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Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly : Review

Posted by Syed Aamir Zaheer


Directed by an Italian, shot in Spain and starring only three English speakers The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is somehow the greatest western ever made. Sergio Leone’s final instalment of his Fist Full of Dollars trilogy is a step up in class and it leaves anything John Wayne has done in it’s wake. As it is European made, Leone’s efforts are outside the remit of the American produced Westerns and so avoids all the usual clich├ęs (and look, no Indians!).
The story follows The Good (Eastwood), The Bad (Van Cleef) and The Ugly (Wallach) as they go in search of a stash of gold stolen from the army. The three shady characters double-cross and fight their way across deserts, abandoned towns and through the brutal American Civil War before arriving at the graveyard where the treasure has been hidden.The climactic graveyard scene is the most perfect of film events. Close the curtains, turn the volume all the way up and let the fusion of epic score, masterful camerawork and escalating tension give you goosebumps. The rest of the film is also a film technician’s dream with long panoramic shots of desolate deserts, Ennio Morricone’s memorable score and grand civil war battle scenes.
Clint Eastwood is at his moody, silent best as he casually struts around in his trademark poncho, looking and acting as cool as ice, and Lee Van Cleef is excellent as the snarling bad guy who’s easy to root for. Eli Wallach steals the show as the lovable thief-rapist-murderer-bigamist cowboy turned treasure hunter. The rest of the cast are made up of an international menagerie of comically dubbed cannon fodder but they snarl and then die and do their job ably.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wrote this review for www.movie-gazette.com

Cheers for crediting it to me.

John

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