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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (original title)
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A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

Director:

Sergio Leone

Writers:

Luciano Vincenzoni (story), Sergio Leone (story) | 4 more credits »
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Popularity
517 ( 30)
Top Rated Movies #9 | 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eli Wallach ... Tuco
Clint Eastwood ... Blondie
Lee Van Cleef ... Sentenza / Angel Eyes
Aldo Giuffrè ... Alcoholic Union Captain (as Aldo Giuffre')
Luigi Pistilli ... Father Pablo Ramirez
Rada Rassimov ... Maria
Enzo Petito Enzo Petito ... Storekeeper
Claudio Scarchilli Claudio Scarchilli ... Mexican Peon
John Bartha John Bartha ... Sheriff (as John Bartho)
Livio Lorenzon Livio Lorenzon ... Baker
Antonio Casale ... Jackson / Bill Carson
Sandro Scarchilli Sandro Scarchilli ... Mexican Peon
Benito Stefanelli Benito Stefanelli ... Member of Angel Eyes' Gang
Angelo Novi Angelo Novi ... Monk
Antonio Casas ... Stevens
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Storyline

Blondie (The Good) is a professional gunslinger who is out trying to earn a few dollars. Angel Eyes (The Bad) is a hit man who always commits to a task and sees it through, as long as he is paid to do so. And Tuco (The Ugly) is a wanted outlaw trying to take care of his own hide. Tuco and Blondie share a partnership together making money off Tuco's bounty, but when Blondie unties the partnership, Tuco tries to hunt down Blondie. When Blondie and Tuco come across a horse carriage loaded with dead bodies, they soon learn from the only survivor (Bill Carson) that he and a few other men have buried a stash of gold in a cemetery. Unfortunately Carson dies and Tuco only finds out the name of the cemetery, while Blondie finds out the name on the grave. Now the two must keep each other alive in order to find the gold. Angel Eyes (who had been looking for Bill Carson) discovers that Tuco and Blondie met with Carson and knows they know the location of the gold. All he needs is for the two to ... Written by Jeremy Thomson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A classic western! A classic music theme! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | Spain | West Germany

Language:

Italian | English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 December 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Good, the Ugly, the Bad See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (dubbed) | (2003 extended English) | (1968) (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby Digital (2003 Extended English version)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is a prequel to A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and For a Few Dollars More (1965) as it is set during the American Civil War while the other two films are set after. Towards the end of the film, Blondie acquires his trademark poncho. See more »

Goofs

When the POW's march into camp, they cause the short bridge to bounce violently. Marching troops should always be ordered to stop marching when on a bridge because the rhythmic vibrations can cause resonance that can potentially damage, or even lead to the complete collapse of the structure. This is why the bridge into the camp bounces so dramatically. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Stevens: You're... from Baker?
[Angel Eyes is silent, eating a bowl of stew and staring at him]
Stevens: Tell Baker that I told him all that I know already and I want to live in peace, understand? That it's no use to go on tormenting me! I know nothing at all about that case of coins.
[Angel Eyes stops eating and looks interested]
Stevens: Now that gold has disappeared, but if he'd listened we could have avoided this altogether. I went to the Army court; there were no witnesses. They couldn't uncover any more....
See more »

Alternate Versions

The additional 14min in the original version (Italian release, then DVD bonuses) are only transitions scenes, heavily depicting the gloomy war background.
  • The first additional scene (the longest) comes right after Tuco failed to hang Blondie. Sentenza tracks Bill Carson and investigates among derelict confederate soldiers. He learns that the 3rd regiment has flown through the desert "which is not much better than the Union prison." [DAY]
  • After the scene in the desert where Bill Carson shares his secret, Tuco, steering the carriage in a gray uniform, asks a group of Confederate soldiers where he can find a doctor for Blondie. He says he is Bill Carson then learns that the San Antonio mission is just a few miles away. [NIGHT]
  • While Tuco enjoys his railroad trip (with Corporal Wallace), Sentenza and Blondie are on their way to the cemetery. They stopped for the night by a river. Strangers show up, Blondie shots one and then learn they're Sentenza's henchmen. There are 5 new comrades plus Sentenza. Blondie: "6 - the perfect number." Sentenza: "I thought 3 was the perfect number." Blondie: "Yes, but in my gun there's room for 6 bullets."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Eretz Nehederet: Episode #9.5 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Ecstasy of Gold
Written by Ennio Morricone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Primal honesty and morality
26 December 2007 | by steven-f-freemanSee all my reviews

After many years of barely watching any movies, I treated myself to several classics recently. And this was the best.

That I so enjoyed this movie so much came as a shock to me. I literally never before have been able to even sit through a western, which (in my admittedly limited experience) was schlock action starring John Wayne as the taciturn all-American good guy being tough and beating up the outlaws. Watching GBU, I was enthralled for the entire three hours. Twice. And if I had time, I would have watched it a third time.

The setting is typically western: a dry, dusty panorama in which men barely co-exist with each other; few wasted words; and lots of action, horses, and gunfighting in a wild west barely governed by incipient institutions of law & order – all shrouded within a morality play of good vs. bad. But what I liked so much is exactly what I hate about John Wayne westerns – the seriousness and honesty with which moral context is considered. In Hollywood, good vs. bad is as thoughtlessly superscripted as the protagonists' white and black hats. In GBU every remnant of moralizing has been ruthlessly cut.

Good, Bad, and Ugly are personified in the form of three characters: Bad ("Sentenza") is the easiest to understand. He is *very* bad, perhaps not so different from other villains, but much more sharply developed; murderous, sadistic, traitorous, and remorseless. Good ("Blondie") and Ugly ("Tuco") are more puzzling, but their labels are the key to the movie. Both Blondie and Tuco are outlaws and killers with only the barest hint of morality, but they're not evil in the same way that Sentenza is. Tuco is demonstrative, emotional, loud, wild, and unpredictable; but driven by survival rather than satanic urges. Blondie is cool, calm, rational and controlled – in many ways similar to Sentenza – but whereas Sentenza tortures, maims, kills, and lies for the hell of it, even apparently enjoys it, Blondie simply goes about his business coolly, and shows several poignant hints of empathy, decency, and a sense of justice.

GBU takes place during the Civil War and strips away the high-level political struggle of history books, leaving us with the soldier's vantage point of brutality, pointless death, and some individual decency. The politics are indecipherable from this vantage point. GBU hits this point home when our protagonists wind up in a prison camp because the oncoming gray cavalry uniforms turn out to be dust-covered blue. Later, they encounter an army fighting over a worthless bridge, suffering countless pointless deaths and casualties. Because Leone has so rigorously excised traditional off-the-shelf morality, the few instances of humanity are remarkably poignant. One such instance is when Blondie shares his coat and cigar with a dying soldier; another is when prisoners are forced – by Sentenza's orders – to play music to cover up the screams of the tortured. Sentenza apparently enjoyed the irony of beautiful sounds used for such ends; the musicians are, of course, pained by it.

That was one of many extraordinarily striking scenes. The honesty of the moral context was what I liked best about the film, but I liked everything else too. Indeed the same primal, ruthless honesty that characterizes the character development pervades the film. The music is unlike anything I'd ever heard – it's an audible version of the arid west and the tensions and lawlessness that characterize the film. Underlying the entire score is one instantly memorable theme starting off with what sounds like a screaming hyena. The story took place in New Mexico, and even though it was filmed in Spain, it really does look like New Mexico; and just as in life in the American west, the wide, breathtaking panorama tends to subordinates dialog. Indeed, it is several minutes into the film before even one word is spoken.

The plot was extremely clever – and never predictable. High level suspense is maintained for the full three hours. It was hard to imagine how it could unfold – three uncompromising outlaws in search of one buried treasure; cooperation was not in their nature, but nothing was ever done out of character. Any Western cliché that you can think of is either given a unique twist or destroyed by masterful storytelling. For example there is an utterly irreverent scene in which Tuco meets his brother, a sincere Priest, and turns platitudes upside down. The brother begins with the standard rebuke of the criminal's behavior, but Tuco punches back and says, "Where we come from there were only two ways out. You lacked the courage to do what I've done." The movie is also irreverently funny: For example, Twice Tuco gained the upper hand on Blondie and said:

"There are two kinds of spurs(?), my friend. Those that come in by the door, and (crosses himself) those that come in by the window."

"There are two kinds of people in the world, my friend. Those who have a rope around their neck and those who have the job of cutting." Later Blondie gained the advantage of Tuco and observed:

"You see in this world there's two kinds of people my friend - those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig." In addition to all these specific attributes, a unique and strikingly cool style infuses the entire film: long scenes of tense silences – never for an instant boring; and telling, startling close-ups and transitions. Most noteworthy was the film's climax. As the protagonists stand there with their fingers on their holsters, waiting for the first person to go for their gun(s), the transitions start out slowly, and speed up as the tension increases. As I write this, I wish I had my own copy of the film, just so I could see this scene again.

Not just a great western, but easily one of the best movies of *any* kind ever made.


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