The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is arguably one of the most iconic westerns in the history of films. No cowboy movie is complete without some kind of acknowledgement to Clint Eastwood’s famous cigar and poncho or the infamous theme song.
The reason this movie has grown into a cultural icon is because it includes nearly all elements of a perfect movie. The relatable charters, the original story, and the consistently shocking action sequences are only a fraction of the entertainment packed into this movie.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly starts out slow. The lengthy introductory scenes depict various characters and give very little insight into the actual plot. At least an hour passes in this nearly 3-hour long movie before you even understand what is going on or who the main protagonist is.
After continuous interactions and some pleasurable action scenes, the audience finally realizes that there are three main characters, Good (Clint Eastwood), Bad (Lee Van Cleef), and Ugly (Elli Wallach), all of whom cross paths throughout the movie. In fact, it is the relationship between these three men that drives the plot.
The creators obviously took the necessary steps to make the movie accurate to the 1800s. The characters often refer to historical events and people that play minor roles throughout the movie. For the audiences that know anything about the Civil War or the Old West, you will appreciate the historical accuracy.
The acting is superb. Many other reviews criticize some of the actors for “cheesy” or “fake” performances, but the reality is that these actors stayed true to their characters. When you have characters as vast as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, it is impossible to make all critics happy.
The personalities of these characters are too varied to be reviewed in such a limited scope. These are the real bad boys of early America and the movie highlights that.
The general mechanics of the movie were nicely polished. Music is played at appropriate times to emphasize subtly or action, the cinematography is ideal considering the diversity of the New Mexico landscape, and the editing is superb. All the components of successful filmmaking are at play and are weaved together to make a very good final cut.
The plot and sequence of events can be frustrating at times. If you are the type of person that just wants to watch a basic film and relax, this movie might be a bit difficult to get through. As mentioned earlier, it is rather long. The length can be contributed to the repetitive sequences where the characters are doing very little.
In many instances, the characters find themselves in a starting contest and refuse to break their trances for a solid 5-10 minutes. The movie is riddled with these scenes and they become very annoying. You know that the creators are trying to build anticipation, but they are overdoing it.
Luckily, the boring parts of the movie are offset by the extraordinary acting and exciting shootouts. The ease the audience has with connecting to the characters is more than enough to make up for the small setbacks.
All in all, the movie is incredible. At the very least, it is one of those movies that any movie fanatic should see. Frankly, anyone that appreciates a good film should give this movie a try. It has its weaknesses, but they are easily overlooked when you look at the other elements encompassing the movie. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a great movie and it is well worth the time.