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Feb 13, 2006

The Good The Bad and The Ugly

(Repost from Sep 2003) If there ever was a competition for a poetic western, this Sergio Leoni spaghetti western will win hands down. Spaghetti westerns were low budget westerns produced by Italian directors, shot extensively in Europe(Italy,Spain etc) and aimed primarily for Italian audience. Leoni was one of the few such directors who rose to fame in Hollywood. The behind the scenes disc is as interesting as the movie itself.

The film stars three protagonists - Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and lee Van Cleef, riding across the arid west and the American civil war in search of a loot of money buried in a grave someplace hard to say which of them is better than the other. As a typical western there are lots of gunshots, slick tricks, dirty cowboys and an all pervading machismo, but what sets it apart is the direction - almost operatic, the camerawork - sweeping landscapes jumping in to the close up of expressive faces, poster perfect and finally the music by Ennio Morricone- which was so unique at the time of its release and which has been copied million times over since it was first made - in other movies, TV serials, commercials and what not. This is one Western every one should watch(the other one is Unforgiven).