In the midst of the civil war, a mysterious shooter wanders across the vastness of the Wild West. He has no home, no friends, no companions until he meets two strangers who are just as ruthless and cynical.
By the will of fate, three men are forced to join their efforts in search of the stolen gold. But working together is not the most suitable occupation for notorious bandits like them. The companions soon realize that on their daring and dangerous journey through a war-torn country, the most important thing is not to trust anyone and keep a gun ready if you want to stay alive.
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In 1966, the final film from the famous “dollar” trilogy of the Italian director Sergio Leone entitled “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly” was released. Leone directed perhaps one of the most controversial Westerns in film history. The Italian has completely rewritten all the current laws of the genre, adding to the resulting dish several branded director’s spices. “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly” is the epitome of the spaghetti western and one of its unattainable peaks. It was, undoubtedly, a worthy ending to the entire series, rather unusual by the standards of that time. A kind of crown. The unusual thing was that, formally, in all parts of the trilogy, one of the main characters was the so-called “man without a name” (Clint Eastwood). Only each picture is autonomous in itself and is a separate film, not related to the rest of the films in the series.
More than forty years have passed, and Leone’s western has been and remains an undoubted classic. He has become a kind of phenomenon. He was taken away for quotes, and future famous directors of our time, such as John Woo, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Steven Spielberg, learned to shoot him. Some scenes from the western “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly” were repeated in the domestic cinema: in the films “The Elusive Avengers” and “At home among strangers, a stranger among friends.” Leone destroyed the old myth and created a new one on its wreckage, with its own rules and canons. Further events begin, which were destined to turn into a legend.
In the sixties of the last century, the western genre was gradually dying. There was a situation described by the classics – something had to be changed urgently. The traditions of John Ford, Fred Zinnemann and others were decrepit and in need of revision. The brave and gallant cowboys, strong and a little tired of the constant shootings and rescue of villages in general, and pretty ladies in particular, are pretty tired of the viewer. Leone repeated several times – “Westerns have sunk into psychology, the West has been conquered by ordinary people, and I am trying to show this strength and simplicity in my paintings.”
The director adhered to such a simple formula throughout the entire trilogy. His characters are not at all heroes in the usual sense of the word. They are not characterized by worries and thoughts. Leone dispels the heroic aura of the soldiers of fortune, does not hesitate to demonstrate violence on the screen (which will then untie the hands of many directors who came to the cinema after him) and in every possible way takes away from the viewer the opportunity for affection and sympathy.
In fact, a free shooter roaming from series to series is not the same character. However, if we expand the framework of perception a little, then the âman without a nameâ is a genre archetype that evolves from film to film, completely losing the clichÃ© left over from previous works. Leone’s person changes along with the course of history. With each picture of the trilogy, the heroes become tougher. After all, they are put on the brink of survival, and in such a position there is no time for romantic actions. âThe Good, the Bad, the Uglyâ is not so much about the war as about people who find themselves in difficult circumstances and united by one common goal.
The cunning director deliberately confuses the viewer, showing in the last film not only the aforementioned imperturbable Eastwood in his trademark unwashed poncho, but also the character of Lee Van Cliff. And if the Italian managed to attract (as planned) Jean-Marie Volonte to the role of the Evil, then the entire original cast of the film “A few dollars more” would be reunited on the set. The plot is looped, and the same characters play it out. But every time with new shades. With each subsequent film in the trilogy, Leone has a growing number of main characters. Now there are three of them: Evil, Bad, Good.
This division is extremely arbitrary. Even an advertising poster does not give an unambiguous answer – who is who, the portraits are scattered chaotically. After all, with equal success, each of them could become good, and bad, and evil. Under war conditions, morality is often lost, and completely different forces come to take its place.
Introductory musical chords by Ennio Morricone against the background of unpretentious credits immediately set the tone for the whole story. Uncompromising and formidable, like the howling of hyenas, where a shot from a revolver resembles a short and quick crack of a whip and human life depends on one split second. Leone consistently uses the motives of the previous two parts, summing up all the work done – whether it is serving two masters at once or the pursuit of a “potential” victim.
Blondie, Angel Eyes and Tuco. The last of their kind. They have not learned anything in their lives, except how to shoot accurately. But now they are an endangered species, and they need to stick together. The era of making easy money is gone. Now every peasant has a weapon and is able to defend himself. Blondie (Clint Eastwood) and Tuco (Eli Wollek) trade by deceiving the honest population, arranging ostentatious shows, and Angel Eyes (Lee VanCleef) fulfills orders of competitors, enforcing sentences. Everything changes on the day when the bandits learn about the loss of a large consignment of gold in the desert. And everyone understands that this is the last chance. And all three bite into him with their teeth.
The strangest and most memorable journey in the history of cinema begins. Blondie, Tuco and Angel Eyes are three pieces of one big puzzle, the key to treasure. Their road runs through a devastated country, across the border of two states. The path resembles a post-apocalyptic picture: mountains of corpses and dying, destroyed buildings, burnt fields. Leone is ruthless to her heroes. They are only pale shadows of a glorious past. The violence they commit is a hundredfold overshadowed by the atrocities committed in the war. And in this chaos there is only one goal – to get to the money before the others. Life and gold acquire an equal meaning in the eyes of adventurers.
And here and now, it is only important who does not flinch. Music, âMexican stand-offâ (when three people simultaneously point weapons at each other), large superplanes, which clearly show the inner tension of the heroes, and minutes that last for an eternity. At this moment, there are no good and bad, but there are fast and dead.
âI cannot see America except through the eyes of a European. Obviously, it is fascinating and terrifying at the same time. ”
âThere is only one difference between a samurai and an assassin: samurai have been known for many centuries, and hired killers have not been known for more than several decades. They are no different anymore. ”
These are also the words of the famous Italian. A person who has seen the true essence of America and debunked Hollywood’s notions of his own history. In the slow-motion rhythm of the narration, the emphasized naturalism of what is happening and full authenticity, the features of the author’s unique style can be traced.
“We all have a little bit of ‘Good, bad and evil’ in each of us.” The connoisseur of human nature, the Italian Sergio Leone, is all in this phrase. He himself is good, and bad, and evil. Genius.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (59.8 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Original aspect ratio: 2.35:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
English: Dolby Digital 5.1