8. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

8-the-good-the-bad-and-the-uglyBackground info

Title: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Director: Sergio Leone
Year: 1966
Run time: 2hrs 58m

“Set during the Civil War, three disparate drifters… (the poncho-clad, cigar-chewing, silent but supremely confident “Man With No Name”–The Good; the evil bounty hunter–The Bad; and a renegade Mexican bandit–The Ugly)… search for a Confederate cash box containing $200,000, which is hidden in a distant cemetery in an unmarked grave. Their journey will carry them through the ferocity of the Civil War landscape. Sometimes they masquerade as Confederates, and others as Yankees. When they arrive at the cemetery and find the treasure is when the REAL violence begins…”

Live blog

0:23 – Oooh, I recognise that theme. I actually didn’t realise what it was from.
2:05 – Weirdest opening credits ever, really hard to read.
4:35 – OH MY GOD! Actual tumbleweed!
8:15 – They don’t say much in these films, do they?
10:41 – Ten minutes before the first words are spoken. Is that normal?
12:52 – How many times? I do not enjoy watching closeups of people eating.
15:30 – Where’s Clint?
17:24 – Wow. Thanks for telling me he was the bad one. I never would have guessed, what with all the unnecessary killing and all.
18:15 – Yay for Clint. Who knew I would be so happy to see Clint?
25:09 – Uh oh. A man with no legs. X-Files flashback.
27:34 – I wonder how many takes/how much practice it takes to jump on the back of a moving horse?
29:15 – It seems like “the good” is a relative term.
32:10 – The lip synching for this is so bad, it’s like they don’t actually have a script! (Update: later discovered that only the main guys spoke English, everyone else spoke in their native language, hence the overdubbing. Weird.)
37:04 – I like that the shopkeeper is essentially being robbed, could be shot at any time, but is rolling his eyes at the intruder all the same.
56:10 – I’m sure we saw one of those big green plants at the Eden Project. I can’t be sure though, because the Eden Project was basically just one giant big green plant.
1:21:34 – It’s almost like ugly is the star of the show. He is certainly upstaging Clint.
1:35:28 – I’ve decided that a Western is all about squinting a lot, staring into the distance and wrinkling your face up.
1:49:30 – A train! In a Western! Any chance it will travel through time?
1:52:05 – How do these guys sleep outside on the hard, dusty ground, with all the bugs? I camped out for two nights and was ill for a fortnight afterwards.
2:02:33 – Do guns work underwater? Are they adversely affected by bubble bath?
2:33:39 – This is a very difficult extra depth to the film that I am struggling to get on board with. It’s hard to understand why the protagonists would have sympathy for those in the war, when they are so happy to shoot and kill each other for no reason.
2:48:09 – Ahhh, they were both sweating but Clint wasn’t. He ain’t afraid of no showdown.

Conclusions

This is another film I had no idea about. I’ve heard of it, and I know it’s got Clint Eastwood in it, but I’ve never even seen a proper western before, so I didn’t know what to expect.

It won’t come as a surprise to you that I found this film much too long. However, I did enjoy it, and the story did sweep me along, to a point. It was a slow-starting film, took half an hour to introduce the three characters. As I understand it, this is part of a trilogy, so that seems a bit unnecessary?

Rating: 3/5.

8 comments

  1. Steven Roy

    This is not a western, it is a spaghetti western which is very different.

    There are lots of westerns with trains. A lot of westerns are set at the time the railroad was being built across America.

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  2. “00:04:35 – OH MY GOD! Actual tumbleweed!”

    I had that reaction when I saw some for the first time too. Try driving in Arizona, there’s a fair bit of it there

    A Fistful of Dollars was my favourite of the Spaghetti Westerns
    Unforgiven is a better example though

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  3. This is not a western, it is a spaghetti western which is very different.

    Apologies. Have done some research and been told 🙂

    I had that reaction when I saw some for the first time too. Try driving in Arizona, there’s a fair bit of it there

    Sadly, it was the highlight of the film for me – and only four minutes in!!

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  4. Steven Roy

    Sadly, it was the highlight of the film for me – and only four minutes in!!

    Ouch. So if it was down hill form 4 minutes in how does it get a 3/5?

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  5. So if it was down hill form 4 minutes in how does it get a 3/5?

    Well, the tumbleweed is worth at least two 🙂

    I don’t think it went downhill really, just stayed on a sort of plateau from there.

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  6. Aitch

    While this is the third part of the trilogy the only constant character is Clint Eastwood’s, although we’re not sure if it’s the same character because he is referred to as Joe and Manco in the other two films and Blondie in this one, so an introduction for each of the three main characters is necessary because you get what these guys are like right off the bat. My favorite scene in the movie is when we see Tuco running through the graveyard with the camera is focused on him, the headstones just whizzing by as he looks for the right one and the song L’estasi del’oro playing in the background make it a great scene, well for myself anyway. I have to watch it again now, maybe this weekend.

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  7. Pat W

    You need to seek out the Westerns with John Wayne and/or James Stewart, the later ones are particularly sensitive to the Native Americans and not at all like the stereotype of what we now think a Western was. The main problem I have with them is I can never remember which film is which.

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