The Good the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Clint Eastwood teams up with two gunslingers in an attempt to find a stash of gold coins, however trust doesnt come easy to these outlaws and the movie that unfolds is now considered the most influential western ever made. The third film in Sergio Leone's Dollars trilogy, it is widely considered one of the greatest movies of all time and it set the standard for a whole host of genres.
The Good the Bad and the Ugly
The third movie in Sergio Leones Dollars trilogy follows the paths of Clint Eastwood's 'Blondie'; Lee Van Cleef's 'Angel Eyes' and Eli Wallach's 'Tuco', as the three gunslingers must team up with each other in a bid to find a hidden case of gold coins. This proves to be a difficult task for the three bandits, thus setting up a host of backstabbings and double crosses that ends in an engrossing, tense and cinematically spectacular three-way duel. While the first two Dollars movies paved the way for 'spaghetti westerns' to reach mainstream audiences, the third film surpasses its predecessors in terms of sheer scale and stands alone as the quintessential western movie, and, one of the most influential films ever made.
The first time we see each of the title characters on screen we get a glimpse of their defining characteristics which make up the title of the movie. Tuco narrowly escapes the clutches of three gunslingers out seeking revenge; Angel Eyes brutally murders a father and son in his quest for the gold coins, and Blondie saves Tuco from a gang of bounty hunters, only to then turn him in and collect the bounty himself.
This is only the beggining for the three men as their paths soon begin to cross all the more often after Blondie saves Tuco from a hanging by shooting the rope. What follows is a series of backstabbings and double crosses as the three men greedily try to find the gold for themselves. One of the most famous scenes in cinema history comes at the end of the movie, where the three gunslingers find themselves in a three-way duel in a graveyard. A scene that has since become known as the 'Dance of Death'.
The Good the Bad and the Ugly's success and high standing in the world of cinema is not just down to a terrific story and tremendous cast. Quentin Tarantino who stated that this was his " favourite movie in the world", also described the movie as "cinematically perfect". Even as far back as nearly fifty years ago, director Sergio Leone employed spectacular cinematic techniques that ensured the film would be enjoyed just as much today, in a time of advanced visual technology and special effects. Using a combination of extreme close ups to create tension in the moments before a shootout and wide shots of the landscape to capture a flavour of the 'old west'. We are not just watching a movie we are watching a piece of art come together. Sergio Leone masterfully weilds his paint-brush in creating what has since been labelled by Leone fan and film director Robert Rodriguez as 'pure cinema'.
Influences in modern cinema
Buddy movies, treasure hunt movies, action films, revenge movies, quest movies and probably every western ever made after it; this is the reach of the films influence in the world of cinema. The film itself contains aspects of all of these genres/sub genres and achieves what the big summer blockbusters of today can only dream of. It can be considered a complete film and has fans all across globe; Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Lock Stock...) admits to watching the film over and over again- " I couldnt understand why i wasnt getting tired of it"; Quentin tarantino calls it the best film ever made and I for one agree.