1967
Finlandmarker February 2, 1968
Francemarker March 8, 1968
Denmarkmarker April 8, 1968
Swedenmarker April 10, 1968
Chinamarker June 13, 1968
United Kingdommarker August 22, 1968
Pakistanmarker July 21, 1974
Philippinesmarker August 7, 1977
Norwaymarker October 8, 1982


Film

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was not released in the US until December 1967. The original Italian version was 2 hours, 57 minutes long; but the US version was 2 hours, 41 minutes - 16 minutes shorter. Since the scenes were deleted before the entire film was dubbed into English, that quarter-hour's-worth of story footage was rarely shown in US cinemas. Nevertheless, MGM's 1998 US DVD release includes them, in the original Italian, but with English subtitles.

Given that the Italian Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo literally translates to the English: The Good, the Ugly, the Bad, reversing the last two adjectives, advertisements for the original Italian release show Tuco before Angel Eyes, and, when translated into English, erroneously label Angel Eyes as "The Ugly" and Tuco as "The Bad".

The film was initially banned in Norway but did have its premiere there 15 years later, in October 1982.[why?]

DVD

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 1998 DVD cover art.


The film was first released on DVD by MGM in 1998. The special features contain 18 minutes of scenes which were cut for the film's North American release, including a scene which explains how Angel Eyes came to be waiting for Blondie and Tuco at the Union prison camp.

In 2002, the film was restored with the 18 minutes of scenes cut for US release re-inserted into the film. Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach were brought back in to dub their characters' lines more than 35 years after the film's original release. Voice actor Simon Prescott substituted for Lee Van Cleef who had died in 1989. Other voice actors filled in for actors who had since passed away. In 2004, MGM released this version in a two-disc special edition DVD.

Disc 1 contains an audio commentary with writer and critic Richard Schickel. Disc 2 contains two documentaries, "Leone's West" and "The Man Who Lost The Civil War", followed by the featurette, "Restoring 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly'"; an animated gallery of missing sequences entitled, "The Socorro Sequence: A Reconstruction"; an extended Tuco torture scene; a featurette called "Il Maestro"; an audio featurette named, "Il Maestro, Part 2"; a French trailer; and a poster gallery.

This DVD was generally well received, though some purists complained about the re-mixed stereo soundtrack with many completely new sound effects (notably, all the gunshots were replaced), with no option for the original soundtrack. At least one scene which was re-inserted had been cut by Leone prior to the film's release in Italy, but had been shown once at the Italian premiere. It is generally believed that Leone willingly cut the scene for pacing reasons; thus, restoring it was contrary to the director's wishes. The 1998 DVD with the original US version of the mono soundtrack is still available in stores, although the sound quality is vastly inferior to that on the restored DVD. (Unlike the original DVD releases of the other two "Dollars" films, the transfer is anamorphically enhanced for 16:9 televisions.)

MGM re-released the 2004 DVD edition in their "Sergio Leone Anthology" box set in 2007. Also included were the two other "Dollars" films, and A Fistful of Dynamite.

On May 12, 2009 the extended version of this movie was released on Blu-ray. It contains the same special features as the 2004 special edition DVD, except that it includes an added commentary by film historian Sir Christopher Frayling.

Deleted scenes

The following scenes were originally deleted from the theatrical version of the film but re-inserted following the release of the 2004 Special Edition DVD.

  • After being betrayed by Blondie, surviving the desert on his way to civilization and assembling a hybrid revolver from parts of various original makes, Tuco meets with members of his gang in a distant cave, where he conspires with them to hunt and kill Blondie.


  • During his search for Bill Carson, Angel Eyes stumbles upon an embattled Confederate outpost after a massive artillery bombardment. Once there, after witnessing the wretched conditions of the survivors, he bribes a Confederate NCO for clues about Bill Carson.


  • The sequence with Tuco and Blondie crossing the desert has been extended: Tuco mentally tortures a severely dehydrated Blondie by eating and drinking in front of him.


  • Tuco, transporting a dehydrated Blondie, finds a Confederate camp whose occupants tell him that Brother Ramirez's monastery is nearby.


  • Angel Eyes appears at a Union camp, where his affiliation with the Union Army and his rank is explained.


  • Tuco and Blondie discuss their plans when departing in a wagon from Brother Ramirez's monastery.


  • A scene where Blondie and Angel Eyes are resting by a creek when a man appears and Blondie shoots him. Angel Eyes asks the rest of his men to come out (all are hidden as well). When the five men come out, Blondie counts them (including Angel Eyes), and concludes that six is the perfect number. Angel Eyes asks him why, mentioning that he had heard that three was the perfect number. Blondie responds that six is the perfect number, because he has six bullets.


  • The sequence with Tuco, Blondie and the Union Captain has been extended: the Captain asks the pair questions about their pasts, which they are reluctant to answer.


Additional footage of the sequence where Tuco is tortured by Angel Eyes' henchman was discovered. The original negative of this footage was deemed too badly damaged to be used in the theatrical cut, but the footage appears as an extra in the 2004 DVD supplementary features.

Reception

Critical opinion of the film on initial release was mixed as many reviewers at that time looked down on spaghetti westerns. In a negative review in The New York Times, critic Renata Adler said that the film "must be the most expensive, pious and repellent movie in the history of its peculiar genre." Roger Ebert, who later included the film in his list of Great Movies, retrospectively noted that in his original review he had "described a four-star movie but only gave it three stars, perhaps because it was a 'spaghetti western' and so could not be art". Ebert also points out Leone's unique perspective that enables the audience to be closer to the character as we see what he sees.

Today, the film is regarded by many critics as a classic. It remains one of the most popular and well known westerns and is considered to be one of the greatest of its genre. It is in Time's "100 Greatest movies of the last century" as selected by critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel. In addition, it used to be one of the few films which enjoyed a 100% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although the rating has since been changed to 98% due to the inclusion of a single negative review by Time Magazine on February 9, 1968.

In a 2002 Sight & Sound magazine poll, Quentin Tarantino voted The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as his choice for the best film ever made.

Empire magazine added The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to their Masterpiece collection in the September 2007 issue and in their poll of "The 500 Greatest Movies," "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" was voted in at number 25.

To date, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is ranked #4 on IMDB's Top 250 list, behind The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, and The Godfather Part II, respectively.

Music

The score is composed by frequent Leone collaborator Ennio Morricone, whose distinctive original compositions, containing gunfire, whistling (by John O'Neill), and yodeling permeate the film. The main theme, resembling the howling of a coyote (which blends in with an actual coyote howl in the first shot after the opening credits), is a two-note melody that is a frequent motif, and is used for the three main characters. A different instrument was used for each: flute for Blondie, ocarina for Angel Eyes and human voices for Tuco. The score complements the film's American Civil War setting, containing the mournful ballad, "The Story of a Soldier", which is sung by prisoners as Tuco is being tortured by Angel Eyes. The film's climax, a three-way Mexican standoff, begins with the melody of "The Ecstasy of Gold" and is followed by "The Trio."

The main theme was a hit in 1968 with the soundtrack album on the charts for more than a year, reaching No. 4 on the Billboard pop album chart and No. 10 on the black album chart. The main theme was also a hit for Hugo Montenegro, whose rendition was a No. 2 Billboard pop single in 1968. In popular culture, the Americanmarker New Wave group Wall of Voodoo performed a medley of Ennio Morricone's movie themes, including the theme for this movie. The only known recording of it is a live performance on The Index Masters. Punk rock band the Ramones played this song as the opening for their live album Loco Live as well as in concerts until their disbandment in 1996. The British heavy metal band Motörhead played the main theme as the overture music on the 1981 "No sleep 'til Hammersmith" tour. Americanmarker thrash metal band Metallica has run "The Ecstasy of Gold" as prelude music at their concerts since 1985 (except between 1996-1998), and recently recorded a version of the instrumental for a compilation tribute to Morricone. XM Satellite Radio's The Opie & Anthony Show also open every show with "The Ecstasy of Gold". The American punk rock band The Vandals song "I want to be a Cowboy" begins with the main theme. A song from the band Gorillaz is named "Clint Eastwood", and features references to the actor, with the iconic yell featured in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly's score heard at the beginning of the video. The film itself has been widely sampled: Punk band Big Audio Dynamite used an audio clip from the movie in its song "Medicine Show"; the audio was taken from the scene in which a judge, after reading a long list of criminal charges, sentences Tuco to be "hanged from the neck until dead." Also, the song "You Know What You Are" from the 1988 album The Land of Rape and Honey by industrial metal group Ministry repeats the song title (a portion of Tuco's final epithet at Blondie) as a background sample.

In popular culture

  • The film was novelized in 1967 by Joe Millard and is part of the "Dollars Western" paperback series based on the "Man with No Name" character.
  • In the 1970 war film Kelly's Heroes, a nod to Eastwood's spaghetti westerns pops up during his standoff with the Tiger tank when the soundtrack uses a small bit of music reminiscent of Morricone's work.
  • During the opening shot of the film Crank, starring Jason Statham, the special edition DVD of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly can be glimpsed on a table.
  • The South Korean western movie The Good, the Bad, the Weird ( ) is inspired by The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, with much of its plot and character elements borrowing extensively from Leone's film.
  • In his introduction to the 2003 revised edition of his novel The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, Stephen King revealed that the film was a primary influence for the Dark Tower series, and that Eastwood's character specifically inspired the creation of King's protagonist, Roland Deschain.
  • The well-received PC game Fallout 2 contains a scene in which the main character is sent by his employer to track down a man who robbed him. Upon finding the man, the main character offers him his freedom in exchange for the money. If he's asked where the money's buried, he says it's in the grave marked "Arch Stanton". The man then leads the main character out into a large desert graveyard and shows him the grave where the money is buried. The main character tells the man "There are two kinds of people in this world, those with loaded guns, and those who dig." This exchange is similar to one of the last scenes in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. At another point in the game, three dogtags belonging to Blondie, Tuco and Angel Eyes appear as items.
  • In 2004, rapper Jin did a song called "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" from his album The Rest Is History which re-created a modern version of the movie.
  • The Ecstasy of Gold from the film soundtrack is used by Metallica on the band's concerts as an opening theme. It appears as a separate track on their S&M album. It also appears in Guitar Hero: Metallica before the first track is played in Career mode.
  • The Japanese role-playing game Wild Arms features an overworld theme based on The Ecstasy of Gold.
  • The graphic novel Jinx by writer/pencilier Brian Michael Bendis is a noir crime version of Leone's movie.


See also



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