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Overall Rating
4.64

Awesome77.78%
Worth A Look: 14.2%
Average: 4.32%
Pretty Bad: 1.23%
Total Crap: 2.47%

2 reviews, 150 user ratings


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Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The
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by Slyder

"A Quintessential masterwork"
5 stars

Not only The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is the best of the Dollars/Man With No Name Trilogy, it’s unquestionably one of the greatest westerns ever made not to mention that it’s arguably Sergio Leone’s best film. The blending of B-Movie bullshit from typical “Spaghetti Westerns” and Leone’s revisionist view of the Western Genre is honed to perfection here by fleshing and elevating into almost an art form the dark side of the West and the ironic meaning of the three characters which form the film’s title, all done with supreme craftsmanship.

The film’s setting is right in the middle of the Civil War in the US, and while the Confederate troops are beginning to unravel and the North is beginning to win the war, The Good (Clint Eastwood), The Bad (Lee Van Cleef) and the Ugly (Eli Wallach) -whom are Blondie, a lone bounty hunter, Angel Eyes, a corrupt and ruthless Union Soldier, and Tuco, a treacherous hypocritical Mexican bandit respectably- find out in separate ways about a certain Confederate cashbox containing $200,000 that is buried in a cemetery. All three will either have to team each other and will eventually double-cross each other just to get ahead, but only one will walk away with the money… maybe.

Besides the fact that the movie is a prequel to the other two films, one could say that the movie is actually two movies in one, since it’s about looking for stolen gold, with the Civil War as a powerful background, but it all leads to a single point, and that is show the dark and destructive side of humanity with Wild West and the Civil War as a setting.

Wallach’s “Ugly” represents everything that is ugly about the western: a shitty-looking, buffoonish yet malicious and hypocritical bandit who only uses others for his own good. Van Cleef’s “Bad” is everything that is bad about the western: sadistic, brutal with a “take-no-prisoners” attitude that makes him pretty much irredeemable. Eastwood’s “Good” is probably the most ironic of all the characters by showing how relative it all is since he’s also an opportunist and is capable of shooting anyone in cold-blood and his sense of humor is just as dry and cynical, hence why he isn’t exactly good; yet he shows compassion a number of times and the feel of doing the right thing while at the same time criticizes how men get wasted for nothing in a fruitless battle between Confederates and Unionists over a useless bridge. Thanks to this, his character is given more depth and emotion than ever before in the previous two films

That “battle of the bridge” scene in particular is quite a memorable one also due to the appearance of the drunken yet charismatic Union Captain (Aldo Giuffe) which lays out the entire useless point of the battle he and his men are fighting for. All of this blends into the film’s universal message on how men are willing to screw each other and kill each other for money or worthless political gains, even if it means wiping out lots of people in the process. The West is a brutal world, and the best doesn’t necessarily survive, only the luckiest.

Leone brings all the epic elements to fruition here, with cinematographer Tonino Delli Colli shooting beautiful landscapes. The production values once again are in top form in making the illusion that the film’s setting is in the US when it’s actually Spain, but only this time it has an advantage to it. The Spanish locations help a lot since its unfamiliar territory, as Roger Ebert points out: “John Ford has never been there, nor Hawks, nor Wayne” so this setting helps the film in making it unique, plus the historically accurate depiction of soldier costumes and weaponry make it even more original (Leone based the film’s background on a true Civil War battle, though it wasn’t as big as it’s depicted here). Leone’s vision has never been clearer, besides the impressive vistas, he manages to build the tension up in the several shootouts in the film with an impressive flair, and Ennio Morricone provides part of that build-up with what is arguably his greatest and most recognized musical score. Thanks to this, Leone’s penchant of violence and greed achieves an operatic tone in the most perfect sense, as it is witnessed in Tuco’s “run of madness” in the cemetery and the final shootout between Blondie, Angel Eyes and Tuco in that same location.

MGM released a special edition containing the full 177 minute version that Leone intended, and despite the fact that a couple of scenes affect a bit the continuity of the movie and other scenes blend in perfectly (the main problem being that Wallach and Eastwood obviously sound older due to the fact that they were called in to dub those sequences) it affects little as a whole to the movie.

The acting is fantastic, with Eastwood showing once again that he can play it great, and delivers an understated performance once again and he just kicks ass in the role. But Eli Wallach gets the best role, the guy can be as sympathetic as he can be despicable, and Lee Van Cleef is also memorable as The Bad. Aldo Giuffe is also memorable as pointed above as the Union Captain.

In the end, this film is an absolute masterwork. Sure, Leone made two other masterpieces in Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America, but neither of those two managed to capture the visual flair and dramatic irony of this film (not to mention that Leone started to border a bit on the self-indulgent); an enduring classic in the highest order. 5-5

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1398&reviewer=235
originally posted: 03/18/05 10:21:35
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User Comments

8/12/16 carl J Nonsensical crap with awful dubbing. Eastwood is his usual wooden, one note self 1 stars
10/09/14 Lisa C Full of laughable plot contrivances and coincidences, with awful dubbing and acting 1 stars
8/19/13 David Marsden Mostly bad and ugly.Nothing really good about it.Dull,overlong and campy. 2 stars
8/27/12 roscoe awful, tedious, could not stand it. very little happens in so long a length 1 stars
2/09/12 stanley welles they dont make 'em like this anymore 5 stars
11/27/10 millersxing Brilliant start to finish...just a tad laborious, but Eli Wallach was kinda funny. 5 stars
9/24/10 Flathead King An excellent film where humour and action are brilliantly blended together 5 stars
7/19/10 forest gump Extremely overrated tedious film with cool music 3 stars
6/01/10 User Name Overlong, but compelling enough to entertain. 4 stars
2/27/10 PAUL SHORTT THE QUINTESSENTIAL SPAGHETTI WESTERN 4 stars
10/30/09 Omar Best western film ever. Plus, the music is incredible. 5 stars
9/29/09 harry lime The "not bad" but not that "good". 4 stars
8/05/09 chicka fergy Slow tedious but cool music 3 stars
8/05/09 Michael Price Greatest musical score.But greatest western? Go watch the searchers the wild bunch shane 3 stars
6/14/09 matt forget westerns... its THE best movie ever 5 stars
6/17/08 Johnnyfaye With the amazing music, the amazing acting you get the grest western ever made. 5 stars
2/26/08 pkr I secund to ever 5 stars reviewer here. 5 stars
9/28/07 mr.mike all praise due 5 stars
8/26/07 Yasoda i love the characters, the music, the vistas...the lack of dialogue.. excellent 5 stars
4/27/07 Vincent Tarantino was right, the climax is the most perfect scene.. Probably the coolest movie ever 5 stars
3/26/07 Eric R Best Western ever made. Period. 5 stars
3/07/07 David Pollastrini not bad for a spaghetti western 4 stars
2/04/07 Double M Kickass characters, Awesome dialogue and The GREATEST scene EVER filmed (the last shootout) 5 stars
1/31/07 William Boyle Wildly over-rated film. Too little story with way too much time to tell it in. 2 stars
12/02/06 R.W.Welch Mostly an excercise in style, but it's quite a style. B+ 4 stars
9/29/06 Josh Racine Killer movie. What more can I say? 5 stars
9/24/06 Franklin A. It doesn't get cooler than this. 5 stars
9/16/06 rwelsh Leone, Morricone, delli Colli-The greatest team in cinema history-We were not worthy 5 stars
4/30/06 Joshua Sergio Leone's greatest achievement. 5 stars
4/18/06 AJ The greatest western of them all! 5 stars
11/21/05 Quigley the movie runs way too long, but the story is good and occasionally funny 4 stars
11/18/05 John Dog The best western movie of all-time. 5 stars
10/16/05 Moctezuma Feels a little bit too long, but it's still overwhelming entertainment 5 stars
9/21/05 James Churchill This is crazy. Best western of all time. Eli Wallach and Clint Eastwood are incredible 5 stars
9/08/05 Johnny Totally awesome western. 5 stars
8/29/05 Michael Bad And Ugly 1 stars
8/22/05 Eden Cinematically perfect. Best music and direction ever. And best ending ever 5 stars
8/19/05 ES have to watch this and the wild bunch every so often, just for the best of the west 5 stars
7/29/05 The Man With No Name This is a real western, a classic 5 stars
6/15/05 Phil Well put Cindy! Coolest film ever . 5 stars
5/02/05 Tuco "When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk." 5 stars
3/31/05 Cindy Sheeks Who could watch this movie without remembering the theme music forever after? A classic. 5 stars
3/25/05 Carolyn Rathburn I am a western fan, but this movie was long and slow moving, almost boring 3 stars
3/23/05 indrid cold Given its reputation, kind of a let down, but great visuals. 4 stars
3/22/05 craig varney i eat these spaghetti westerns up clint eastwood is as cool as ice 5 stars
3/22/05 Kevin Rose One of the best Clint Eastwood movies. 5 stars
3/20/05 Chris Stephens One of the best westerns ever 5 stars
3/17/05 Naughty Devil Man Uh...where's the plot? 3 stars
3/01/05 ALF Greatest Western Ever! 5 stars
11/25/04 Tony Fucking gnarly! 5 stars
10/15/04 Jim Not a bad movie 3 stars
9/26/04 sbpat21 a powerful masterpiece 5 stars
9/20/04 Dr Shroud. COOOOOOOOOOL-especially the part where he shoots Tuco off the horse with the cannon-Gold!!! 5 stars
9/19/04 alvin WESTERN KING = CLINT EASTY.......GREAT MOVIE MUST FUCKIN C IT DICK HED IF U DONT U SUCK COK 5 stars
9/06/04 FC Excellent 5 stars
8/08/04 ALDO BEST WESTERN EVER..MAD STORY N CHARACTERS 5 stars
7/31/04 magaafi harry ur gay 5 stars
7/28/04 matt gr8 westrn...10/10 5 stars
6/07/04 Ryan Clark I'm not typically into westerns, but this is a masterpiece, with the best soundtrack ever. 5 stars
6/01/04 mfa willie aames the foundation all other films stand on this sonofabitch 5 stars
5/31/04 Nobody typical western, but entertaining 4 stars
5/31/04 Troy Kuprash Not A Big Eastwood Fan, But Good Movie 4 stars
5/20/04 Proteus "So that's where that tune came from!" says everyone I've forced to watch this. Beloved. 5 stars
5/18/04 JoeManco If you're gonna shoot, shoot. Don't talk. How can you not love this movie? 5 stars
3/27/04 annberry clint is classic, period 4 stars
3/26/04 Alan Blondie, Angel Eyes, and Tuco. Unforgetable characters, score, direction and film. 5 stars
3/26/04 Kimberly Kay Crellin Fire up that Stogie, Clint... 5 stars
2/14/04 coladdict The best and final film in a superb, unconnected (?) trilogy 5 stars
12/23/03 the Grinch OUATITOW had the misfortune to be an early script of Argento...good, but TGTBTU is superior 5 stars
12/07/03 Monster W. Kung Good, but not as great as Once Upon a Time in the West. 4 stars
12/05/03 john it's sensational! As good as Eastwood is Wallach still manages to steal the movie! 5 stars
12/04/03 Agent Sands (previously Mr. Hat) Not just one of the top best westerns ever, but one of the best movies period. Great score! 5 stars
11/30/03 Sammy really really really very very very sweet 5 stars
9/19/03 ...those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig. A Masterpiece. 5 stars
9/17/03 Alan Blondie, Angel Eyes, and Tuco. Unforgetable characters, score, direction and film. 5 stars
9/16/03 Shams Huque "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk." :-D 5 stars
9/06/03 Dimitri Aubert Another masterpiece from Sergio Leone, with great actors and musics. 5 stars
8/31/03 Double G i loved it 5 stars
6/18/03 Andrew Callaway Incredible. Powerful. You don't need to like westerns to like this. 5 stars
5/29/03 Biff Boffo Van Cleef as Vice..Eastwood as Virtue..and Eli Wallach steals the show as a lil' o' both!! 5 stars
3/12/03 Butterball Cenobite great scene after great scene; surprise after surprise after surprise 5 stars
2/04/03 Mason LOL IM SUCH A DIK REALLY,I MEANT TO SAY WESTERN AT ITS BEST! LOL 5 stars
12/17/02 The Mnemonic Best Movie Ever! 5 stars
11/18/02 SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION have all the eastwood westerns on dvd,all them r xellent inc...the un4given 5 stars
10/30/02 Patrick yes...yes...this IS a classic. 5 stars
9/27/02 Tom Fleeman The best damn spaghetti western ever made. 5 stars
9/21/02 Buddha Great film, but it steals pretty liberally from Kurosawa. 4 stars
8/04/02 daniboy wow 5 stars
7/30/02 marcot Most scenes are just a bliss 5 stars
6/28/02 Mikey Endlessly entertaining.......Viva the Southwest ! 5 stars
6/10/02 Tonyvdb the best western ever made 5 stars
6/07/02 Interrog8 A true western classic. Eastwood's best film ever 5 stars
5/25/02 Charles Tatum Sergio Leone was a genius 5 stars
5/19/02 john waite wot can i say?...the greatest film ever in my opinion..an gritty leather faced classic 5 stars
4/08/02 stoolie-bird a bit long but overall its classic clint 4 stars
3/25/02 Mansur Miyazi A real classic. Worth watching umpteen times 5 stars
3/13/02 Mic OUaTitW had a more involving plot. This one just has 3 idiots running around. 4 stars
2/11/02 will landale best western i've ever seen 5 stars
1/31/02 Deanna "Hey, Blondie!" Damn amazing. 5 stars
12/23/01 Andrew Carden For Eastwood Fare, It's Not Very Good. For Leone Fare, It's Great. 4 stars
10/17/01 Kieran Belshaw Bloody brilliant film and 'Mr Hat' is a twat for not thinking the same way.(No offence) 5 stars
9/16/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) Overrated. 3 stars
9/09/01 Comrade Tombstone The greatest Western movie ever produced, period!!! Clint Eastwood's best!!! 5 stars
8/22/01 bdf20 beat western ever made 5 stars
7/03/01 King of Bros What's Dirty Harry doing in the 1800's? 5 stars
7/02/01 Boomshanka Eastwood at his best, top of the genre, but the genre is ordinary. 4 stars
6/19/01 John Rammutt was very interesting 4 stars
6/15/01 zombie one of the best films of all time. 5 stars
5/31/01 charles delano conley overly long; but a very great western 5 stars
4/09/01 Clara R Bragg I JUST LOVED 5 stars
3/08/01 master.node Good movie. Important movie. Not a great movie. 4 stars
3/04/01 Shams Huque Best Western Ever! 5 stars
2/14/01 Lee Along with "The Outlaw Josey Wales" it's Clint's finest western 5 stars
2/08/01 Terrie Smith Overlong but a hell of a film; great Spanish locales & Morricone's music. 5 stars
2/07/01 Skip Magical 5 stars
2/04/01 GoodOzone Though a "fantasy" western - one of the best! 5 stars
2/03/01 Andre D'Urbano Stunning cinematography, moving soundtrack 5 stars
1/15/01 Harvey Colley The, "BEST", movie ever made. Bar none. 5 stars
1/13/01 Invader This is a legend of a movie although a little slow ,but hell I will watch it anytime. 4 stars
1/12/01 Skip One of my 3 favorite films, tied with The Godfather and Goodfellas. Ennio Morricone's score 5 stars
1/02/01 stranded on the Island Not only one of the best westerns ever made, this stands as one of the best FILMS ever made 5 stars
12/13/00 mareek best weston ever beat once upon a time in the west with more than ˝00% 5 stars
12/05/00 Izzy This movie i saw when i was 10 now i am 15 and still watch it a lot! Love it!Unbeatable! 5 stars
11/28/00 Cristopher Revilla the best of the triology 5 stars
9/26/00 Terrie Smith The close-ups; the landscape; the gunfights; the music. Overlong, but great. 5 stars
7/19/00 Dan The best wetern evr made 5 stars
5/30/00 Jack-O-Grenade The Greatest Movie ever made!!!!!!!!!! Perfection and No Comparison 5 stars
5/26/00 Jason Cooke This is the only western movie that I can stand. 5 stars
5/19/00 tank A fine western with Ennio Morricone's memorbale score. 4 stars
5/07/00 Klute. Great stuff, but not perfection. All style, no originality. 4 stars
5/02/00 master.node Most parts are good. Some parts are really annoying. Others, you have to be Italian. 4 stars
4/04/00 Tim Booth hands down, the best 5 stars
4/01/00 TimmyToday Blondie, you son of a ....aa-ah-ahhh! Nuff said! 5 stars
3/26/00 MICHAEL SKY-EAGLE SMITH EASTWOOD IS AS MEMORABLE AS ETHAN EDWARDS( DUKE IN THE SEARCHERS) 5 stars
3/17/00 Chris M. A must see. Everything about it is great. 5 stars
3/14/00 Paulo Arballo Plain and simple one of the greatest movies ever filmed. Entertaining and masterfully made 5 stars
2/17/00 Merlin Jones You missed Eli Walic in the Cast 5 stars
2/11/00 Graham Suorsa Excellent Cinematography 4 stars
12/16/99 Japtalian All you assholes are missing one of the major reasons this movie rocks! The soundtrack. 5 stars
7/07/99 Ben Leostein Rating: ***˝ (out of ****) Category: "Very Good" 5 stars
6/29/99 Chris Gianaras Greatest western ever made without a doubt. 5 stars
5/13/99 ras_jose@yahoo.com Great-see it on a BIG SCREEN! 5 stars
4/15/99 Jon Jackson Like Snoop said, this movie "is the shiznit beeach!" 5 stars
3/10/99 little jerry Brilliant Clint film but give credit where credit's due. Eli Wallach steals the show. 5 stars
2/07/99 Don Wilson Great movie Eastwood sure knows how to make a western 5 stars
1/15/99 Christ Monkey Plain and simple, the best of its kind. You won't see another western this good. 5 stars
12/04/98 Lord Of The Dunce Sergio Leone did it so well that even crappy dubbing didn't hurt it. 5 stars
12/01/98 Silent Rob Sprawling epic of greed, deceit and loyalty. (See the letterboxed DVD if at all possible!) 5 stars
11/30/98 Johny Leone and Eastwood sure know how to make a western 5 stars
11/29/98 Q-Meister A must see of the Western Genre. Clint Eastwood at his finest. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  29-Dec-1967 (R)
  DVD: 18-May-2004

UK
  28-Aug-1968 (18)

Australia
  31-Aug-2003 (MA)




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