Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)

Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western #1

Synopsis: Clint delivers more three-way action than Hugh Hefner, circa 1977.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “With his trademark poncho, beard and thing black cigar, Clint Eastwood returns one last time as the invincible, inscrutable, incredibly capable ‘Man With No Name”. Eli Wallach brings a wealth of acting talent to his role as the cold-blooded bandit, Tuco. And of the screen’s best bad guys, Lee Van Cleef, lends his evil, black-clad presence as the sadistic ‘Angel Eyes.’ It is this unholy trio’s lethal pursuit of $200,000 in Confederate money that forms the core of this suspenseful, bullet-ridden tale.”

What Did I Learn?: There are two types of people in the World: those with loaded guns, and those who dig.

Really?: 1) Tuco is certainly “ugly” (i.e. out for himself), and Angel Eyes is one “bad” dude, but I’m not sure if Clint’s character is terribly “good”. 2) So wait...Angel Eyes has Clint at his mercy in the POW prison camp, and he could easily torture him until Clint reveals the name on the grave. Does Angel Eyes do that? Noooooooooo! He tells Clint he wants to be business partners, and even presents him with a loaded gun! 3) Wouldn’t a firearms store have some sort of security in place to prevent crimes like Tuco’s impromptu robbery? 4) If Angel Eyes is a Union Sergeant, how does he find the time to work as a hit man, or track down the gold?  

Rating: Clocking in at two hours and 42 minutes, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a bit too long and could have used some more editing. That said, the film is a true Western classic: Ennio Morricone’s musical score is magnificent, and the final, three-way Mexican standoff scene is breathtakingly suspenseful. Highly recommended. 9/10 stars.

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