English Title: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Original Title: Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo
Country: Italy, Spain
Genre: Western, Adventure
Director: Sergio Leone
Lee Van Cleef
Antonio Molino Rojo
Sergio Leone’s third piece of the Dollars Trilogy, years ago I watched A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964), but FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965) is still sitting laid-back in my waiting-to-see list. I wish my jumpy sequence might not hinder the logical understanding of the film, although it is never a major concern of Mr. Leone and his team.
I cannot claim myself an ardent Western genre follower, also without any trickle of fetish towards neither guns or other weaponry, nor killing for fun, plus being an out-and-out urbanite, my natural response over the usual tonal settings of Western films is quite nonchalant (also the bleak milieu is not my preference to admire), what I need to fathom is whether it will evince any on-screen dynamite to maintain a buoyant vibe through its storytelling and action. THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, without any doubt, has done a crack job here, the lengthy narrative never cease to fall into tepid, three leading characters are richly depicted with accumulated details and minor plots, Eli Wallach’s the ugly, who receives the most amount of screen time and rendered as a complete hypocrisy and opportunist, is the arch-protagonist, Eastwood and Van Cleef’s roles are less colorful but more pragmatic to be idolised in the hero and anti-hero cinema realm.
One cannot evade Morricone’s masterly work (not only in Leone’s filmography), but here, his knack of enhancing the whole film’s temperament has been comprehensively facilitated, the hyena-mimicking theme tune for me is something worth persisting for my entire life. The very much discussed and highly appreciated Mexican standoff could be regarded as the pinnacle of the wholesome western films, Leone’s obsession with relentless close-ups is another trademark of its own kind.
Leone’s film career is an underachieved one, and most of his fame has been accruing after his untimely decease in 1989 at the age of 60, with only 7 feature films under his rein (another one I have watched is his swan song ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, 1984), if only he could live a bit longer, his feat would easily stride outside his comfort zone and evolve himself and his work with the time, like what Martin Scorsese has attained.
What should I whine about the film? I really cannot say it explicitly, the only thing impedes me from rating it higher is the innate trait of the grumpy and grubby world, which seems to me like a pit on earth.