By far the most ambitious, unflinchingly graphic and stylistically influential western ever mounted, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is an engrossing actioner shot through with a volatile mix of myth and realism. Clint Eastwood returns as the "Man With No Name," this time teaming with two gunslingers (Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef) to pursue a cache of $200,000and letting no one, not even warring factions in a civil war, stand in their way. From sun-drenched panoramas to bold,hard close-ups, exceptional camera work captures the beauty and cruelty of the barren landscape andthe hardened characters who stride unwaveringly through it. Forging a vibrant and yet detached style of action that had not been seen before, and has never been matched since, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly shatters the western mold in true Clint Eastwood style.
Clint Eastwood (the Man with No Name) is good, Lee Van Cleef (Angel Eyes Sentenza) is bad, and Eli Wallach (Tuco Benedito Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez) is ugly in the final chapter of Sergio Leone's trilogy of spaghetti westerns (the first two were A Fistful of Dollars
and For a Few Dollars More
). In this sweeping film, the characters form treacherous alliances in a ruthless quest for Confederate gold. Leone is sometimes underrated as a director, but the excellent resolution on this digital video disc should enhance appreciation of his considerable photographic talent and gorgeous widescreen compositions. Ennio Morricone's jokey score is justifiably famous.