Set during the American Civil War, Sergio Leone’s epic Sphagetti Western focuses on three eponymous characters: the good (Clint Eastwood), the bad, Setenza (Lee Van Cleef, who previously appeared as a bounty hunter in For a Few Dollars More ), and the ugly, Tuco (Eli Wallach).
Each of the men is searching for a box of stolen money that contains $200,000, but while Setenza acts alone, Tuco has a bizarre relationship with The Man with No Name. No Name is the bounty hunter who turns in the wanted Tuco, takes the money and then frees him at the last minute before they head for another town and another bounty. However, the partnership goes stale and Eastwood is at Tuco’s mercy, dying in the desert until a chance meeting with an ambulance of dying soldiers gives each of them enough of a clue to find the treasure – so long as they both live.
So begins an almost mythical journey through both the West and the Civil War, with the three meeting up in both good, bad and decidedly ugly circumstances until they all fetch up at the graveyard where one grave contains the loot. And only one of them can ride away.
With its legendary Ennio Morricone score and Leone’s visceral depiction of a desolate, inhumane land, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a classic. While Eastwood is as taciturn as ever and Lee Van Cleef is mean and moody, it’s left to Eli Wallach to steal the acting honours as the wise-cracking Tuco, while the cinematic realisation of the final scenes has been much copied but never bettered.
USA – Italy – Spain – Germany | 161 minutes | 1966
Director: Sergio Leone
Script: Sergio Leone, Luciano Vincenzoni (based on a story by Age Scarpelli)
Clint Eastwood as Blondie
Eli Wallach as Tuco
Lee Van Cleef as Sentenza/Angel Eyes
Aldo Giuffrè as Alcoholic Union Captain
Luigi Pistilli as Father Pablo Ramirez
Rada Rassimov as Maria
John Bartha as Sheriff
Livio Lorenzon as Baker
Antonio Casale as Jackson/Bill Carson
Angelo Novi as Monk
Enzo Petito as Storekeeper
Claudio Scarchilli as Mexican Peon
Sandro Scarchilli as Mexican Peon
Benito Stefanelli as Member of Angel Eyes’ Gange
Antonio Casas as Stevens
Aldo Sambrell as Member of Angel Eyes’ Gang
Al Mulock as One-Armed Bounty Hunter
Sergio Mendizábal as Blonde Bounty Hunter
Antonio Molino Rojo as Capt. Harper
Lorenzo Robledo as Member of Angel Eyes’ Gang
Mario Brega as Cpl. Wallace
Chelo Alonso as Stevens’ Wife (uncredited)
José Terrón as Thomas ‘Shorty’ Larson (uncredited)
Silvana Bacci as Mexican Girl with Blondie (uncredited)
Román Ariznavarreta as Bounty Hunter (uncredited)
Frank Braña as Bounty Hunter #2 (uncredited)
Fortunato Arena as 1st Sombrero Onlooker at Tuco’s 1st Hanging (uncredited)
Amerigo Castrighella as 2nd Sombrero Onlooker at Tuco’s 1st Hanging (uncredited)
Attilio Dottesio as 3rd Sombrero Onlooker at Tuco’s 1st Hanging (uncredited)
Saturno Cerra as Bounty Hunter (uncredited)
Luigi Ciavarro as Member of Angel Eye’s Gang (uncredited)
Romano Puppo as Member of Angel Eye’s Gang (uncredited)
Tony Di Mitri as Deputy (uncredited)
Veriano Ginesi as Bald Onlooker at Tuco’s 1st Hanging (uncredited)
Jesús Guzmán as Pardue the Hotel Owner (uncredited)
Víctor Israel as Sergeant at Confederate Fort (uncredited)
Nazzareno Natale as Mexican Bounty Hunter (uncredited)
Ricardo Palacios as Bartender in Socorro (uncredited)
Antoñito Ruiz as Stevens’ Youngest Son (uncredited)
Aysanoa Runachagua as Pistolero Recruited by Tuco in the Cave (uncredited)
Philip Ettington as Baby Pedro (uncredited)
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