As the final part of Leone’s loosely-woven trilogy of Western films that defy the genre, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly entertained me far more than its origin, A Fistful of Dollars. I’m yet to strike For a Few Dollars More off my list, but it’s clear from the gradual incline in Top 250 positions that Leone learned a lot. Except when to use the Oxford comma.
Unlike most other Westerns, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is more than a battle between good and evil. Set in a world where there is no right or wrong, it’s far simpler – it’s a battle between three men moulded by the lives they’ve been given. I found myself switching allegiances for the three leads throughout, which kept the plot endlessly fresh as it galloped along.
My interest, however, was mainly centred around Eli Wallach’s Tuco (The Ugly). Sure, he’s a piece of shit, but he’s the character we get the most development out of – and his circumstances haven’t been quite as romantic as that of Eastwood’s Blondie and Van Cleef’s Angel Eyes. Living in an ugly world breeds a man willing to do ugly things. I love underdogs.
But naturally, nothing did as much for me as the music. Ennio Morricone’s score at all times brings to mind the barren wilderness, the wild animals, and the dirty people. It’s almost a calling card for badassery – “Did you see Clint just light that cannon with his cigar?”