The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

(Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo)

BAMPFA Student Committee Pick


Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef,

The film that cemented Clint Eastwood’s status as “The Man with No Name,” The Good, the Bad and the Ugly stands as one of the most influential Westerns of all time, and more importantly as one of the most striking examples ever of how cinema can create a living myth out of pure visual spectacle. Eli Wallach (the “ugly,” absolutely), Lee Van Cleef (the “bad,” undoubtedly), and Eastwood (the “good,” barely) criss-cross the arid Texas plains while double-crossing one another as they search for a fortune in stolen Confederate gold. It’s not the story that one remembers, however, but how it’s told—or painted, as the film’s innovative opening credits suggest. Like a brush on canvas, Leone’s lens colors desolation with beauty, juxtaposing close-ups of scarred faces with long-distance shots of sky-stretched panoramas to create a disorienting, almost hyper-real landscape, one aurally haunted by Ennio Morricone’s now legendary score. Here, the American hunt for gold winds up—literally—in the grave.

Jason Sanders
  • Sergio Leone
  • Luciano Vincenzoni
Based On
  • a story by Age & Scarpelli, Leone, Vincenzoni

  • Tonino Delli Colli
Print Info
  • Color
  • 'Scope DCP
  • 179 mins
  • Park Circus