It is a great regret that I have waited so long to see The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. I’ve been well aware of its revered reputation amongst moviegoers, but I had no idea just how mesmerising it is to watch, nor how quickly it effortlessly has made its way, guns-a-blazing, into my list of perfect movies.
Set in the unforgiving environments within New Mexico, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly tracks the three eponymous bounty hunters racing to find Confederate gold. The narrative is original, unpredictable, and meticulously constructed throughout the three-hour runtime. The context of the American Civil War is used as a setting rather than a subject so we can focus on the story. The script, bereft of dialogue in most places, slowly builds up to one of the best endings in all of cinema. Picture a desolate cemetery with the three leads in a tense Mexican standoff, with Ennio Morricone’s blazing throughout and polished by a memorable quote - “You see, in this world, there’s two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.”
Despite the language barriers between the American actors and the Italian crew, coupled with Leone’s alleged perfectionism, he executes his vision to perfection, utilising a wide variety of camera angles and real locations to further captivate the audience. Leone veteran Ennio Morricone establishes himself as a god in film scoring, combining conventional instruments with whistling, gunfire and the iconic two-note whistled motif that forever changed film music.
If there’s one thing I’ll remember The Good, The Bad and The Ugly for, its the enormous similarity it bears to the work of one of my biggest filmmaking idols: the self-professed, highly knowledgable and irrepressible Quentin Tarantino. It’s easy to see how the smooth dialogue, punctiliously crafted tension, genius orchestration of music, varied cinematography and the overall epic and grandiose experience of this movie are replicated effectively in films like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and Inglorious Basterds. I should also mention how The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, like Tarantino’s films, instigates almost every type of response from the audience, including laughter, anger, anxiety, confusion, etc. Tarantino sure wasn’t joking around when he declared The Good, The Bad and The Ugly as “the greatest achievement in the history of cinema”.
Rating - ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆