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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966) ft. Ali Khamseh

Updated: Oct 16, 2022


Guest: Ali Khamseh - Writer, Director, and Occasional Actor (Host, the Yet Another Shitty Podcast, and Creator, the AK88 YouTube Channel)


Plot Summary: In 1862, during the American Civil War in the New Mexico territory, a mercenary known as "Angel Eyes" (Lee Van Cleef) discovers the existence of stolen cache of Confederate gold. Bandit Tuco Ramirez (Eli Wallach) and "Blondie"(Clint Eastwood) also stumble upon the secret gold, buried in a cemetery, and create an uneasy partnership to find the gold. The three struggle to get to the gold, enduring hardship, betrayal, and violence. Who will win? Will anyone get the gold?


Cast:

  • Clint Eastwood as 'Blondie' (the Man with No Name): The Good

  • Lee Van Cleef as 'Angel Eyes': The Bad

  • Eli Wallach as Tuco Benedicto Pacífico Juan María Ramírez (known as "The Rat" according to Blondie): The Ugly

  • Mario Brega as Corporal Wallace

  • Antonio Casale as Jackson/Bill Carson

  • Aido Giuffrè as alcoholic Union Captain Clinton

  • Luigi Pistilli as Father Pablo Ramírez

*Recognition:

  • It is listed in Time's "100 Greatest Movies of the Last Century" as selected by critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel.

  • Quentin Tarantino has called it "the best directed film of all time" and "the greatest achievement in the history of cinema". This was reflected in his votes for the 2002 and 2012 Sight & Sound magazine polls, in which he voted for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as his choice for the best film ever made.

  • Its main music theme from the soundtrack is regarded by Classic FM as one of the most iconic themes of all time.

  • Variety magazine ranked the film number 49 on their list of the 50 greatest movies.

  • In 2002, Film4 held a poll of the 100 Greatest Movies, on which The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was voted in at number 46. Premiere magazine included the film on their 100 Most Daring Movies Ever Made list.

  • Mr. Showbiz ranked the film #81 on its 100 Best Movies of All Time list.

  • Empire magazine added The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to their Masterpiece collection in the September 2007 issue, and in their poll of "The 500 Greatest Movies", The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was voted in at number 25.

  • In 2014, The Good the Bad and the Ugly was ranked the 47th greatest film ever made on Empire's list of "The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time" as voted by the magazine's readers.

  • It was also placed on a similar list of 1000 movies by The New York Times.

  • In 2014, Time Out polled several film critics, directors, actors and stunt actors to list their top action films. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly placed 52nd on their list.

Did You Know:

  • The three principal actors are the only ones who speak actual English in this movie: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach, with the exceptions of Al Mulock (the one-armed man), and John Bartha (the Sheriff). Everyone else in this movie is really speaking his or her native language, mostly Italian and Spanish, and was later dubbed into English.

  • Ennio Morricone's iconic theme music was designed in places to mimic the sound of a howling coyote. Originally, Morricone did not want to use the trumpet but Leone insisted. Along with the electric and acoustic guitars, and the "tarzan yell", the trumpet became the most distinctive part of the soundtrack.

  • According to Eli Wallach, when it came time to blow up the bridge, Sergio Leone asked the Spanish Army Captain in charge to trigger the fuse, as a sign of gratitude for the Army's collaboration. They agreed to blow up the bridge when Leone gave the signal "Vai!" (Go!) over the walkie-talkie. Unfortunately, another crew member spoke on the same channel, saying the words "vai, vai!", meaning "it's okay, proceed" to a second crew member. The Captain heard this signal, thought it was for him, and blew up the bridge. Unfortunately, no cameras were running at the time. Leone was so upset that he fired the crewman, who promptly fled from the set in his car. The Captain was so sorry for what happened that he proposed to Leone that the Army would rebuild the bridge to blow it up again, with one condition: that the fired crewman be re-hired. Leone agreed, the crewman was forgiven, the bridge was rebuilt, and the scene was successfully shot.

  • When the bridge is blown up, and Tuco and Blondie are hunkered down behind sandbags waiting for the explosion, Clint Eastwood's career came within two feet of ending prematurely. A fist-sized piece of rock shrapnel from the explosion slams into the sandbag right next to Eastwood's head (watch it in slow motion to see the rock flying in).

  • Because writer and director Sergio Leone spoke barely any English and Eli Wallach (Tuco) spoke barely any Italian, the two communicated in French.

  • Tuco's line "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk!" was improvised by Eli Wallach, which apparently caused the whole crew to burst out laughing. Eli was a little perplexed because he thought that what he said was actually pretty sensible. That is, he didn't mean it as a joke, but his delivery and the look on his face made it side-splittingly hilarious.

  • In addition to the train scene, Tuco (Eli Wallach) cheated death in the first scene where Blondie (Clint Eastwood) shoots him down from a hanging. The gunshot scared the horse, which took off running at full speed for nearly a mile. Wallach's hands were tied behind his back, and he had to hang on for dear life with his knees.

  • Eli Wallach was almost poisoned on the set after drinking acid used to burn the bags filled with gold coin, to make them rip open easier when struck with the spade. He didn't know the acid had been poured into a lemon soda bottle. He drank a lot of milk, and filmed the scene with a mouth full of sores.

  • When Tuco is having his handcuffs cut off on the train rail, writer and director Sergio Leone insisted that Eli Wallach perform the stunt, assuring him that while it would be loud and scary, it would be totally safe. Wallach was unaware of the low-hanging step rails, which missed his head by a few inches. In the wide shot, the step that would have hit his head is visible.

  • When Eli Wallach arrived in Madrid, Spain, all of the hotels were full. Clint Eastwood invited him to sleep over at a friend's house, and they shared the same bed. Wallach's wife Anne Jackson told him he could boast that he was the only man to sleep with Clint Eastwood.

  • Sad Hill Cemetery was a very convincing set piece constructed by the pyrotechnic crew, and not a real cemetery. Today the site is marked as a local point of interest. In 2015, a group of fans created the "Asociación Cultural Sad Hill" and they restored the whole place, the central stone "proscenium", parapet, and the circles of graves. In order to attract additional participants, they were invited to prepare their own "graves" and put their own names on the crosses. When complete, an event was held, with one of the film's producers present, and with video greetings from composer Ennio Morricone, Metallica frontman James Hetfield (Metallica uses the Wallach grave sears as video before its shows), and from Clint Eastwood. A feature-length documentary was made about this project, titled Sad Hill Unearthed (2017).

What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: Three desperados are brought together through their lust to find $200,000 in stolen gold.


Best Performance: Eli Wallach (Tuco/The Ugly)/Ennio Marricone (Composer)

Best Secondary Performance: Sergio Leone (Director)/Ennio Marricone (Composer)

Most Charismatic Award: Eli Wallach (Tuco/The Ugly)/Clint Eastwood (Blondie/The Good)/Aido Guiffre (Captain Clinton)

Best Scene:

  • Blondie and Tuco's Racquet

  • The Ugly

  • The Bad

  • Tuco and Blondie find Carson

  • POW Camp

  • Tuco Escapes the Train

  • The Standoff

  • Ecstasy of Gold

  • Tuco and Blondie Fight Their Way Through Town

  • Blowing Up the Bridge

  • The Closing

Favorite Scene: Tuco and Blondie Fight Their Way Through Town/The Ecstasy of Gold and the Standoff

Most Indelible Moment: Both the Standoff/the Music/Tuco and His Brother


In Memorium:

  • Markie Post - Actress (Night Court, There's Something About Mary, The Fall Guy)

  • Brad Allen - Stuntman and Jackie Chan Protege (Gorgeous, The Accidental Spy, The Tuxedo, and Mr. Nice Guy)

  • Herb Schlosser - Former NBC President from 1974-1978 (Proposed the Original Idea of Saturday Night Live)

  • Trevor Moore - Actor/Comedian (The Whitest Kids U Know and Miss March)

Best Lines/Funniest Lines:

Man With No Name: You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.


Union Captain: Whoever has the most liquor to get the soldiers drunk and send them to be slaughtered, is the winner.


Tuco the Ugly: When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.


Man With No Name: Every gun makes its own tune.


Mexican Bounty Hunter: [holding a wanted poster] Hey, amigo! You know you have a face beautiful enough to be worth $2000?


Blondie: [to Tuco] Tut, tut. Such ingratitude after all the times I saved your life.


Man With No Name: You may run the risks, my friend, but I do the cutting. We cut down my percentage, it's liable to interfere with my aim.

Tuco: But if you miss you had better miss very well. Whoever double-crosses me and leaves me alive, he understands nothing about Tuco.


Tuco: God is on our side because he hates the Yanks.

Man With No Name: God is not on our side because he hates idiots also.


The Good: If your friends stay out in the damp, they're liable to catch a cold, aren't they ? Or a bullet.


Tuco: You never had a rope around your neck. Well, I'm going to tell you something. When that rope starts to pull tight, you can feel the Devil bite your ass.


The Good: I'll sleep better knowing my good friend is by my side to protect me.


Tuco: [to a chicken] If you work for a living, why do you kill yourself working?


The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 9.17

Impact/Significance: 6.83

Novelty: 8.5

Classic-ness: 9

Rewatchability: 8.33

Audience Score: 9.5 (93% Google, 97% RT)

Total: 51.33


Remaining Questions:

  • How does Tuco survive in a cemetery in the middle of nowhere with his hands tied behind his back?

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