The 100 Best Movies Ever Made

It’s almost funny that Sergio Leone considered “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” a satire of Hollywood westerns because, in hindsight, the film is more of a reconstruction than a deconstruction. Just a year before the similarly transgressive “Bonnie and Clyde” kicked off the New Hollywood era in earnest, the sheer power of Leone’s filmmaking reconfigured the cinematic west into a landscape that’s, to use Leone’s own words, just as “violent and uncomplicated” as the people who live there. When people heard the word “gunslinger,” they used to picture John Wayne. Now, they think of Clint Eastwood.

“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” didn’t do this alone, of course. Not by a long shot. Sam Peckinpah had something to do with it, as did a number of other great spaghetti westerns, including many from Leone’s filmography. But “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” is the best of the bunch, and its influence transcends genre boundaries. You’ll see its imprint in “Star Wars,” “Logan,” Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower,” and every film Quentin Tarantino has ever made.

That’s the level of craft we’re talking about. Eastwood, Wallach, and Van Cleef’s trio of treasure-hunting outlaws are the perfect guides to the horrors of the Civil War, and while the film’s long and languidly paced, it never drags. And then there’s Ennio Morricone’s score, which might as well be the film’s fourth main character. Close your eyes and listen; even without the visuals, the music tells you everything you need to know.

The Alternate Take: “Unforgiven” is a sequel to “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” in all but name, and while William Munny isn’t technically an older version of the Man with No Name, the whole enterprise gives Eastwood an opportunity to dissect the films of his early career in the same way that Leone tackled the westerns of Hollywood’s golden age. (Christopher Gates)

View original Spanisn Content

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *