Wednesday, May 11, 2005

DVD Review: Sergio Leone’s Il Buono, Il brutto, il cattivo

You press play and then you hear that familiar tune. Its the theme to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

It is always nice to see movies one has not seen for a long time. I first saw this movie when it was aired on television. It was part of Western movies shown late at night.

The next time I saw this movie was when it was for rent at the neighborhood video rental store. For me it must be one the best Sergio Leone’s movie. It starred Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef and the movie was called, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”.

The story is set near the end of the US Civil War and we find three unlikely and unscrupulous characters surviving in the West. None of them was heroes in the manner of the Lone Ranger. Actually, the three were characters that the Lone Rangers would beat every time. In short, they were the lawless elements of the Western world. The ones who are beaten in the movie up by John Wayne and his compadres. These men were the bad guys.

The movie tells the tale three rogues and their adventure to get the confederacy gold. In order to get the gold they travel across and enter a prisoner of war zone. Did the director try to use the movie to make a statement? I do not know. However, with creative lens work the images blended in nicely and the inclusion of the theme song further enhanced the movie.

What is interesting is like all spaghetti movies this was shot not in the USA but in Spain. A bit too long in certain portions but the interaction between the characters made up for it. Last year, I saw the movie “800 balas”. It was about the group of retired actors and stunt men living in an old western town. “800 Balas” really is another interesting movie.

Enrico Morricone’s theme song for the movie is unforgettable. It is one of the most recognizable tunes anywhere in the world. Try humming it and you will find it easily recognizable.

Clint Eastwood after finishing this movie would go on star in several cowboy films before doing his Harry Callahan movies. In addition, afterward would star and direct the critically acclaimed movie Unforgiven.

Elli Wallach, also played similar comical but deadly characters in the movie the Magnificent 7 and Lord Jim. I believe Wallach ,who was born in 1915, is still active in movies. The last time I saw him work was when he played the sinister and affable Don Altobello in the last Godfather movie.

Lee Van Cliff would continue to work with Eastwood in the Spaghetti Western films. During the 1980s, he reinvented himself as TV hero as a ninja in the “Master”.

The DVD version aside from having the main feature also included the film preview, and filmography of the cast.

Although not for all, the film is a good watch.

I just found myself humming that tune again.

Go back to Harvard Street Cubao


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