The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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One of the monumental achievements in narrative filmmaking, Sergio Leone’s grandiose 1966 western epic is nothing less than a masterclass in movie storytelling, a dynamic testament to the sheer, invigorating uniqueness of cinema.

Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef are their usual taciturn selves as rival gunslingers pursuing a cache of lost gold. So it’s left to Eli Wallach’s Tuco to steal the show, the archetypal pitiable, self-deluded villain, the rotten heart of Leone’s colossal canvas.

It’s hard to name another film with so many iconic, indelible sequences: Tuco following a trail of half-smoked cigars; the unmanned stagecoach thundering through the desert; the operatic Mexican standoff in the graveyard, as Ennio Morricone’s peerless score mounts over five nailbiting, wordless minutes. But what impresses most is the intimacy of Leone’s vision, sketching a vast array of ruthless characters with broad but subtle visual strokes, never losing sight of the humanity amidst the carnage.

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Cast and crew

Director: Sergio Leone
Screenwriter: Age, Scarpelli, Luciano Vincenzoni, Sergio Leone
Cast: Clint Eastwood
Eli Wallach
Lee Van Cleef
Aldo Giuffrè
Mario Brega
Luigi Pistilli
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