In a small town, there is a war between two powerful families who have absolutely no interest in the law. Clint Eastwood’s character is a man with no name, who can shoot without missing…
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Westerns are a very specific genre and I deliberately ignore them. I don’t like the Wild West and everything associated with it – Indians, cowboys, grim superheroes sipping whiskey and spitting greens, girls in corsets, and towns consisting of one street with a tumbleweed running through it. It doesn’t move me. It’s different when we see an ironic western like ‘Young Guns’ or a parody of it, like ‘Moccasins Manitou’. But this Sergio Leone film has a cult following in the film community. A classic of classics. Naturally, I didn’t want to miss the film, which became an event of the 60’s, especially since I quite respect Eastwood, both as an actor and as a director.
It seems that it was this film that made Eastwood a superstar and the king of the genre. Well, well deservedly so. When this picture was shown on the screen, both the male and female sex went crazy for Clint. I understand them – Mr. Eastwood is a hero in the truest sense of the word. A born leader, an absolute man, a real ‘cool’ in the terms of the Wild West natives. Such powerful charisma and appeal emanates from him, we want to imitate him (it is not for nothing that he has so many parodists), we want to copy him.
That unhurried walk of a very confident man, that lack of words, that squint, that sangfroid and iron composure in all situations, that nobility and honesty, that shrewd mind that never lets feelings take over, that loyal and strong hand, those sharp eyes. You’d like to strap a Colt .45 on your belt, which would be your most faithful friend and helper, and cleanse the world of bastards… Yes, the image of Clint Eastwood really got great, it’s easy to guess why he was stamped so long in one genre – try to give up the role, if it is written for you!
Now that the actor has played many other roles, revealed himself as a talented director, we can talk about a really big and original film auteur, then Eastwood has developed only a mask, a permanent image, which will be exploited many times, like all the successful findings Leone.
Otherwise, the film is a traditional spaghetti western from head to toe. Slowly unfolding action, taking place ostensibly on the state border with Mexico, a main superhero single-handedly saving the town from a gang of hideous murderous freaks, spectacular appearances by the hero, snatching the Colt from its holster, ‘meaningful’, ‘weighty’ phrases thrown in the face of the bandit by the hero, grateful rescues, the obligatory tumbleweeds, horseback chases, a loyal friend and sweet revenge… It’s all done well, but since I don’t like Westerners, I wasn’t particularly moved by it. Good production, all right and traditional, a bit boring.
As you know, the Western has long since buried itself, and I think the problem is that for 30 years the genre was stewing in its own juice, without admitting any new trends. And in the end it became a swamp that sucked in all the former western stars, directors and actors, and thank God for some, like Eastwood, who were above the genre and proved their ability to adapt to the changing world of cinema. The Western is a monotonous, rigid, inflexible genre. And it ruined Leone’s great beginnings.
The Italian western had outlived its usefulness, now it’s a classic, a story. Naturally, it’s one of the best examples of a genre unnecessary in modern terms. Incidentally, in America, the film didn’t come out until three years after it was released in Italy. Apparently, the Americans have been looking at it for a long time, testing it for viability. Well, the film is quite capable of living even now on the shelves of cinephiles, lovers of classics, Westerns or Eastwood. The fact that this is a remake of the Japanese ‘Bodyguard’ – does not play a big role. It’s just that a successful and popular plot has been taken as a basis and thoroughly reworked. It is not the kind of thing modern remake-makers do – they rip off word for word and even contrive to disgrace the original. Leone’s film not only failed to disgrace its predecessor, but, perhaps, even made it famous.
What else is there to note? The iconic music of Enrico Morriccone, which has been the subject of dozens of similar films. What do we have in the end? A worthy film of an artificially created genre, which became part of history and a milestone in cinema, thanks to the work of legendary personalities. The fact that the film is one of the most quoted in the world cinema (just remember the bright scene in ‘Back to the Future 3’ that parodies the episode with the iron plate under the cape) and one of the films that inspired many authors for their opuses is worthy of all respect.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (80.0 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.35:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono (48kHz, 16-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1