Skip to main content

A Fistful of Clint: "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" (1966)

 


The sun sets upon this short series of reviews as we join The Man With No Name for one final adventure...

The country is torn in half by the American Civil War.  Brother fight and kill each other on the battlefield as the fate of a nation rides in the balance...

But three gunslingers are involved in a battle of a different sort: survival against the desert and each other as they hunt for treasure... and the final few dollars they may ever see...

Sergio Leone's "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" is the final movie in the "Dollars Trilogy"- and is by the far the most ambitious of the lot.  While "A Fistful of Dollars", and "For a Few Dollars More" used a fairly small cast, and few locations to tell their stories, this movie ups the number of performers, locations and includes a much more elaborate set piece by dropping the characters between the Union and the Confederacy armies, and by having them on a quest across the land.

Leone did a jaw dropping good job doing it too.  The story- as with the other movies isn't really all that involved, since it's only real purpose is to provide the characters space to enthrall us.  Once again, the movie is about the characters- Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name, Lee Van Cleef as Angel Eyes, and Elli Wallach as Tuco.  The characters are the story, and marvelous characters they are.

As I've noted, Eastwood's character isn't REALLY the main character, but rather a supporting character that provides a contrast and foil for Angel Eyes and Tuco.  In fact, if I were to name a "main character", it would have to be Tuco, as most of the movie- and character development, actually focuses on him.  He provides an amazing blend of humour, tension, and depth- aided by Wallach's superb acting.  His chemistry with Eastwood was a real joy to watch.

This movie showcases Sergio Leone's mastery of using wide shots and close-up to build tension to the breaking point, before releasing that energy in an explosive act of stylized violence and sound.  His sweeping scenery shots are almost art-like in their framing and composition.  He creates a marvelous atmosphere of grit, desolation, and hardness that adds to the sun scorched story.

And what can I say about the epic bridge set piece?  OMG!  Awesome- simply awesome.  Both from a effects standpoint, and a story standpoint, the whole story arc surrounding the bridge was amazing.  This movie was able to pack, drama, pathos, action, and humour into such a short part of the movie, while staying true to the style of the movie.  It built up the tension, then let it all burst forth in a display of fire, smoke, and thunder- a larger reflection of the smaller gunfights along the way.  There's a reason why this sequence is always referenced when talking about "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly"!

I can't recommend this movie enough- though to fully appreciate it, you should absolutely watch it with the other two in the series.  It's a "Good" at high noon.

Special Notice!

Starting 01 October, From the Basement will be conducting it's annual "Halloween Day by Day" event!  Every day in October, there will be horror themed reviews and articles.

Make sure to check back everyday to see what sort spooky tricks and treats the gang will be bringing you!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

#CocktailHour: Slushtail

  Summer approaches, inspiring thoughts of sunshine, backyard parties, and having a tip and sip with friends.  With that in mind, I bring you this week sunny beverage. To make a slushtail, mix a can of frozen orange juice, a can of frozen lemonade (or limeade), a can of pineapple juice, a couple cups of black tea (or English Breakfast), and two cups of bourbon- such as Southern Comfort, in a pitcher.  When it's all nicely mixed, put it in the freezer until it's a nice slushy consistency. Scoop the slush into a cocktail glass, and pour in some Sprite or 7-Up.  Add a little umbrella for some frivolous fun, and a straw. Voila!  Ready to enjoy. This is a very refreshing drink.  The fruit juices, Sprite, and bourbon- when chilled makes for a great punch-like drink.  The bourbon doesn't overwhelm juices.   In fact, they are all nicely balanced in terms of flavors.  The sourness of the citrus fruits contrasts well with the slightly sweeter Southern Comfort.  It was refreshing enou

Marcus Flor vs Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

In film, there's nothing I enjoy more than passionate creativity. Compared to the sea of mediocrity surrounding it, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is practically overflowing with it. This animated movie is vibrant, kinetic, and extremely inventive with its art style. On top of all that, this is just a solid movie. It tells its story with sincerity and tact, always focusing on the important aspects of Miles' emotional journey. The script wastes no time on pointless scenes or moments, which also gives the film an energetic rhythm that draws you in. One of the other great aspects of this movie is its reinvention of the Spider-Man story. It's clever writing demonstrates a true understanding of the webslinger, and offers commentary on the current state of his movie adaptations. In the end, you get a film both Spidey fans and non-fans can enjoy. Above all other aspects, what I like most about Spider-Verse is how fun it is. It demonstrates quality animation and filmmaking doesn

From The Basement - the "final" three

Just a gentle reminder From The Basement returns next Friday -- June 11 -- to the mighty Radio NL with an all-new episode! That's the good news. The bad news it'll be the first of our final three prime-time shows. What, you might ask? Are you bastards quitting AGAIN!?!? No. No we're not. We learned our lesson the last time. Shawn and I's long-running show will return to being "just a podcast," and not adhering to any set broadcast schedule. Why, you ask? Our lives are becoming increasingly busy outside of The Basement, and it's getting harder for Shawn and I to keep up with the latest movies, TV shows and entertainment news. We'd rather cease our weekly duties than produce an inferior product. Simple as that. Much thanks to Howie Reimer and the Radio NL crew for hosting us the last three years, first as a Friday morning segment, then as a prime-time series. It's been a blast! Don't worry, we're not coasting on these last three episodes. T