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Review The Good, the Bad and the Ugly a.k.a. Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (1966): One of the greatest movies ever made!

genre: western, classic

Is The Good, the Bad and the ugly a perfect movie? That would mean any classic film ever made is beyond reproach and this is simply impossible. There will always be some flaw or mistake present that could potentially hurt someone's viewing experience. However this is a film where a lot of is done right and makes it a film that is completely enjoyable even after a multitude of viewings. I lost count of how many times I have viewed this and I can tell you that certain scenes and moments in the film will get me every time.

First of all the film is filled with memorable quotes like: 

There are two kinds of people in the world those with guns and those that dig. You dig?
When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.

         People With Ropes Around Their Necks Don’t Always Hang

These are the kind that will stick with you no matter what. Because they usually follow actions done by the characters that is very representative of who they are. Secondly, the direction of Sergio Leone. To the untrained eye this film might seem to glorify violence. And while you are certainly encouraged to root for the characters and their questionable actions you are also asked to condemn the unnecessary bloodshed. I don't think Leone targets the American Civil War specifically since he doesn't seem to be choosing sides. But it does look like he is talking about war in general and how useless it can be. For me personally when this is the topic discussed it emotes with me the most since it's here where the film is at it's best. You can't really escape it since Leone makes sure you feel the gravity and impact of the message he is trying to convey to you. It's also in these moments when the main characters show their good qualities even if their motives to do so are morally on another level. 

The camera work is outstanding. The way everything is shot and set up in this film is how I imagine the Wild West to have been. The heroes (or rather anti-heroes) are far from super men. Even when they are skilled shooters they still are careful when up against five men or more. I mean naturally it would be fun to see them John Wick their way in and out all the time but let's face it that's hardly realistic. Our heroes very visibly get hurt. When denied water they will dry out. Most of the characters in the film barely bathe or shave most likely because they are on the run or there aren't that many places left to take the time to do so. There is a war going on after all. It's details like that help sell this film and actually make you believe you are in the real Wild West and not Spain.

But this film would be nothing without the phenomenal soundtrack. It's integral, no vital for many dramatic scenes where everything comes together in such a way that you get so invested into the characters and the story like there is no tomorrow. What maybe would have been a good film has turned into an epic masterpiece because it's truly iconic and beautiful.

So yes, this is one of those films cinephiles like me should own in their collection.

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