The Global Kaleidoscope : The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Global kaleidoscope is a feature I enjoy writing the most on my blog. It involves a collection of movies, TV series and other things in languages other than Indian languages (as I maintain a separate series called The Indian Kaleidoscope) and Korean entertainment (for which I maintain the series ‘It’s called Hallyu”‘). Although I enjoy writing this series so much, I get to write it much lesser than the others as the movies and all are hard to come by. But that will never stop a person who loves watching films right! So this time my post in the Global Kaleidoscope is about a movie that is a classic in its own. People who don’t know the movie, must be at atleast familiar with the phrase that forms the title of the movie. Now the movie was originally made in Italian and then in English, but I always prefer to watch it in the original language rather than dubbed versions or remakes, because I personally feel that the original versions, depict the emotions the best. So here goes-

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Theatrical release poster

Country of origin: Italy

Language : Italian, English

Directed by : Sergio Lione

Screenplay : Age & Scarpelli, Luciano Vincenzoni, Sergio Leone

Story by : Luciano Vincenzoni, Sergio Leone

Starring : Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef, Aldo Giuffre, Antonio Casas, Rada Rassimov, Aldo Sambrel, Enzo Petito, Luigi Pistilli, Livio Lorenzon, Al Mulloch, Sergio Mendizabal, Molino Rojo, Lorenzo Robeldo, Mario Brega

Music : Ennio Moricone

Released : 23 December 1966

Duration : 177 minutes

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The movie starts during the time of American Civil war, when three people are trying to kill Tuco Ramirez (The Ugly) , who is a Mexican fugitive. However Tuco shoots the three soldiers and escapes.

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Tuco Benedicto Pacífico Juan María Ramírez /The Rat (Blondie calls him that)/ The Ugly played by Eli Wallach

In another part of the story, we see a mercenary Angel Eyes (The Bad), interrogate a soldier, who he has been assigned to kill. Before killing him, he wants to find information about Jackson who is a fugitive who sold a good amount of Confederate Gold. The soldier under interrogation tells him that the fugitive responsible for the theft is Bill Carson. The captured soldier gives Angel Eyes money to kill his employer and Angel eyes ends up killing both the captured soldier and his employer thus finishing off the jobs that were assigned to him. (Gives a good look into Angel Eye’s character as well).

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Angel Eyes / The Bad played by Lee Van Cleef

Meanwhile, Tuco is rescued from a group of Bounty Hunters by a person he called ‘Blondie’ (The Good). Blondie then hands in Tuco to the Sherrif and get the bounty for capturing Tuco. As he is about to be hanged, Blondie rescues him again and they split the bounty money between them. They then move into the next town to do the same. Eventually though Blondie gets tired of Tuco’s complaints and leaves him alone in the desert with no water , or food. Tuco nearly gets his revenge when Blondie is captured and is about to be hanged, but he escapes when the town gets shelled.

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Blondie/ The Good played by Clint Eastwood

However eventually Tuco captures Blondie and makes him march across the desert with no water or food, like how Blondie did to Tuco. Blondie collapses and Tuco is about to shoot him, when a runway carriage appears. Inside are several dead soldiers and a dying Bill Carson. Bill tells Tuco to save him and that he will give Tuco a share of the Confederate gold that he has buried in the cemetery. Tuco returns with the water for Carson, but by that time he has died. Blondie who has slumped next to Carson tells Tuco that he told him the location of the gold before dying and now Tuco determined to get the treasure, gives Blondie water and treats him at a nearby mission.

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Tuco talking to Bill Carson about the treasure.

Eventually Tuco and Blondie reach a soldier camp and Tuco on the time of roll call says his name is Bill Carson and is noticed by Angel Eyes who then tortures Tuco to know the location of the gold.

The movie then continues on the journey on how the three try to get to the cemetery where the gold has been buried.

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Although it seems like I told most of the story in this review, I really haven’t. After the three set out to find the treasure we see them have a rather detailed and adventurous journey. You can see them dropping and resuming partnerships between the three of them. Although they seem to be partners who are headed towards the same goal, we can always feel that edge between them. The person who wants to kill the other after they find the treasure. It was quite interesting to see how that played out.

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Probably due to my unfamiliarity in a movie with this kind of setting, I was initially a little confused as to who they are and what was really happening. But, that feeling was very short lived. Once things set in and started to get into the real geist of the movie, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I was always on the edge and wondering how this would actually turn out. Tuco might seem like a character who is at a huge disadvantage compared to Angel Eyes and Blondie, but surprisingly to me, he held up sometimes even better than the other two. The characters they met, the situations they faced where all really interesting. Because of the involvement of so many more instances, I actually felt it was more entertaining that just to have the whole film, based on them chase after the treasure. But at the same time, despite the intervention of different settings and themes, the main goal of the treasure was not lost either. It held at that very delicate balance between the two.

The movie is based on the three characters who had an equal share of performance in this movie. Whether it be the cunning Tuco, or the scary and fierce Angel Eyes, or the cool and seemingly smart and invincible Blondie. All three actors did justice to the role to the point that I was extremely satisfied and happy. While some characters may seem invincible and some weak, each character had their strengths and weaknesses that balanced each other well. No character really overpowered another which was really good.

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The cemetery scene where The Good, The Bad and The Ugly face off in the climatic scenes of the movie.

I think my favorite scene and I guess for all the people who watched the scene is the final climatic scene that happens at the cemetery. The three rounded on each other. We hold our breaths and wait to see who will find the treasure, where the treasure is and how the movie will end. Definitely one of my favorite scenes and a scene that was highlighted by many people on the Internet.

But other than that, there was another scene, or rather setting in the movie that I liked a lot and that was when Blondie and Tuco reach this war scene, where the two opposing forces of war are at either side of the bridge waging war. That was really interesting and I really liked the character of the Captain who was in charge there.

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The bridge over which there was war, which Blondie and Tuco happened to come across in their journey.

Now if you haven’t heard of this classic movie, it’s okay. I was like you too. But I am pretty sure you must have heard this track from the movie which the main theme of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Overall, well I don’t really put scores on movies because I personally feel individual perceptions and scores on works of art, don’t really have a point. Yes giving constructive opinions is what I feel is better in this case. Anyway this movie doesn’t even need a score. It’s a classic, loved by many and will continue to be loved by many! I highly recommend this one!

I’m sure many of you must have seen this movie and I would love to know what you feel about the movie in the comments!

Image courtesy : Google Image search 

 

 

 

 

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