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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)

Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo

The Man with No Name Returns!

Rating: 10/10

Running Time: 179 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 18


Directed by an Italian, shot in Spain and starring only three English speakers The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is somehow the greatest western ever made. Sergio Leone’s final instalment of his Fist Full of Dollars trilogy is a step up in class and it leaves anything John Wayne has done in it’s wake. As it is European made, Leone’s efforts are outside the remit of the American produced Westerns and so avoids all the usual clichés (and look, no Indians!).

The story follows The Good (Eastwood), The Bad (Van Cleef) and The Ugly (Wallach) as they go in search of a stash of gold stolen from the army. The three shady characters double-cross and fight their way across deserts, abandoned towns and through the brutal American Civil War before arriving at the graveyard where the treasure has been hidden.The climactic graveyard scene is the most perfect of film events. Close the curtains, turn the volume all the way up and let the fusion of epic score, masterful camerawork and escalating tension give you goosebumps. The rest of the film is also a film technician’s dream with long panoramic shots of desolate deserts, Ennio Morricone’s memorable score and grand civil war battle scenes.

Clint Eastwood is at his moody, silent best as he casually struts around in his trademark poncho, looking and acting as cool as ice, and Lee Van Cleef is excellent as the snarling bad guy who’s easy to root for. Eli Wallach steals the show as the lovable thief-rapist-murderer-bigamist cowboy turned treasure hunter. The rest of the cast are made up of an international menagerie of comically dubbed cannon fodder but they snarl and then die and do their job ably.

It's Got: Stylish gunfights, epic battles and Clint Eastwood in a poncho

It Needs: To be seen on the big screen

DVD Extras Leone's West and The Leone Style film documentaries, The Man Who Lost The Civil War for historical background, Il Maestro: Ennio Morricone and Reconstructing The Good, The Bad and the Ugly for film buffs, Deleted Scenes that don't add a great deal. DVD Extras Rating: 8/10


A classic film score, stylish characters and memorable gunfights make this without doubt the greatest Western ever made.