The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Sergio Leone's unrivaled oater about an elusive cache of Confederate coins and the three reckless rawhiders who try to find it. The intricacies of the duplicity dealt these desperadoes in a Texas ravaged by the Civil War push the film from saddle-sore Western to full Wagnerian horse opera. Clint Eastwood is the itinerant gunslinger known as The Man with No Name, partnered here with Tuco (Eli Wallach), a brutal bandito who delivers lines faster than a Gatling gun. Crossing (and double-crossing) their path is Lee Van Cleef, a cold-blooded opportunist who's set his sights on the same spoils. With a marksman's eye, Leone perfects violence as kinetic composition, creating pleasure from the precise alignment of men and their guns. But he also has Ennio Morricone's stylish score and the darkest gallows humor this side of Tombstone, so you can be sure The G, the B and the U always shoots from the hip.

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