The last and best of Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns became the highlight of his career and remains one of the best loved westerns of all time!
Perhaps its because I grew up after the Western had all but vanished in Hollywood cinema but I have never connected much with the genre. Yet Leone’s colourful characters, humorous scripts and Clint Eastwood’s gritty performances added a spark to the Spaghetti Western trilogy.
The third installment of Leone’s trilogy follows corrupt bounty hunter, Blondie (Clint Eastwood) and his partner in crime, Tuco (Eli Wallach) as they trek through a war-torn America in the midst of Civil War in search of a hidden stash of gold. In hot pursuit is fellow Leone regular, Lee Van Cleef.
Eli Wallach can be accredited for a large part of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’s appeal for his performance as the dark yet intensely lovable Tuco. His witty antics make for a wonderful pairing with Eastwood’s quiet anti-hero as he, much like the audience, finds himself unwittingly drawn to Tuco.
The simplistic plot of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly puts a lighter twist on the film’s darker predecessors. However, the context of the American Civil War provides a shockingly poignant outlook at the horrors of war as even the film’s murderous protagonists marvel at the tragic loss of human life through the war effort.
Sergio Leone’s smooth directional style and editing technique combined with the film’s wonderfull script, Ennio Morricone’s electrifying score and complex characters make this one of the finest Westerns ever made and worthy of its position as a cinematic masterpiece.