Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

4.6 33
Director: Sergio Leone

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef

     
 

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There are special editions and then there are "Special Editions." With as much work as has been put into restoring Sergio Leone's seminal spaghetti Western to the director's original vision -- not to mention the inclusion of some truly informative and engrossing bonus materials -- MGM Studios can truly take pride in this comprehensive two-disc collector's set of… See more details below

Overview

There are special editions and then there are "Special Editions." With as much work as has been put into restoring Sergio Leone's seminal spaghetti Western to the director's original vision -- not to mention the inclusion of some truly informative and engrossing bonus materials -- MGM Studios can truly take pride in this comprehensive two-disc collector's set of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. For those who have endured countless television screenings in which Leone and director of photography Tonino Della Colli's seductively visual landscapes have been incomprehensibly butchered beyond recognition, it's not going too far to say that if you haven't seen the film in its original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio, you simply haven't experienced the full impact of this beautifully photographed film. The near-flawless visual presentation of the film as seen here is just one of the areas where this release truly surpasses expectation. The image is both crisp and razor-sharp, sporting solid, well-balanced colors, even skin tones and showing no signs of digital artifacting or edge enhancement -- well surpassing MGM's previous release of the film when compared side by side. The restored scenes are virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the film, given the amount of care put into the transfer, with only the aged voices of stars Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach (who returned to dub scenes that until now only existed in Italian-language prints of the film) and the vocal stand-in for Lee Van Cleef (who died in 1989) betraying the fact that the scenes had never been included in English-language versions of the film until the 2002 restoration. Though the restoration crew does admit to running into some problems while upgrading the audio mix to Dolby Digital 5.1 in the "Reconstructing The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" featurette (issues that were masked by the inclusion of an occasional background noise), identifying these will be near impossible for the casual viewer, and they provide no distraction from the enjoyment of the film. When all is said and done, the new audio mix manages to be bold and rich without ever becoming too overpowering. The option to view the film in original Italian Mono with optional English, French, Spanish, Cantonese, or Mandarin subtitles (presented in white, bold-outlined font) will certainly make this release appealing to non-English-speaking audiences as well. No matter how effective the presentation of the film itself is, it's the inclusion of some fantastic bonus materials that place this disc well above any previous DVD release of Leone's films (with the sole possible exception of the Once Upon a Time in the West Special Collector's Edition). Beginning with a commentary track by film historian Richard Schickel, viewers will learn some interesting historical facts regarding the film if they are able to overlook the host's somewhat dry delivery. In addition to doing a fine job of placing the film in historical context (Leone's films in general were initially dismissed as a B-movie Western fodder before moving on to classic status upon further inspection), Schickel does a fine job in vocalizing what makes Leone's films so unique within the genre while detailing his relationship with Eastwood and documenting composer Ennio Morricone's groundbreaking score in satisfying detail. A making-of documentary entitled "Leone's West" offers revealing interviews with Schickel, English translator Mickey Knox, producer Alberto Grimaldi, Wallach, and Eastwood that covers everything from Leone's intense preparation as a director to Eastwood's invaluable contributions to the image of his mythical Western counterpart and the complications of working on a Spanish, Italian, and German co-production. The subsequent documentary "The Leone Style" details the director's inimitable style, remarkable eye for historical detail, and complete dedication to realizing his cinematic vision. In addition to tackling the difficult topic of the Techniscope process by speaking with Triage Labs owner Paul Rutan Jr. and MGM director of technical services John Kirk, the informative featurette "Reconstructing The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" also addresses the difficulties of the ADR process and the complications of converting the soundtrack to a "5.1" mix. Of course, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly wouldn't be the same without composer Ennio Morricone's innovative score, and "Il Maestro: Ennio Morricone and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" dissects Morricone's score with film music historian Jon Burlingame before delving into the music head first in a revealing audio-only analysis. For those who doubt the Civil War's impact on the American West (or vice versa), the informative documentary "The Man Who Lost the Civil War" details the ill-fated "Sibley Campaign" -- which serves as the backdrop for the titular trio's grueling treasure hunt in the film. Winding down with some deleted scenes, the extra features include an extended version of the "Tuco Torture" sequence (presented in Italian-language only), which actually looks pretty good despite earlier reference to its rough shape in the "Reconstructing" featurette, and the oft-talked about "Socorro Sequence" is lovingly reconstructed using existing footage intercut with production stills and onscreen descriptions of the action. A letterboxed French trailer is noteworthy for including unused footage and alternate angles, with a poster gallery and an original theatrical trailer rounding out what can only be described as a truly satisfying and comprehensive DVD release. The inclusion of an essay by film critic Roger Ebert and a handful of miniature poster recreations simply propel an already over-the-top release well beyond expectation. Whether you're a Leone fan or simply a fan of Westerns in general, you truly owe it to yourself to make this remarkable release a part of your collection.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The great Italian director Sergio Leone capped off his cycle of Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns (the so-called Man with No Name trilogy) with the magnificent epic The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. "The Good" is Eastwood, reprising his role as an ultra-cool, serape-clad, cheroot-chomping antihero, known here as Blondie; "The Bad" is a ruthless killer called "Angel Eyes" (Lee Van Cleef); and "The Ugly" is a greedy bandit named Tuco (Eli Wallach). The story, which follows the search for a fortune in hidden gold, has the archetypal simplicity of a folktale punctuated by significant amounts of highly stylized violence. Leone expands his successful formula here: Wallach's manic greed plays nicely against Eastwood's unflappability, adding a dimension of humor absent from the earlier films, as Blondie and Tuco form an unlikely partnership. At the same time, the director revels in his trademark juxtaposition of wide-angle shots and ultra-close-ups and his oh-so-fluid moving camera, resulting in powerful imagery that set new standards for wide-screen cinematography. As superb as his music was for Leone’s previous films, Ennio Morricone's score here is one of the all-time greats -- music that, with its twangy, ominous guitar chords, has come to define the spaghetti western. Along with Once Upon a Time in the West, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly stands as the apotheosis of the genre and a work of timeless perfection, completing Leone’s reinvention of the movie western. The DVD includes 17 minutes of scenes that were deleted after the film's original Italian release.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
The last and grandest film in the "Dollars" trilogy, Sergio Leone's The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966) is actually a prequel, featuring Clint Eastwood's serape-less Blondie in a search for stolen gold during the Civil War. While the titular trio's quest seems simple, Leone renders the proceedings epic through the constant intrusions of a chaotic, war-torn universe. Rather than an ideal space, Leone's widescreen desiccated western landscape is a harsh environment ruled by brutality, but, as Eastwood's ironically labeled "Good" affirms upon witnessing a fruitless military battle, state-sanctioned bloodshed is even more destructive than individual venality. Still, Blondie's dry wit and Eli Wallach's buffoonish "Ugly" inject the violence with dark humor, while Ennio Morricone's famed score alternates between stately and tongue-in-cheek. In a final shootout set in an enormous circular cemetery and composed of extreme close-ups of the three leads, Leone sends Eastwood's Man With No Name out on a properly operatic yet wry note. The "good" triumphs, but, in Leone's West, it's all relative. Greeted with critical disdain for its stylistic flourishes and sadism, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly became a hit, and Leone's artistic influence can be seen from Eastwood's directorial work to John Woo's action theatrics.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/18/2004
UPC:
0027616905727
Original Release:
1966
Rating:
NR
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:59:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Fully restored with 18 minutes of added footage; Deleted scenes; Audio commentary by film historian Richard Schickel; "Leone's West" making-of documentary; "The Leone Style" documentary on Sergio Leone; "The Man Who Lost the Civil War" Civil War documentary; "Reconstructing The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" featurette on the audio re-recording; "Il Maestro: Ennio Morricone and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" featurette on the composer; Poster gallery; International theatrical mini-posters; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Clint Eastwood The Good
Eli Wallach Tuco, the Ugly
Lee Van Cleef The Bad
Aldo Giuffré Actor
Rada Rassimov Actor
Mario Brega Actor
Luigi Pistilli Actor
Chelo Alonso Actor
Silvana Bacci Actor
Antonio Casas Actor
Livio Lorenzon Actor
Enzo Petito Actor
Aldo Sambrell Actor
Claudio Scarchelli Actor
Sandro Scarchelli Actor
Benito Stefanelli Actor
Sergio Mendizabal Actor

Technical Credits
Sergio Leone Director,Screenwriter
Age Screenwriter
Eugene Alabiso Editor
Eros Bacciucchi Special Effects
Nino Baragli Editor
Rino Carboni Makeup
Tonino Delli Colli Cinematographer
Gonzalo Gavira Sound/Sound Designer
Franco di Giacomo Camera Operator
Alberto Grimaldi Producer
Mickey Knox Original Story
Ennio Morricone Score Composer
Bruno Nicolai Musical Direction/Supervision
Giancarlo Santi Asst. Director
Furio Scarpelli Screenwriter
Carlo Simi Art Director,Costumes/Costume Designer
Luciano Vincenzoni Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Feature Film
1. Main Title [2:55]
2. The Ugly [3:04]
3. $500 to Kill [9:02]
4. The Bad [2:22]
5. A Price on Tuco's Head [4:29]
6. Mercy on a Rat's Soul [2:41]
7. Filthy Beggars and Angels [3:10]
8. The Good [1:54]
9. A Fallen Woman [2:23]
10. The Price of a Pistol [6:11]
11. Rich and Lonely [3:16]
12. Dixie's Last Hurrah [8:03]
13. Southern Cuisine [4:17]
14. Tracking Blondie [3:24]
15. A Walk in the Sun [8:38]
16. Carson's Last Words [7:34]
17. With Fathers' Help [8:57]
18. Brother Pablo's Way [4:15]
19. Prisoners of War [2:33]
20. No More Brutality [6:06]
21. A Song for Old Friends [2:54]
22. Different Partner, Same Deal [8:38]
23. A Breakable Bond [6:13]
24. Tuco Takes a Bath [3:41]
25. Death in a Ghost Town [9:03]
26. Qualified Volunteers [4:53]
27. The Daily Slaughter [6:41]
28. A Bridge to History [6:14]
29. Graveyard Shift [8:57]
30. A Shovel for Arch Stanton [6:36]
31. Triangle of Trust [3:46]
32. ."..And Those Who Dig" [5:45]

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