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I Can’t Believe You Haven’t Seen: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

In the newest installment of “I Can’t Believe You Haven’t Seen”, we take a look at the classic spaghetti western The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. The 1966 film is a mainstay on lists of the greatest films and is considered by many to be the best western of all time. What did we think of Sergio Leone’s definitive film when viewed over 50 years after its release? Read on to find out.

 

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Directed by:  Sergio Leone

Written by:  Age & Scarpelli, Luciano Vincenzoni, Sergio Leone

Starring:  Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach

Reviewed by:  Rob Leicht

Genre:  Western

Score:  2.5/5

 

Western movies have never been my favorite. The few I have seen over the years have largely been derivative and predictable, and so I haven’t sought out others within the genre. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is one of the better western films I have seen from that time period, but also contains many of the same faults I associate with the others. Greatest among those is the poor writing. There is no logical sense to a lot of the scenes that happen in the film; they exist only to advance the plot. Included among these are several escapes from a certain death situation that are so ludicrous that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. When the plot isn’t being forced forward through improbable devices, it is rather boring. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly felt longer than its already lengthy 3 hour runtime.

That’s not to say everything about The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is bad. It certainly wasn’t ugly. The majority of the film is visually striking. The set design was amazing and the attention to detail superb. Overall the acting is hit or miss, but Eli Wallach as Tuco was a major highlight of the film. I’ve always found Clint Eastwood to be overrated, and this movie did nothing to dispel that notion. Its been said that The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly was one of his best roles, but I have news for those people…squinting into the distance all the time does not make a good performance. The score was epic and fit the mood, but it seemingly repeated itself every 20 minutes. Over the course of three hours this becomes insanely annoying.

Iconic, boring, gorgeous, predictable. These words all accurately describe The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. I was initially skeptical watching this film in 2020. After viewing, I now understand why it is so respected, but in the end it just wasn’t for me.

View the previous installment here, and keep a look out for the next I Can’t Believe You Haven’t Seen, Steven Spielberg’s science fiction classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

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