(Spoiler Free)

“…in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.” One of the most under-rated quotes in the history of cinema uttered by Clint Eastwood as “The Good” in the classic: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. This epic “spaghetti western” is directed by Sergio Leone and also stars Eli Wallach as Tuco, who to the audience is portrayed as “The Ugly” and Lee Van Cleef as Angel Eyes, a cold-hearted killer known as “The Bad.” Leone takes this epic story back to 1860’s in the southwestern part of America during the Civil War. The trio get their paths crossed when they find out about a cache of gold hidden in a rogue cemetery with the each of them possessing an essential piece of information in finding this treasure’s location.
The story is about how a trio of gunslingers get their paths crossed when they find out about a cache of gold hidden in a rogue cemetery with the each of them possessing an essential piece of information in finding this treasure’s location. At first, Angel Eyes is searching for a man named “Jackson who goes by the name “Bill Carson” who knows the whereabouts of a large cache of gold. Meanwhile elsewhere, Blondie (Eastwood’s name given by Tuco) and Tuco work together, by ripping off the bounty’s out on Tuco. But later their relationship becomes strained as Blondie leaves Tuco out in the desert to fend for himself. This leads Tuco to take revenge, after a skirmish between the Union and Confederate troops where Blondie was hiding out Tuco and Blondie end up in the desert, where a fatigued Blondie can barely walk. They find a carriage full of dead soldiers, and as Tuco loots, finds Carson, a dying Carson reveals the name of the cemetery but falls dead seemingly before he can give the name of the grave. Tuco runs to get water, but it turns out that Blondie crawled over and got the name of the grave before Carson died while Tuco went to get water. Realizing now they need each other to get to the grave and cemetery they travel across the desert. They get captured by Union forces because they were dressed in Confederate uniforms and we see Angel Eyes is disguised as a sergeant in the Union army, as they take a roll call of a list of soldiers “Bill Carson” is called, as Tuco answers as Carson, catching the attention of Angel Eyes. Through interrogation it is not revealed Angel Eyes and Tuco know the name of the location but not the grave. With out giving too much away, they all eventually throughout the movie get to the destination which results in the most visually and musically impressive scenes of all cinema history.

The music composed in this movie IS what makes this movie, it is it’s yin to the movie’s yang, it is the heads and the movie’s tails. Without the genius use of trumpets and violins to depict what is now traditionally “western” Ennio Morricone’s “L’estasi dell’oro” (The Ecstasy of Gold) is just a “in-the-moment” experience you must watch to understand and feel the “western”. The movie’s main title is obviously one of the most recognized sounds of music, when played all you can think about is “yeah, thats a western” with the whistling and the howling, flute and guitar it just makes you feel like outlaw of the old west.

No western would be complete with its set of location. The desert, the cacti, tumbleweeds, rugged terrain. The location is obviously a key factor in this movie simply because a story like this cannot take place in a major city or for that matter in farm lands or coastal areas. You see the sweat on the characters, the hot sun always makes an appearance in the film, making the need for water, and being out in open areas where the horse riding and gun fights occur.

This is film is really long though, about 170 minutes depending which cut you see. But if you have time it is definitely a classic to watch, a movie to add to your bucket list, a masterpiece to enjoy. The costumes, the scenery, and most of all the story which drives the whole movie forward into on amazing situation to another. I honestly wasn’t a fan of westerns ’till I saw this, after watching this it made me appreciate the genre more, and explore other types of movies. All of Sergio Leone’s films were frequently collaborated with Ennio Morricone, so the music and the direction of Leone’s others will not fail you at all. Some say this is the best western of all time. All I can say about it is this: Genius.