• Tobias Liberman

Review - The Good the Bad and the Ugly

"Every Gun Makes Its Own Tune"

The Good the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 spaghetti western about a quiet loner, a ruthless hit-man and a Mexican bandit wandering the American Southwest in search of a strongbox containing $200,000 in stolen gold, all in the midst of the american civil war. The film was directed by the Italian maestro Sergio Leone (Once Upon a Time in The West, Once Upon a Time in America) and stars Clint Eastwood (Blondie), Eli Wallach (Tuco), and Lee Van Cleed (Angel Eyes).

I would like to kick off this review by talking about the score, which was composed by the late Ennio Morricone. Morricone’s score not only sounds beautiful but also assists the story progress forward. Morricone’s score is the heart of the movie, and if you were to remove the original music, then the film wouldn’t work nearly as effectively. 

By far, however, the best song in the film’s score is “The Ecstasy of Gold” (link to the song). “The Ecstasy of Gold” is the track playing during the film’s final shootout, and it completely drives the scene. This track, along with the rest of the score, makes the viewer feel more invested in the scene and helps build the tension like I believe no other song has done before. The song also became incredibly well-known, surpassing even the popularity of the film itself. 

The Good the Bad and the Ugly is a movie filled with amazing performances, from Alfo Guiffé´s amazing performance as the alcoholic union captain, to Lee Van Cleef’s Angel Eye. In my opinion, however, the best performance was that of Clint Eastwood as Blondie. From an outsider’s point of view, Clint Eastwood’s performance could seem bland and stale. Once further analyzed and put into perspective with the rest of the film, however, Blondie is a ruthless and selfish character that Clint Eastwood’s rather feelingness performance really puts an emphasis on. 

Blondie’s character also wears a poncho that I consider to be one of the finest pieces of movie costuming ever made.

The Good the Bad and the Ugly was shot by master cinematographer Tonino Delli Colli (Life is Beautiful, Once Upon a Time in the West), and it shows. The Good the Bad and the Ugly is a very beautiful looking movie in every aspect, including lighting, lens selection, framing, and more. And, along with many other aspects of this film, some of the shots have become even more famous than the film itself, specifically those that construct the main characters against the desert. 

One particular aspect that I truly admire of The Good the Bad and the Ugly is it’s very strong anti-war message. This is one of the film’s largest thematic topics, and is portrayed masterfully by director Sergio Leone.

One of the more interesting aspects of the film is the fact that it is not a very character-driven movie. A lot of people might be put off by this fact, but the film's plot-driven nature is, in my opinion, one of the best choices by the director. This aspect of the film is what has made it such a huge success, as it allows it to focus on the genius thematic topics and fantastic plot. 

Overall, The Good the Bad and the Ugly is a must watch classic for anyone, whether you’re a movie buff or just a regular film-goer. The three hours spent watching the film are well-worth it.

Here at The CinemaScope, we recommend this picture.


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