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Good, The Bad & The Ugly SE, The

Clint Eastwood is Blondie, the man with no name. While roaming around the Wild West during the civil war, he meets Tuco (Eli Wallach), a wanted gunslinger, who he saves from a certain death. He makes a deal with Tuco where he would turn Tuco in to local authorities and when they hang the bandit, Blondie will save him and split the bounty money. This goes ok for a while but when Blondie gets fed up with Tuco’s constant nagging, he leaves him in the desert without water with only a small chance for survival. However, Tuco does survive and wants revenge.

After some time, he manages to catch Blondie and decides to let him go through a similar experience as he had to endure: travel through the desert without anything to drink. In the desert, they find a carriage from the Northern soldiers with only one man who survived a clear massacre. The man barely manages to whisper but makes it clear that he had hidden lots of gold in a graveyard and that if they help him, he will give them the gold. While Tuco runs off to get water, the man dies but not before telling Blondie the name of the grave where the gold is hidden. Since Tuco knows only where the graveyard is, and Blondie only the name of the grave, both now have to stay together to get the gold.

On their trip to the graveyard, they meet Sentenza (Lee van Cleef), a hired killer who also knows of the gold but doesn’t know where it is located. Sentenza and his gang torture Tuco into saying which graveyard the treasure is hidden and then team up with Blondie. Blondie doesn’t trust Sentenza but knows that until the gold has been found, his life is safe. And although Sentenza doesn’t know it, Tuco is still alive and following them closely in search for an opportunity to team up with Blondie against Sentenza and his gang…

Sound and Vision:
This movie is 40 years old and although its age is clear, the people from MGM have done a pretty decent job in cleaning up the image quality. Ok, there are still some compression errors, grain, and filmspots but overall we can’t complain as these things never really spoil the viewing fun.

As usual with these westerns from Sergio Leone, there are problems with lipsync and another problem is the fact that the dialogues are a bit too soft compared to the music and environment sounds. Also, some background noise is constantly present. Since MGM has chosen to bring the director’s cut which lasts 3 hours on this dvd, there was a problem for the english soundtrack as not everything had been dubbed. Therefore Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach have been asked to do some additional voicing and since Lee Van Cleef is dead, an imitator was asked to do some additional lines for his character.

Extras:
Disc 1
– Audio commentary track from Richard Schickel (film hostic and western expert aswell as fan of Sergio Leone)

Disc 2
– Leone’s West: a decent documentary where historic Richard Schickel, producer Alberto Grimaldi, Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Mickey talk about the spaghetti-western and Leone’s work
– The Leone Style: another documentary that takes a look at the work of director Sergio Leone
– The Man Who Lost the Civil War: documentary that gives some background information on the civil war
– Restoring “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”: the title says it all. Pretty interesting
– The Socorro Sequence: A Reconstruction: a reconstruction of a scene that never made the final cut of the movie
– Extended – “Tuco torture scene”: the extended version of the torture scene of Tuco which was cut up a bit due to the bad state of the source material.
– Il Maestro – featurette: John Burlingame gives some additional information on the music of Ennio Morricone.
– Il Maestro: Part 2 – featurette: second part of the same feature
– Trailer
– Poster Gallery

Conclusion:
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly is the third part of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western trilogy that started with “A Fistful of Dollars” and continued with “For a few dollars more”. If only for the cultural value of this movie, you should already go out and get this dvd, but MGM have done their best to deliver a decent product. The image has been greatly restored, we get the director’s cut and the accompanying features are also interesting.

Our Score:
9.0

posted in: DVD, Fox, Reviews
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