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Here is the third of the Dollar Westerns, so named after the first two ("A Fistful of Dollars" and " For a Few Dollars More "). All three have been tremendously popular and, curiously enough, all three have been pretty good. That is strange. Stop to consider:

All three were shot on low budgets in southern Italy. Their American actors -- Clint Eastwood , Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach -- had no box-office followings. Most of the other actors were unknown Italians, largely amateurs, with their English dialog dubbed.

Yet "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and its two predecessors have been great successes during a period when many U.S. Westerns have bombed. Their secret, I think, is their understanding of the Western bad man: mysterious, without a name, absolutely ruthless.

The Dollars have no good guys to dilute the action. They also gain immensely by being shot on location in Italy. The back lots of Hollywood studios have been worn smooth over the years by countless posses, but the landscape of the Dollars looks barren and deserted. These are new Old Hills.

And they are populated by cheap Italian extras, apparently chosen because of their appearance rather than their acting ability, if any. All three movies are filled with close-ups of memorable faces, and these are not Hollywood extras with stuck-on whiskers but Italian peasants who have worked in the sun all their lives and will go back to work tomorrow. Most of them -- like the legless beggar or the witnesses at the hangings -- populate scenes only a few minutes in length. Yet they supply atmosphere, like those strange people who hover in the shadows of Dickens novels, and when the beggar crawls into the bar and says, "Hand me down a whisky," that is the kind of macabre detail unthinkable in Hollywood.

"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" has only the thinnest of plots: Three criminals are searching for a gold shipment during the Civil War. But the plot hardly matters, because the method of director Sergio Leone is to create a series of short, self-contained scenes. There are some good ones, as when Wallach finds a wagon of dying and dead men in the desert or when two men hire Van Cleef to kill each other, and he does.

There is a fine scene in which Leone's style seems to follow Hitchcock's. Eastwood is shown in his hotel room, taking apart his pistol to clean it. Horse-drawn cannons are being pulled down the street. Their rumble covers the clink of the spurs of three hired killers, coming upstairs to Eastwood's room. Leone cuts back and forth: the spurs, the cannons, Eastwood's pistol being put back together. Then he releases the suspense with split-second timing. Then, like Hitchcock, he ends the scene with an ironic, unexpected twist.

"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" is probably 30 minutes too long, but it's filled with good stuff like that for those who treasure Westerns.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly movie poster

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1968)

161 minutes

Lee Van Cleef as Setenza

Clint Eastwood as Joe

Eli Wallach as Tuco

From a screenplay by

  • Age Scarpelli
  • Alberto Grimaldi

Screenplay by

  • Luciano Vincenzoni
  • Sergio Leone

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The good, the bad and the ugly, common sense media reviewers.

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

Potent Italian-Western shoot-'em up/war drama.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

The Man With No Name is the "good" guy,

Numerous men shot to death, some in one-on-one gun

A female supporting character is stated to be a pr

"Bastard," "SOB," and some swe

Much drinking in and out of saloons, and Eastwood

Parents need to know that The Good, the Bad and the Ugl y is a lengthy, violent Western, considered adult material when first released because of the mass-killing, swearing, and the frank acknowledgement of prostitution, death, and greed. There's a strong futility-of-war theme in the bloody Civil War…

Positive Messages

The Man With No Name is the "good" guy, and actually shows moments of compassion despite the character's ruthless attitude and quick gun violence. Killer Tuco is made sympathetic compared to scoundrels who surround him; he claims he had no choice but to become a desperado. A character who became a clergyman rather than an outlaw is scolded for cowardice, and the film seems to support that judgment. Female characters are either whores or inconsequential.

Violence & Scariness

Numerous men shot to death, some in one-on-one gun duels, others by military skirmishes and firing squads. Much cannon fire. A brutal beating and gruesome near-death from dehydration. One character bashed in the skull and run over by a locomotive.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.

Sex, Romance & Nudity

A female supporting character is stated to be a prostitute. A brief rear-view nude shot of Eli Wallach in the bath.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.

"Bastard," "SOB," and some swearing in Spanish from Tuco.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Much drinking in and out of saloons, and Eastwood and others have cigarettes clenched in their teeth a lot of the time, which becomes a symbol of manliness and comfort. Ditto for drinking heavily.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Good, the Bad and the Ugl y is a lengthy, violent Western, considered adult material when first released because of the mass-killing, swearing, and the frank acknowledgement of prostitution, death, and greed. There's a strong futility-of-war theme in the bloody Civil War carnage. A character who became a clergyman rather than an outlaw is scolded for cowardice, and the film seems to support that judgment. There are repeated stunts involving characters who nearly get hung, only to escape at the last second when bullets cut the rope, as well as some cavalier playing with dynamite. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .

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Community Reviews

  • Parents say (12)
  • Kids say (76)

Based on 12 parent reviews

THis movie is a good movie that kids can watch

What's the story.

In THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, Clint Eastwood 's character is an opportunistic gunman in Civil War-era Texas who saves grubby bandit Tuco ( Eli Wallach ) from bounty-hunters -- only to turn Tuco in himself for the reward money, then rescue the condemned man over and over again, for further bounty. Tuco gets tired of this routine and almost kills his partner -- but then they each hear different clues to the hiding place of a fortune in Union Army gold. They must reluctantly keep each other safe while searching for the treasure, against the backdrop of ever-escalating bloodshed between North and South. Moreover, another outlaw, a vicious freelance murderer nicknamed Angel Eyes ( Lee Van Cleef , who, rather confusingly, played an entirely different character in For a Few Dollars More ), has already been looking for the gold, and he gains a sergeant's rank in the Union Army as he follows the other two men.

Is It Any Good?

Director Sergio Leone brilliantly displays his flamboyant, larger-than-life filmmaking style here. He puts an emphasis on long, tense close-ups of the actors' faces; widescreen camera compositions; wry humor; quick explosions of action; and surreal music by Ennio Morricone. He also tells a dense, multi-layered story that worked well for a lot of viewers in the Vietnam era as a statement on greed and violence; The treasure hunt between the three main characters gets overtaken by the greater menace, that of the Civil War that chews up so many young lives -- making even the hardened Man With No Name morally repulsed at the slaughter. But not so repulsed that he doesn't still have a plan to get the gold.

Reckoned by some fans as the best Western ever, The Good, the Bad and the Ugl y is the sweeping, stirring finale in a loose trilogy of trendsetting Italian-made horse operas starring Clint Eastwood as the Man With No Name (you actually were told his name in the previous For a Few Dollars More , but never mind). It's unnecessary to see the other movies to follow this one.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

Families can talk about what makes The Good, the Bad and the Ugl a Western classic. You can compare it to countless other sagebrush tales in which the good guys and the bad guys were a lot more one dimensional.

How does the Man With No Name's feelings for Tuco (or other people) change throughout the story? Does it really seem to concern the Civil War, or do the battle scenes recall more recent military ops you can think of?

You might talk about "spaghetti Westerns" in general and the movies they influenced, right up to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End .

Movie Details

  • In theaters : December 29, 1967
  • On DVD or streaming : January 28, 1998
  • Cast : Clint Eastwood , Eli Wallach , Rada Rassimov
  • Director : Sergio Leone
  • Studio : MGM/UA
  • Genre : Western
  • Run time : 161 minutes
  • MPAA rating : R
  • Last updated : April 11, 2024

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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Reviews

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

…a revisionist Western, and a rare genre entry with loaded satirical intent that’s always hiding in plain sight…captures a master director in absolute full flow…

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5 | Apr 28, 2024

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack is widely regarded as the best of his career, with the moody, two-note flute melody... an instantly recognisable refrain that is folksy and avant-garde at the same time.

Full Review | Apr 22, 2024

It makes a case for Sergio Leone as a true artist and it slowly reveals itself to have real emotional heft when you begin considering some of the ambitious themes that Leone tackles.

Full Review | Feb 2, 2023

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

While it may not be the best Western ever made - heck, it's not even the best Western Leone ever made - it's clearly the work of a master filmmaker whose style has never grown stale.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4 | Apr 30, 2021

If you only see one spaghetti Western in your lifetime, this is the one to see.

Full Review | Original Score: 8/10 | Apr 27, 2021

The score for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is magnificent. The main theme that plays over the titles is simultaneously of a specific time and also timeless.

Full Review | Mar 24, 2021

Leone's penchant for contrasting two kinds of shots, close-ups and long shots, finds its corollary in the gray or blue...Leone turns gray soldiers blue in the simplest way possible. Movies were invented for ideas like that.

Full Review | Jan 26, 2021

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

Boasts what is often considered the greatest showdown ever filmed.

Full Review | Original Score: 10/10 | Aug 24, 2020

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

The quintessential spaghetti western.

Full Review | Aug 4, 2020

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

As in an opera, the characters are archetypes, not figures we particularly identify with; as in an opera, we waited a long time for the inevitable ghastly conclusion; as in an opera, Leone seeks (and delivers) a kind of ecstatic dread.

Full Review | Jul 23, 2020

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

The final scene in the Sad Hill Cemetery is a riveting spectacle, made so by some brilliantly tight editing and underscored by the genius of Ennio Morricone's genre-defining composition.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4 | Apr 6, 2020

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

When Ennio Morricone's score kicks in and Leone's editing picks up, our everyday problems fade away like a cowboy riding off into the sunset.

Full Review | Apr 5, 2020

If you've never gotten into spaghetti Westerns, there's no time like the present to give it a go with one of the best.

Full Review | Apr 4, 2020

But "GBU" remains the iconic piece for all time.

Full Review | Nov 10, 2017

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

There are two kinds of people, my friend. Those who love Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) and those who resist the machismo and gallows humor of what is arguably the definitive spaghetti western.

Full Review | Jun 16, 2016

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

Leone's liberal use of widescreen shots in conjunction with extreme close-ups gives the movie an epic quality that is matched in scope by a skeletal narrative structure that breathes with a poker-faced mood, tone, and personality.

Full Review | Original Score: A+ | Feb 10, 2013

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

A unique vision of the American West as place of desolation and ruin on a truly epic scale.

Full Review | Original Score: 10/10 | Aug 27, 2011

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

The defining spaghetti western pits a charismatic Clint Eastwood against partner and nemesis Eli Wallach and perpetual enemy Lee Van Cleef.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4 | Aug 15, 2011

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

Potent Italian-Western shoot-'em up/war drama.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Dec 15, 2010

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

Its parody of genre conventions resonates with scope and power.

Full Review | Original Score: A- | Jan 22, 2010

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) | Review by Pauline Kael

  • June 30, 2017

Eli Wallach, Clint Eastwood / The Good, The Bad And The Ugly 1966 directed by Sergio Leone

by Pauline Kael

The scale of the Italian-made Western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is what most differentiates it from American-made Westerns. My guess is that everything is made vast because Europeans love the wide-open spaces in our Westerns and because Sergio Leone , the director, wanted to outdo the scenic effects in American Westerns. If a man crosses a street in Leone’s Santa Fe, the street looks half a mile wide; a farmer’s hut has rooms-opening into rooms into the distance, like the Metropolitan Museum; the hotel in a cowtown has a plush lobby big enough for a political convention. The movie is like High Noon and The Ox-Bow Incident and a dozen others all scrambled together and playing in a giant echo chamber. The bad men must then be enormously, preposterously evil — larger-than-life parodies, as in a Kurosawa film — and each wound inflicted is insanely garish. Yet, stupid as it all is, and gruesome, the change of scale is rather fascinating. This Italian Western, set in our Civil War period, looks more foreign to us than an ordinary Italian film — which gives rise to speculation about how we alter the scale, and hence the meaning, in our movie versions of foreign stories. Because, although this huge Italian Western (shot in Spain) imitates the externals of American Westerns, it makes those externals so much bigger that what the American Western hero stands for — everything that audiences are supposed to identify with — would look too small, and so it has simply been omitted. The result seems to be popular with American men, who go to relax and enjoy the action; they probably hardly notice — and wouldn’t care anyway — that the Western theme is missing.

The New Yorker , March 2, 1968

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Calling this roguish Sergio Leone romp a classic western kind of misses the point—it’s something so much bigger and better than that

by Michael Gaughn August 18, 2022

Most movies, especially contemporary ones, are first and foremost about genre, about making the audience feel snug within a certain set of expectations and conditions and never too radically disrupting the womb-like sense of security that induces. Sergio Leone is, of course, the guy who created the spaghetti western but by the time of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly , he had moved well beyond the genre into a realm that can best be described as, for want of a better term, pure film.

While GBU has elements of the American western and its Italian offshoot, it’s just as much a war movie, an epic, and an action film; but it subsumes all of that into a much greater whole. It never stops to do a set piece and then smugly nudge the audience with a, “Hey, look what I just did.” Instead, Leone shows throughout an incredible, seemingly naive, love for making movies in that place beyond genre—and, like all the best films, beyond time. And it all just seems to pour out of him like a rustic but still elegant wine.  

This movie is undeniably part epic but it’s an intimate one. Like Lawrence of Arabia , it’s about, first, the individual and the consequences of individual action and, second, about the larger stage those actions play out on. It doesn’t rise or fall based on its battle scenes or creating a sense of grandeur but on the crafting of the three principals. But there’s far less of a one-to-one relation between the individual and that larger stage here than in Lawrence . GBU is far looser, more picaresque, roguish, puckish. (It’s like a Cormac McCarthy novel—if McCarthy had a sense of humor, didn’t have an adolescent fixation on depravity, and allowed even a smidge of humanity into his work.)

Like all of Leone, this is 100% a director’s movie. The actors are basically marionettes to be positioned and manipulated, no more or less important than the settings, the score, and the endlessly inventive, often sinuous camera moves. His ability to so carefully and completely devise the action underlines just how little most actors’ performances have to do with their abilities and far more with how they’re shot, cut, and above all, directed.  

Find me a great Lee Van Cleef performance anywhere outside this film—it can’t be done because he never worked with another director this good. Clint Eastwood has the acting range of a doorknob but he was savvy enough to surrender completely to Leone, who created the terse, snarling persona Eastwood was able to exploit throughout a long and lucrative career. The only real actor here is Eli Wallach—which explains why he gets almost all the lines and all the big scenes. Peer beyond the Eastwood aura and you realize this is really Wallach’s film.  

Because GBU is more than anything an exceptionally pure projection of Leone’s imaginative world and not just an excuse for actors to strut in front of the camera, every aspect of the film carries equal weight. But first among those equals is probably atmosphere. The depiction of the fringes of the Civil War might not be authentic but, as far as creating the most evocative stage possible for the action, it feels authentic—in the same way John Ford’s vision of the west in My Darling Clementine and Fort Apache and (although there’s probably some kind of law against my saying this) D.W. Griffith’s portrayal of Civil War battles in The Birth of a Nation may or may not be accurate but are so compelling they become how we want that period to feel and be.  

That ability to make atmosphere enthralling helps explain why this film was such a huge influence on Full Metal Jacket —in particular the odd commingling of silence and menace in the sequence in the abandoned town still being hit with cannon fire. Both Leone and Kubrick were masters of summoning up a palpable mood, so it’s not surprising they stole from each other shamelessly.

This is essentially a silent film—you could watch it with the sound off and still know everything that’s going on and, more importantly, feel the emotion. It’s also a deliberately paced film—surprisingly so for a western—and while Leone makes that work for the most part, the material is just too thin for those kinds of larghetto beats to be sustained throughout the extended cut here. With most films that would be a dealbreaker; here it’s just a quibble.  

The transfer is astonishingly, seductively good. This is the way older films should look in 4K. The images are alive with grain, which is so essential to Leone’s style that it’s scary to think anyone would ever think of scrubbing any of it away—let alone all of it, à la The Godfather . This release is sans HDR but it’s hard to see where going there would do much to enhance its impact. It would likely result in the usual tradeoff of grit for polish, and if The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is about anything, it’s grit.

(I have to harp on this string again: If the main titles are any indication of what HDR would yield, then we should all pray that day never comes. There’s the usual attempt to enhance the title cards and turn them into a slideshow instead of doing the obvious and right thing of having them feel like they’re being run through a film gate—in other words, make them feel like they’re part of the movie. Fortunately, so much of the sequence depends on animation that some of the analog feel is still there, but it just makes the cleanup look that much more alien. And someone deserves to be eviscerated for ruining the film’s last, lingering shot by making “The End” look like something out of an iMovie project.)

There’s nothing wrong with the stereo and 5.1 mixes; they’re just not appropriate. And it continues to be a bone of contention that the original mono tends to get kicked to the curb with 4K releases of older movies that supposedly represent the filmmakers’ intent.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is, of course, a classic film, but not a perfect one—but its rough edges have a lot to do with its power. For as long and epic as Once Upon a Time in the West is—and that film doesn’t waste a single second of screen time— GBU actually has a more drawn-out pace, which sometimes drags, but more often than not is languorous in the most generous sense of that word. And there are moments when style lapses into affectation, like during the final showdown, where Leone cuts about five times too often to extreme closeups of shifting eyes and twitching eyebrows, to the point where it starts to feel like a Monty Python sketch. But you forgive him because of his Rabelaisian drollery and because he made it clear from the moment Eli Wallach crashes through the window at the beginning of the film that this was going to be a very tall tale indeed.

Michael Gaughn —The Absolute Sound, The Perfect Vision, Wideband, Stereo Review, Sound & Vision,  The Rayva Roundtable ,  marketing, product design, some theater designs, a  couple TV shows, some commercials, and now this.

PICTURE | The 4K transfer is astonishingly, seductively good, with the images alive with the grain that is so essential to Leone’s style 

SOUND | There’s nothing wrong with the DTS-HD stereo and 5.1 mixes but where’s the original mono?

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

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The good, the bad and the ugly 4k ultra hd review.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1967)

Genre(s): Western Kino Lorber | R – 162 min. – $39.95 | April 27, 2021

Date Published: 04/26/2021 | Author: The Movieman

Kino Lorber provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures in this review were taken from the included Blu-ray disc and does not represent the quality of the 4K transfer.

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers .

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Which of Clint Eastwood’s 3 Spaghetti Westerns Is the Best?

Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy catapulted Clint Eastwood to international stardom and revolutionized the Western genre.

  • Clint Eastwood's Western stardom started with the Man with No Name in the Dollars Trilogy.
  • Leone's trilogy of films ascends in achievement and excitement, culminating in a grand masterpiece.
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly solidified Eastwood's Man with No Name as a legendary screen hero.

While Clint Eastwood achieved success on the Western television series Rawhide , which aired on CBS for eight seasons between 1959 and 1965, he gained international film stardom in Europe as the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy Spaghetti Western film series. Leone never intended for the first installment, A Fistful of Dollars, to be the beginning of a trilogy. The film’s American distributor, United Artists, saw commercial potential in releasing A Fistful of Dollars and the next two installments, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly , as a trilogy and invented the Man with No Name concept for this purpose.

While Eastwood’s Man with No Name has different nicknames and motivations in each of the three films, the consistent appearance and tone that Eastwood maintains throughout the series gives the series the feel and look of being a spiritual trilogy , which could have been magnified if Eastwood had starred in Leone’s 1968 Spaghetti Western film Once Upon a Time in the West . Regardless, Leone showed amazing foresight in organizing the three films in ascending order of achievement and excitement, culminating in Eastwood and Leone’s grand masterpiece.

Sergio Leone Defined Clint Eastwood's Screen Persona

A fistful of dollars.

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Beginning with A Fistful of Dollars , Sergio Leone enabled Clint Eastwood to transcend television stardom by providing Eastwood with a screen persona, the Man with No Name, which revolves around Eastwood’s incomparable ability to communicate volumes through a bare minimum of dialogue. A Fistful of Dollars , which is an unofficial remake of the 1961 Akira Kurosawa samurai film Yojimbo , opens with the Man with No Name arriving in the Mexican-United States border town of San Miguel, where he becomes entangled in a feud between two rival smuggling families while eying a shipment of gold that passes through the town.

As an introductory film, A Fistful of Dollars , which was made for approximately $200,000, is highlighted by Eastwood’s charismatic, distinctive presence and Leone’s meticulous, stylish direction, which combines with Ennio Morricone’s haunting, whistling musical score to achieve an operatic effect. Moreover, Eastwood and Leone created a new kind of Western film with A Fistful of Dollars by presenting the Man with No Name as an ambiguous anti-hero who can, like James Bond, dispense violence with relentless fury and seemingly emerge from any dangerous situation unscathed, as if he’s a ghost.

For a Few Dollars More Raised the Stakes

In the second installment in the Dollars Trilogy , For a Few Dollars More , Clint Eastwood is paired with veteran character actor Lee Van Cleef, who plays Colonel Douglas Mortimer, a former Confederate Army Colonel turned bounty hunter who joins forces with Eastwood’s Man with No Name, nicknamed Manco, to find El Indio, a sadistic Mexican bandit whom Mortimer has a personal connection.

In one of the most intense scenes that Sergio Leone ever directed, Indio, having been freed from prison by his gang, visits the bounty hunter who was responsible for Indio’s imprisonment and challenges the man to a duel after killing the man’s child and wife. Indio unveils a musical pocket watch, which he plays when engaged in a duel. When the music stops, the shooting begins.

Best Spaghetti Westerns of All Time, Ranked

For a Few Dollars More transcends its fairly standard revenge plot through strong chemistry between Eastwood and the scene-stealing Van Cleef, the presence of a magnificently despicable villain, and Leone’s skillful use of extreme close-up shots. Moreover, For a Few Dollars More represents a clear progression from A Fistful of Dollars in terms of complexity and scale and heralds a spectacular conclusion to the Dollars Trilogy .

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Is Eastwood's Western Magnum Opus

The third and final film in the Dollar Trilogy, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is set during the American Civil War. It opens with Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name (referred to as Blondie in the film) and Mexican bandit Tuco, played by Eli Wallach, running a con game in which Blondie collects bounties on Tuco, who is then rescued by Blondie before being hanged.

While the relationship between Blondie and Tuco might have sustained a film of the relatively modest ambition and scale of A Fistful of Dollars , Sergio Leone populates the nearly three-hour-long The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with various other concepts and sequences. Blondie and Tuco are joined in the film by Lee Van Cleef’s Angel Eyes, a mercenary who is in pursuit of a cache of Confederate gold, which is buried in a grave in an expansive cemetery in Spain. Blondie knows the name of the grave, while Tuco knows the name of the cemetery. This sets the stage for the first Mexican standoff scene in the history of cinema.

Best Clint Eastwood Westerns, Ranked

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly explores the Civil War, both in terms of its horrors and spectacle and for establishing the film’s underlying themes of compassion and empathy. When Blondie and Tuco encounter a dying Confederate soldier, Blondie comforts the shivering young man by covering the young man with Blonde’s trademark jacket and then offering the soldier a puff of Blondie’s cigar.

One of the greatest and most influential films in history, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is fueled by Ennio Morricone’s genre-defining musical score. It established Eastwood’s Man with No Name as a perfectly realized screen hero and Leone as a filmmaker of limitless ambition and vision. At the same time, Leone created his own mythic identity, all while inventing the Spaghetti Western genre. A Fistful of Dollars , For a Few Dollars More , and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly are all currently streaming on Max.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Produced by, released by, the good, the bad and the ugly (1966), directed by sergio leone.

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Review by Lucia Bozzola

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

The last and grandest film in the "Dollars" trilogy, Sergio Leone's The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966) is actually a prequel, featuring Clint Eastwood's serape-less Blondie in a search for stolen gold during the Civil War. While the titular trio's quest seems simple, Leone renders the proceedings epic through the constant intrusions of a chaotic, war-torn universe. Rather than an ideal space, Leone's widescreen desiccated western landscape is a harsh environment ruled by brutality, but, as Eastwood's ironically labeled "Good" affirms upon witnessing a fruitless military battle, state-sanctioned bloodshed is even more destructive than individual venality. Still, Blondie's dry wit and Eli Wallach's buffoonish "Ugly" inject the violence with dark humor, while Ennio Morricone's famed score alternates between stately and tongue-in-cheek. In a final shootout set in an enormous circular cemetery and composed of extreme close-ups of the three leads, Leone sends Eastwood's Man With No Name out on a properly operatic yet wry note. The "good" triumphs, but, in Leone's West, it's all relative. Greeted with critical disdain for its stylistic flourishes and sadism, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly became a hit, and Leone's artistic influence can be seen from Eastwood's directorial work to John Woo's action theatrics.

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

the good the bad and the ugly movie review

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly parents guide

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Parent Guide

An unforgettable soundtrack and a tense finale makes for a classic western film..

The man some call Blondie, a bounty hunter called Angel Eyes, and wanted outlaw Tuco have all found out about an alleged fortune in stolen gold, hidden in a cemetery. No one knows all the facts, so no one wants to kill the others - yet. But as they draw closer to the gold, tensions rise even further between the warring guns-for-hire.

Release date December 23, 1966

Run Time: 178 minutes

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The guide to our grades, parent movie review by keith hawkes.

p>Blondie (Clint Eastwood) and Tuco (Eli Wallach) have a good thing going: Blondie rolls into town and claims the bounty on Tuco, and when it comes time for the hanging, Blondie shoots the rope on the noose and the two escape into the desert, splitting the money. Meanwhile, a mercenary called Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) is on the hunt for a missing Confederate officer and the whereabouts of $200,000 in gold. As their paths converge, Blondie, Angel Eyes, and Tuco engage in a series of alliances and betrayals, each designed to get a step ahead in the hunt for the gold.

Perhaps the most famous star of this film is its soundtrack . Written by the inimitable Ennio Morricone, the theme from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly has become cultural shorthand for a showdown between grizzled gunslingers under a merciless sun. It is the shining archetype of its entire genre, emblematic of the Western film and everything that comes with it.

Against the brutal backdrop of the 1862 New Mexico campaign , the hunt for unimaginable riches and the squabbles between dangerous outlaws do little to reduce the violence. There wasn’t as much profanity to track as I usually have, so I spent my time running a body count. By my math, 22 people are directly killed on screen, with dozens more shown dead. There are a handful of mild profanities, and frequent use of tobacco and whiskey – all things you would expect in a Western. There is a little more blood than in some of the more “family-friendly” offerings, but by modern standards this is probably closer to a PG-13 than the Restricted rating it received. I’ve seen more gruesome violence in Marvel superhero movies.

This is not a modern movie – it is a relic of its own time, a 3 hour magnum opus , a love song to the wild west. Don’t expect The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to have much in common with fast-paced contemporary films. Just accept that the film’s leisurely journey to the conclusion makes the finale that much more dramatic. This is a case of a film being about the journey, not the destination - which is a darn good thing too, because if there weren’t anything worth watching for the first two-and-a-half hours, then there wouldn’t have been anyone left in the theatre for the dramatic showdown.

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Keith hawkes, watch the trailer for the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Rating & Content Info

Why is The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly rated R? The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is rated R by the MPAA

Violence: Many people are shot and killed. A person is hanged. Someone is beaten for information. A man repeatedly strikes a woman. An individual is killed with a rock. A dead body is shown being dragged by a train. A person is shown being executed by firing squad. Sexual Content: There are non-descriptive references to rape and prostitution. A man is briefly shown naked in a tub, including posterior nudity. Profanity: There are 11 uses of mild profanity and a single scatological term. There are several terms of deity. Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are shown smoking, chewing, and snuffing tobacco. Individuals are shown drinking alcohol, and some are depicted as drunken.

Page last updated June 22, 2020

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The Western genre has declined in popularity in recent years, but there are still a number of good options. True Grit , the 2010 remake of the original John Wayne film, is an excellent choice. Christian Bale and Russell Crowe star in 3:10 to Yuma , pitting a down-on-his luck rancher and veteran against an opportunistic criminal – all racing to make sure the criminal arrives in Yuma in time for the prison train. Christian Bale also stars in Hostiles , which addresses some of the racism and brutality which were endemic in western expansion.

The Good Bad And The Ugly Review

Good, The Bad And The Ugly, The

23 Dec 1966

161 minutes

Good, The Bad And The Ugly, The

Amid the endless homages and the sheer adoration meted out to Sergio Leone's ambitious, pricier finale to his Spaghetti Western trilogy, it's easy to forget just how damn good the film is.

Of course, much has been written on the director's mission to recast the grand traditions of the Western genre in a bold, wry, Euro-sheen that both paid tribute and deconstructed everything it stood for; how he divested the cowboy genre of its pomp and added irony, hyperbole and a great deal of slithery twang. Yet his purposes were never trivial, and to see the film as simply an exercise in effervescent cool is to miss the point entirely.

Draped in anti-war sentiment, a deep-seated compassion as counter-point to its superficial amorality, this is a covert condemnation of American hypocrisy dressed in a poncho and chewing cheroots with slick indifference.

Revamped by MGM, this new version, just shy of three hours, is as close as possible to Leone's original 177-minute cut. Deemed too long to satisfy American audiences the film was reigned back to 162 mins, and circulated thus ever since.

With due reverence, Eastwood and Wallach lent their now age-worn voices to dub the reinserted scenes, which makes them simple to detect, and on the whole their initial excision never really dampened the plot. However, Leone's movies were never designed to be concise, and letting this leathery, quasi-comic-book dream roam a few more dunes in search of that cache of gold is only to be applauded.

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COMMENTS

  1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly movie review (1968)

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Clint Eastwood, looming large in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." A vast empty Western landscape. The camera pans across it. Then the shot slides onto a sunburned, desperate face. The long shot has become a closeup without a cut, revealing that the landscape was not empty but occupied by a desperado very close ...

  2. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly movie review (1968)

    "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" has only the thinnest of plots: Three criminals are searching for a gold shipment during the Civil War. But the plot hardly matters, because the method of director Sergio Leone is to create a series of short, self-contained scenes. There are some good ones, as when Wallach finds a wagon of dying and dead men in ...

  3. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Movie Review

    Parents need to know that The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a lengthy, violent Western, considered adult material when first released because of the mass-killing, swearing, and the frank acknowledgement of prostitution, death, and greed.There's a strong futility-of-war theme in the bloody Civil War carnage. A character who became a clergyman rather than an outlaw is scolded for cowardice, and ...

  4. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Rated: 3.5/4 • Apr 30, 2021. In the Southwest during the Civil War, a mysterious stranger, Joe (Clint Eastwood), and a Mexican outlaw, Tuco (Eli Wallach), form an uneasy partnership -- Joe turns ...

  5. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Full Review | Original Score: 8/10 | Apr 27, 2021. The score for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is magnificent. The main theme that plays over the titles is simultaneously of a specific time and ...

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

    A sprawling Western epic that follows the adventures of three gunfighters looking for $200,000 in stolen gold, Sergio Leone's `The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly' is a masterpiece, one that continues to get better and better with each viewing. In a way, it's a morality play, weighing the consequences of good and evil, but it does so in a realistic ...

  7. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    The Good the Bad and the Ugly is a classic of it's time and influential in the Western genre. However it is far from the best Western movie and is more suited to be watched on a airplane when people are about to vomit. It is overly long, overbearing and pretentious.

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

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Directed by Sergio Leone. With Eli Wallach, Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Aldo Giuffrè. A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

  9. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Italian: Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo, literally "The good, the ugly, the bad") is a 1966 Italian epic spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood as "the Good", Lee Van Cleef as "the Bad", and Eli Wallach as "the Ugly". Its screenplay was written by Age & Scarpelli, Luciano Vincenzoni, and Leone (with additional screenplay ...

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

    Those who love Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and those who resist the machismo and gallows humor of what is arguably the definitive spaghetti western. Gorgeously stoic art film. A massive, many-faceted film that continues to hold up, viewing after viewing. All told, and in giant widescreen, it's only blood-red adolescent fun ...

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

    Pauline Kael reviews Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". Published in 'The New Yorker', March 2, 1968. by Pauline Kael. The scale of the Italian-made Western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is what most differentiates it from American-made Westerns. My guess is that everything is made vast because Europeans love the wide-open spaces ...

  12. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly critic reviews

    All told, and in giant widescreen, it's only blood-red adolescent fun, but it blooms like Douglas Sirk with a Gatling gun compared to the teenage demographic's current fare. Matrix, schmatrix: This is the season's supreme party movie. Read More. By Michael Atkinson FULL REVIEW. 60.

  13. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 4K Blu-ray Review

    The disc presents a 3840x2160/24p BT.709 image in the original aspect ratio of widescreen 2.39:1, and uses 10-bit video depth, and is encoded using the HEVC (H.265) codec. We reviewed the US 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly on an LG 55B7 Dolby Vision 4K Ultra HD OLED TV with a Panasonic DP-UB820EB-K Dolby Vision ...

  14. Review: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    And it continues to be a bone of contention that the original mono tends to get kicked to the curb with 4K releases of older movies that supposedly represent the filmmakers' intent. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is, of course, a classic film, but not a perfect one—but its rough edges have a lot to do with its power.

  15. MOVIE ANALYSIS AND REVIEW: "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (1966)

    Introduction:Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" transports audiences to the lawless landscapes of the American Southwest during the Civil War era. The film weaves a tale of greed, betrayal, and survival against the backdrop of a treasure hunt for buried gold. With iconic characters, stunning cinematography, and a gripping storyline, it has…

  16. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 4K Ultra HD Review

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a great western-thriller thanks to a wonderful core cast with Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach and even for those not inclined to enjoy westerns, like myself. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. (1967) Genre (s): Western. Kino Lorber | R - 162 min. - $39.95 | April 27, 2021.

  17. Which of Clint Eastwood's 3 Spaghetti Westerns Is the Best?

    The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Is Eastwood's Western Magnum Opus. The third and final film in the Dollar Trilogy, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is set during the American Civil War. It opens with ...

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

    Review by Lucia Bozzola. The last and grandest film in the "Dollars" trilogy, Sergio Leone's The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966) is actually a prequel, featuring Clint Eastwood's serape-less Blondie in a search for stolen gold during the Civil War. While the titular trio's quest seems simple, Leone renders the proceedings epic through the ...

  19. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

    Clint Eastwood portrays the invincible "Man With No Name" in lethal pursuit of $200,000 in Confederate money alongside Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach in this renowned, influential and classic cinematic western directed by the great Sergio Leone. Rating. R. Drama. arrow_forward.

  20. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Blu-ray Review

    Score: 10 out of 10. Video and Presentation. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a dual-layered BD50 disc consuming 45.2 gigs of disc ...

  21. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Movie Review for Parents

    I've seen more gruesome violence in Marvel superhero movies. This is not a modern movie - it is a relic of its own time, a 3 hour magnum opus, a love song to the wild west. Don't expect The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to have much in common with fast-paced contemporary films. Just accept that the film's leisurely journey to the ...

  22. THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY (1966)

    Sorry, forgot to film the outro. -_- Support me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/deepfocuslensyoutubeWatch THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY: https://amzn.t...

  23. The Good Bad And The Ugly Review

    22 Dec 1966. Running Time: 161 minutes. Certificate: 18. Original Title: Good, The Bad And The Ugly, The. Amid the endless homages and the sheer adoration meted out to Sergio Leone's ambitious ...

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

    Synopsis. In a desolate ghost town during the American Civil War, bandit Tuco Ramirez ("The Ugly," Eli Wallach) narrowly shoots his way past three bounty hunters to freedom, killing two but only badly wounding the third. Miles away, Angel Eyes ("The Bad," Lee Van Cleef) interrogates a former soldier called Stevens (Antonio Casas) about a ...

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    TikTok video from TroyHillTalks (@troyhilltalks): "Monkey Man Movie Review: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly #troyhilltalks". Monkey Man Movie Review: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly | Subscribe to Troy Hill Talks YouTube original sound - TroyHillTalks.

  26. The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly!

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