Thursday, June 08, 2006

#17- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly- Sergio Leone- 1966

"You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig."

The Western is known as the most American genre there is. Strange enough then that the best Western film was filmed by Italians in Italy with only three American actors. That's right. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is the best western ever made. It's a Spaghetti Western. Sergio Leone, who worked on American films as a second unit director before making the "Man with No Name Trilogy" learned the craft of filmmaking from Americans, took it back home to Italy and made three of the finest American films ever. Taking a genre like the Western out of the United States and morphing it into his own seems like a ridiculous concept. What drives an Italian to portray a theme that is mainly an American idea and make it into the best of these films? Well, here are the reasons why.

Most Westerns before this one either were shot in the studio with terrible sets and backdrops projected behind the cowboys, or were the John Ford westerns that were set in the actual American west and were so popular that people can recognize parts of the US and they became cliches for the most part. Leone shot in Spain, so it was a new terrain to see as a backdrop for the Westerns. Also, the films were made in the 60s, so these movies were much more explicit in the violence that was shown. Another way to mix it up was to get basically unknown actors. At the time, Clint Eastwood wasn't a Hollywood insider who made overrated movies. He was a TV actor. In GBU, he exploded into the mainstream with his stoic and unforgettable performance as "the man with no name". Besides the sweeping epic of the new Western style that Leone brought to the table, we got one of the best film scores ever written. Ennio Moricone left behind a legacy of amazing music from GBU. The music is one of the most famous scores in cinema history that if you don't know it, I bet you do... you just didnt know it was from this movie.

Sadly, I had a lot more written, but blogger decided to go haywire and delete it. Comment me if you want to know more reasons why The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is so amazing. I don't feel like re-writing and I re-wrote some of the above and it sucks.

No comments: