the good the bad and the ugly
Sergio Leone’s third and final chapter in his loose “dollars trilogy” with Clint Eastwood is also the first of two back-to-back masterpieces of the genre from the king of the Spaghetti Western. Eastwood’s “Blondie” (aka The Man With No Name) is as cool and mysterious as ever, while Lee Van Cleef is suitably villainous as Angel Eyes. But the film really belongs to the never-better Eli Wallach as Mexican bandit, Tuco. Never before (or since) has a character so vile, amoral and wretched proved so likeable. From its epic vistas to its probing close-ups, that explore the landscape of the human face with as much interest as John Ford examined the American wilderness, Leone stages a Wild West opera of grandiose proportions, set to the unmistakable wails of Ennio Morricone’s instantly recognisable score. Even at 3 hours long, the film is eminently rewatchable and enduringly entertaining, as a trio of desperate individuals are forced into uneasy alliances in their quest for hidden gold. A flat-out masterpiece.