I saw this classic Spaghetti Western in all it’s 70 mm glory in Denmark’s largest cinema Imperial. Unfortunately I only shared this experience with about 60 others, in this large theatre that can accommodate just over 1000 spectators.
I must admit that it was the first time that I’ve been able to catch this excellent film on the BIG screen, and in addition it was the extended/directors cut, which clocked in at 180 minutes. So although I was never bored, there were scenes that were stretched a little bit too long for my liking. The looong desert scene where Blondie – The Good (Clint Eastwood) were forced to walk through 100 miles of sand dunes, by Tuco – The Bad (Eli Wallach), being one example. For the record, The Ugly – Sentenza was played very unscrupulously by Lee Van Cleef.
Basically, this flick is about The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’s search for $200.000 in gold hidden in a grave – somewhere. Neither of the three gentlemen will let anything or anyone get in the way of their quest for the money. Whether it is some, more or less, innocent bystander or the (American) Civil War.
When this flick was released in 1966, it was seen as a cheap copy of the ‘original’ American Westerns, hence the name ‘Spaghetti Western’. They were even shot in Italy and Spain, and not in the US. Later the trilogy, of which TGTB&TU was the last one, these Westerns directed by Sergio Leone, has been regarded as masterpieces, nothing less. And I tend to agree. It is a special movie, it is quite violent (it’s easy to see why Tarantino has been inspired by these movies), but it is also very entertaining.
Probably the most recognizable parts of the movie is the title music, which is played again and again throughout the movie in several variations. It is of cause the haunting score made by one of the best and most productive film score composers of all time, Ennio Morricone. He has made the score for a some of the best movies, like ‘The Untouchables’ and he is still very active.
I’ll award this movie 5 stars (out of 6). Maybe I’m a little large, and I usually do not like westerns that much. But this unusual western, I did like!