• Anthea Isaac

Movie Time: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (1966)

When my friends were busy catching up with just released new series and movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime, my dad made me watch a movie from 1966.

It was one of the unusual Saturday afternoons, where I was craving for a movie time during lunch and surprisingly my dad was ready to offer me permission to do so. Recently, it has become a trio lunch session since my sister is going out to her institution to learn. We grabbed our plates and mom gave me a sly smirk on how I managed to convince my dad.

My father on the other hand excitedly started surfing for a movie he wanted to show us. Since it was at his mercy the movie time was possible, we decided to play a movie of his choice. While clicking the thumbnail, he kept boasting about how good the movie was and still remains an iconic film in his timeline. I was sure that the movie was going to be some kind of classic one but as soon as I saw the picture my breath disappeared. The movie was, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly from 1966!! Like, seriously?

Me being born just two years before the millennium is already tagged as an oldie by my sister and what would she say to this? Even while penning this blog right now, I couldn’t get over the fact that my dad made me watch a fifty-four years old movie. Still, neither I nor my mom wanted to put down my dad’s enthusiasm.

The Movie (Spoiler Alert)

The Movie Poster

The very introductory credits revealed the decades the movie has spent in the industry. The opening credits were accompanied by an iconic music soundtrack which we call it the signature theme for cowboys. “Is the music taken from this movie?” I was more excited. “I guess yes,” he replied, and then did I realize the power the movie holds.

The movie began with an abrupt start and for the first few minutes, I couldn’t process anything that was happening on screen. The only point I got to take from the shorts was, movies of those days take quite a time to capture every scene and yes, the actions are too slow to make a 21st century viewer restless every minute. Soon, I started following the plot despite not knowing where it started or where it is taking me. The plot is all about three men trying to find a treasure when one is the bad guy and the other two are partially shaded as the good ones. Yes, being a movie lover, even I felt that the storyline was too simple but again it is a half a century old movie and this must be one of its traits. And the way the director managed to capture a three-hour movie with the same plot still amazes.

In addition, the story was set up in a civil war background which gives us a glimpse of the soldiers’ pain and agony during the battle. Life wasn’t usual as people woke up to canon fires and had to pay their lives if caught by the other clan. The good and the bad during their venture to find the prize money 200,000 dollars get to visit various military hubs and camps, giving us the viewers a glimpse of the situation. Anyway, the war never seems to end but our dudes get to place their hands on the price which is something to rejoice about the end.

The Actors and their Characters

As for the actors' cast, the leads weren’t flawlessly glowing under the sun but were rustic and unshaved. They were mediocre Yankees well trained with wit and revolvers. They are not the ones you will fall in love with immediately but take your time to pace yourself with the flow and later accept them as the leads to be your teammates. Getting to see the characters show off with their revolvers wasn't totally a new idea but something definitely charms you to be a fan of such acts.

The Good, The Ugly and The Bad Characters

The three actors, Clint Eastwood (The Good), Eli Wallach (The Ugly) and Lee Van Cleef (The Bad) are totally worthy of the praises in the industry as they swept me with their attitude and characterization. My jaws literally dropped watching Eli Wallach’s acting and can assure that the movie wouldn’t be the same without him. And later Clint Eastwood stole my attention with his heroic style. The characters weren’t much fond of each other and we don’t see any form of trustworthy friendship or sincerity but we couldn’t agree more with the reality. Somehow we find a thread like a friendship between The Good and The Ugly or Tuco. The relationship is quite adorable and fun as we get to enjoy every time Tuco casually calls the hero “Blondie.” Well, I enjoyed it every time I heard it!

Adding up to the actors expressing acting, the crisp dialogues and their delivery didn’t fail to grab my attention as well. Either it is Tuco stating life lessons, “When you want to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk” or his grunting curses at people, every line had its space to shine. And one of my personal favourites would be “Every gun has its own tune.”


A scene from the Movie

Though the movie tends to distract us or want us to pause for a while, it did have some heart-gripping moments that I still reflect on now. The camp shots are sure to wreck your heart, especially the scene where Tuco gets a special treatment when the army band is forced to play a melody. The soldiers were well aware of what would happen inside the room but couldn’t do anything but follow the officials’ orders. The rest of the members jerking tears while empathizing with Tuco make us reflect on the value of such imprisoned soldiers.

Further, we see the pair encountering another batch of soldiers where a captain reeking in alcohol innocently confesses about his distress of watching his mates die and suffer. He mentions that alcohol is the best weapon for people on both the sides to soothe their pain. This statement made me reflect on Bluntschli’s confession to Raina about the need for chocolates from George Bernard Shaw’s play, Arms and The Man. The ten minutes talk of the captain surpassed everything that happened in the movie. Listening to the captain, the duo decides to take down the bridge which was a thoughtful act and the leads had my heart for doing it. (RIP Captain)

And as a finale, all the three finally meet to get their beloved money and the good and the ugly succeeds. The movie doesn’t end just like that. The Good gets to revenge Tuco for his previous doings and we just get to see a splendid act put up by Eli Wallach. The actor simply manages to captivate us for almost five minutes with the camera only focusing on his expressive face. He was brilliant simply brilliant I say and I want you to check it out by yourself!

Take Home

The iconic duo

The soldiers’ perspective would be the crown of the movie and other than that I really enjoyed watching the characters’ characterization and expressive acting skills. From the leading artists to the characters who shared only a few seconds on the screen had their own essence to display. And was The Good really good? And was Ugly considered ugly for his dirty tricks? I am not sure but it all does make sense when we realize the different characters and their reality.

Somehow I ended up falling in love with the movie and the characters and it is obvious with my blog. Of course, I had my own prejudice before watching the movie but it proved me wrong. I would also suggest you have a good time watching the film as well. Though it might not be the cup of tea for everybody, people would find it either weirdly interesting or fun! Personally, I would really want you to enjoy the watch!

Make sure to comment on your thoughts if you have watched the movie before! Bye!

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