The Good the Bad and the Ugly
Next up on the list of Hollywood Classics, as well as films with epic theme songs is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Why am I reviewing this film? Well, it’s a standout classic in the Spaghetti Western genre and again it’s one of those films that you’re supposed to see.
What’s it about? Against the backdrop of the American Civil War, three gunslinging cowboys emerge: the rugged, lone wolf, anti-hero Blondie (the Good) the ruthlessly pragmatic antagonist Angelface (the bad) and the clumsy, meandering, yet dangerous and clever Tuco (the ugly.) All three gunslingers are looking to find some hidden gold buried in a graveyard, leading to Blondie and Tuco forming an uneasy alliance against Angelface.
The Good: I really loved the camerawork in this film, especially the usage of close-ups and longshots. The long-shots showing the vast expanse of the Wild West in contrast to the solitary cowboys were done perfectly. The close-ups, from shots of bootspurs to hands reaching for guns, all served well to build the film’s tension. Whilst, I think Sergio Leone did overdo the tension building at times, which I’ll come to later, in other places, the tension-building was brilliant. This was most notable in scenes, where instead of dialogue, there was the film’s iconic theme tune or silence. I also felt that Clint Eastwood was very convincing as Blondie, from his rugged, weathered looks to his cold and remote demeanour.
The Bad: The film dragged on longer than it should have done. Not because it was particularly boring, but because Sergio Leone over-did the tension building. Two of the most noticeable examples include Tuco running through the graveyard and the world’s longest Mexican Standoff. By this point, I was beginning to lose interest in the film. Through the sheer extent of how drawn-out the tension-building was, I felt that this countermanded its effect.
The Ugly: Blondie’s scarred, sun-burnt face is always a reminder to stay protected whilst in the sun.
A wholly thrilling action-filled two and a half hour ride. While the ending drag in places, the rest of the film moved along seamlessly. And even though Tuco, at the film’s conclusion, might not have had a great escape, he certainly had a lucky one.