One of the greatest Westerns ever made. While Spaghetti Western For a Few Dollars more is debatably the better tale, The Good the Bad and the Ugly is grander in scale and scope (thanks to director of photography Tonino Delli Colli) with the main characters even getting caught up in the New Mexico Campaign of 1862 complete with war camps, prisoners and an exploding bridge.
Clint Eastwood returns to the genre as protagonist Blondie (aka The Man with No Name) along with Lee Van Cleef who this time plays Angel Eyes (The Bad). Both Eastwood and Cleef are outstanding with Sergio Leone’s 1966 offering benefiting from the addition of Eli Wallach who delivers a sterling and memorable performance as Tuco Ramirez (The Ugly). The characters written by Age & Scarpelli, Luciano Vincenzoni and Leone (with additional material provided by an uncredited Sergio Donati) are well defined archetypes which are constructed perfectly.
The Good the Bad and the Ugly has one of the greatest crescendo building endings ever and the film is complete with Leone’s perfectionist directorial trademarks. Ennio Morricone’s iconic theme completes the package as the score complements the three players double crossing each other throughout to the closing Mexican Standoff.
You can feel the heat and taste the dust in this highly influential recommended Western.