Review

Synopsis:

Two men involved in a bounty hunting scam form an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

Review:

During the American Civil War, a soldier stashes $200,000 worth of gold coins in a grave. The word is out, and a sinister mercenary known as Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) is on the hunt for it. He knows the name of the soldier who buried the treasure, but the sweeping vistas are vast, and with a war going on, it won’t be easy traversing the wastelands to find what amounts to a needle in a haystack. Meanwhile, a rascal bandit named Tuco (Eli Wallach) has a racket going on with a gunslinger only known as Blondie (Clint Eastwood): Since every town in the West has a bounty on Tuco’s head, the two of them pull off a recurring scam by turning him in for the cash, and then staging a rescue to do it all over again in the next town. It works for a while, but their relationship is strained to the breaking point. Eventually, their partnership is a bust, but just when things get dire for Blondie, who is virtually at Tuco’s mercy, they both learn of the treasure at the same time, but they are both privy to different information, which means they have to work together to find it! As they traverse a war-torn countryside (and get enlisted in the war effort), they cross paths with Angel Eyes, who has been waiting like a ravening wolf for his quarry to come to him. There will be an ultimate showdown, folks!

A perfect western adventure done in the classic “spaghetti” style, courtesy of maestro Sergio Leone, who made the genre what it became famous for, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly doesn’t just get better with time … it is virtually a genre unto itself. With masterful performances (especially from Wallach), an iconic score by Ennio Morricone, and a timeless story, the film never gets old. Technically a prequel to A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, this “Man With No Name” epic is an essential piece of moviemaking and one of the most entertaining movies ever made.

Just when you thought you’d never need to own another release of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Kino Lorber pulls out all the stops to unleash a fully loaded edition of the film: It contains two versions (on two discs) of the movie – the 162-minunte theatrical cut in 4K, and the 179-minute extended cut in 4K. It also has three separate audio commentaries, tons of special features and documentaries, and a restored 2.0 audio that makes this release a must-own. I’ve owned everything from the two-tape VHS edition of the film to the DVD and even the Man With No Name trilogy blu ray box set, but this release tops them all.



About the Author

david j. moore
david j. moore is the author of World Gone Wild: A Survivor's Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies and the upcoming book The Good, the Tough and the Deadly: Action Movies and Stars, coming April, 2016 from Schiffer Publishing.