The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly


There are some films that are so core to my identity as a movie lover that I hesitate to re-watch them, both for fear I’ll be let down and because I’m hesitant to write about them. The Good, and the Bad, and the Ugly is one of those films. Turns out, I needn’t have worried. I re-watched it tonight with my 12-year old son, and it was a blast. And as for writing about it, I think I’ll skate by by doing the collection of random thoughts thing:

  1. John Cougar said he kept the clapping in Jack and Diane even though it wasn’t originally intended to stay because the song simply didn’t work without it. It’s the same with these Leone spaghetti westerns. Can you imagine them without the music of Ennio Morricone? Unfathomable. I must have seen TGTB&TU ten times by now, and the ending still sends shivers down my spine.
  2. This is Tuco’s movie. I never really got that before, but it is. Eli Wallach is brilliant. It opens with him, and it basically ends with him.  Plus, he gets the best line in the movie: “When you have to shoot–shoot!  Don’t talk.”
  3. With the possible exception of Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood is the coolest guy who ever lived.
  4. In addition to the brilliant pacing and camera work, there’s some uncharted depth here. That three amoral anti-heroes are shown in relief against the backdrop of the Civil War isn’t an accident. I’m pretty sure there’s a paper here about the juxtaposition of the moral and the amoral, about self-interest and self-sacrifice, and about the absurdity of both.

I told a co-worker today that I didn’t think I could be friends with him anymore because he said he didn’t like TGTB,&TU.  I was joking, of course, but for me, in terms of sheer fun at the movies, it doesn’t get any better than this.


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