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Thread: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

  1. #1
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    The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

    Oh what a night. Late december....

    Ahem.


    I saw Sergio Leone's masterpiece on the big screen for the first time.

    Whoa mama.

    This was the integrated director's cut-spearheaded by Alberto Grimaldi, a guy who anyone worth his salt as a film buff knows.
    There was more Clint, more Eli and more Cleef.

    It fucking rocked.

    Tuco is one of the greatest movie characters ever. Let it be known that Eli Wallach is a classic actor and he deserves as much credit as Eastwood for the film's success.
    I found something interesting when I watched it, (in an enhanced state): I like Lee van Cleef.
    I always felt he was slimy, a greasy, horrible man. It's just because he is perfect for the role, and plays it up to a T. He's not really "bad". He's one of the best "character" actors ever. I found myself wrapped up in his scenes, especially the "music with your meal" scene where Tuco gets a sound thrashing.
    Eastwood is spot-on as "Blondie" or "Bill Carson".

    And what can I say about that Morricone theme, which blasted out of the surround speakers in 5.1 dolby digital?
    Nirvana.

    Seeing this classic western on the big screen is an incredible experience. When Blondie and Tuco blow the bridge....

    One toke over the line sweet jesus...
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  2. #2
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    Color me envious!!!

    The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is #4 on my all-time favorite movie List.

  3. #3
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    My biggest qualm with this movie is that the geography doesn't make sense. It was filmed in Italy and yet it's supposed to be an American Western. Well, the western part of the U.S. doesn't look like that. Nitpicky on my part, sure, but I still have trouble getting past it. An important part of a true Western flick is the scenery: the vast openness of the Great Plains, or the mesas of the Arizona desert. That part is missing from this movie.

    Also, the movie revolves around battles of the American Civil War, but that doesn't make sense either. The Civil War was fought in the central and eastern parts of the U.S., not in the lawless areas of the west where I assume this movie is supposed to take place. Am I wrong?

    Still, the final showdown is a classic scene: the three gunslingers walk away from each other and set up each at different "points" of a triangle. Then they stare each other down for, what, five minutes? And then Clint "The Good" shoots Van Cleef "The Bad" and leaves Wallach "The Ugly" dangling by the only tree there. Blondie!

  4. #4
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    The movie doesn't revolve around the civil war- it just kinda marches along with it.

    Agreed, the film is not accurate, but do you really care?
    Clint is an icon here!
    That tri-duel is tense- if you're seeing the film for the first time it's nail biting....
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  5. #5
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    No, the geography mistakes don't really bug me, it's just something I noticed the first time I saw the movie. I admit I'm a geography nerd, so maybe I'm more sensitive to these things.

    It's a spaghetti western, that's what makes these films unique. They're westerns, but still different from American-made westerns.

  6. #6
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    I humbly recommend rental of Sergio Leone's masterpiece Once Upon a Time in the West, finally available in restored print, widescreen and without cuts. The maestro insisted on shooting many outdoor scenes in Monument Valley and vicinity, while the rest of the film was shot in a Spanish desert near Almeria. It does make a difference. Bronson is magnetic in the role usually played by Eastwood, but it's Henry Fonda in a rare performance as a real bad dude that you treasure. And Claudia Cardinale looks luscious. The interplay between image and music, with each of the four main characters having his/her(a first for Leone) own musical theme. Extreme close-ups and long tracking shots in gorgeous Technicolor.

  7. #7
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    Leone is a genius at feel.
    The 2-DVD set of "Once Upon a Time" is much-needed and supremely cinematic.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  8. #8
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    With the release on home video of the original cut of Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America and the new cut of The Good... in theatres, it's now possible for film buffs to asses Leone's entire career. Reason to rejoice.

    I'd also like to point out that most spaghetti westerns including Leone's were shot in Spain (particularly in Andalucia) not in Italy, where, to my knowledge, there are no deserts.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 02-08-2004 at 07:36 AM.

  9. #9
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    Geez, I had never even heard of "Once Upon a Time in the West". Guess you recommend it; I'll put it on the list.

    Assume you're also recommending "Once Upon a Time in America"? I've heard it's long, so I don't want to sit through a stinker. DeNiro's in it, so that a big plus.

    Spain, not Italy, that makes sense. I guessed at Italy b/c of Leone.

    Again, the vast film knowledge of some of you guys is amazing. Seriously. Thanks for putting up with a hack like me. I'm the amateur in this company, I'm the first to admit it.

  10. #10
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    You're no hack, man. Anyone willing to look at REAL cinema ain't no hack.

    The great thing about films is that they spur you on to other films.

    Griffith influenced Strohiem, Strohiem influenced Renoir, Renoir influenced Welles, Ford influenced everybody,Varda, Godard and Truffaut influenced everybody, Ophuls and Lean influenced Kubrick, Fleming influenced Spielberg, etc etc etc.

    It's a neverending saga that began when man acknowledged shadows....
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  11. #11
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    Well said Johann!
    JustaFied, I never heard of anyone who didn't like Once Upon A Time in the West. Rent it. It's much easier to recommend to a wide audience than Once Upon a Time in America. Camby called the latter "weird" in the NY Times. It's a sprawling, ambitious gangster epic spanning 50 years of American history as told by DeNiro zonked out of his mind on opium. As a film buff, I think you'd appreciate most of it.

  12. #12
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    Again, Oscar beats me to the punch. In fact, the same location in Spain was used for many films, wasn't it Oscar? I believe that not just Leone filmed there but other Italian filmmakers did as well. I saw that in a documentary somewhere recently.

  13. #13
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    Yes, it was used not only in spaghetti westerns, but also American westerns like Chato's Land, with Bronson. Even scenes from Patton and Lawrence of Arabia were shot in this part of Andalucia province. Part of its popularity had to do with the low cost of shooting in Spain. Nowadays, for obvious reasons, that's not the case.

  14. #14
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    FilmWurld is a sacred site

    I feel honored being part of a website with engaged, astute, medium-loving people.

    I could do a thread on Leone easily. His films are absolutely amazing. Anyone see Duck, You Sucker (aka A Fistful of Dynamite)? It's just as good as his acknowledged "classics".

    Rod Steiger is awesome in a Tuco-like role and James Coburn (who utters the title of this flick often) shines.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  15. #15
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    DVD release date

    On May 18th, TGTBATU (don't you just love to figure out all these acronyms?) will be released in a special edition 2 disc DVD. I did not see the theatrical extended version (the only way to fly), but I will purchase this new version.

    The Amazon.com site has a great review (Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo) by a fan who saw the extended version in the theater, and also has some entertaining background information, like Wallach saying he enjoys it when someone whistles the theme when they see him walk by.

    FYI - I was walking down the street, going home alone from the theater where I sat through the supposed cut version. My friends and I were all enthralled by Eastwood's riviting characterization (Blondie). I was trying to whistle the main theme but couldn't figure out how to make the sound. I tried to whistle with my tongue on the roof of my mouth. When I dropped my tongue, the pitch automatically changed. I had discovered how to "warble". From that point on, I was able to make the famous trill whistle and do the theme song made famous by Ennio Morricone's score. I've tried to show as many people as possible that move ever since, spreading the theme of TGTBATU around the globe!
    Last edited by cinemabon; 02-20-2004 at 04:36 PM.

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