The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)

good the bad and the ugly poster 1966 movie
10 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great Western and action film


Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Studio:  United Artists

Genre(s):  Western/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  December 15, 1966

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


I rock this poncho

$200,000 of Confederate gold has been lost, and three men are out to find it.  The Bad…”Angel Eyes” (Lee Van Cleef) a man whose ruthlessness has no boundaries.  The Ugly…Tuco (Eli Wallach) whose willing to get dirty for a job, and the Good…”Blondie” (Clint Eastwood) who is mysterious and whose motives are unknown.  Trying to traverse the wild countryside during the height of the Civil War proves difficult and with each person knowing a piece of key information about the true location of the gold, the battle for the gold has begun.

Directed by Sergio Leone, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (originally titled Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo) is the third film in his spaghetti Western Man With No Name Trilogy following A Fistful of Dollars in 1964 and For a Few Dollars More in 1965.  The movie was initially criticized for its high violence content, but has since become a classic…often making “best of” lists for its story, acting, and look.  The movie was released in a two hour and fifty-seven minute version overseas and a two hour and forty-one minute version in the United States.  The missing footage was restored and revoiced, and the film was released in 2004.


Hey Blondie…that’s right, I’m upstaging you…

I’m not a huge Western guy, but The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly might be my favorite Western and is tops among some of my favorite films.  The look, the style, the acting, and even the story is strong.  The movie went beyond being a film and became a cultural phenomenon that still has feet years and years later.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’s story is an interesting concept by placing it during the chaos of the Civil War.  The movie almost works like The Odyssey with the characters wandering through the various lands…meeting killers and strangers along the way.  It is a long film, but it is a worth wild ride.


Angel Eyes…I’m not messing with you.

The acting in the film is also top notch.  Eastwood allegedly was worried about being overshadowed by Eli Wallach’s character, and I think it was rightly so.  Wallach’s portrayal of “The Ugly” is so open, honest, and he just seem to be the character.  Lee Van Cleef as the Bad is scary.  Originally the role was intended for Charles Bronson but he was unable to take the role due to a conflict (he did work for Leone as Harmonica in Once Upon a Time in the West).  Lee Van Cleef had previously been the good guy in For a Few Dollars More and took the role to play the flipside of his Colonel Mortimer character.  This movie also can be credited to making Clint Eastwood a star…his moody cooler than cool “Man With No Name” character was already pretty developed, but this movie got much more play than the other films.


Ok…Is it 1, 2, 3 Draw or 1, 2, 3 and you just draw?

I love, love, love Leone’s visuals.  All of his movies are a feast for the eyes and this movie is no exception.  The countryside is amazing, and Sergio Leone knows how to shoot people in these settings.  The movie has so much depth and style and to me is just as rich as a David Lean film.

The end sequence of this movie is one of my favorite endings.  I’ve gone back and just watched the ending a few times just because I love how everything plays out as soon as the visually stunning graveyard is found.  The great music (which is throughout the movie) and the editing of the movie leads to such an explosive visual…It is one of those types of movies that almost gives you chills.  If you haven’t seen the movie, you honestly aren’t quite sure how it is going to play out.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is a great film and a great part of a great series.  I can’t recommend this film enough.  Even if you aren’t a Western fan, there is some great action and thrills.  Add a memorable soundtrack and lush visuals and you have a movie that deservingly brought some respect to the genre of the Spaghetti Western.

Related Links:

A Fistful of Dollars (1964)


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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