"You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig."
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is hands down the greatest western of all time - the third and final of Sergio Leone's trilogy of westerns with Clint Eastwood is the best of the bunch.
This film succeeds in every aspect where its predecessors failed, making it the essential spaghetti western. Clint Eastwood rides back into action as "The Man With No Name" - the good - who is now living in the time of the Civil War. Eli Wallach is a filthy outlaw named Tuco - the ugly. And finally Lee Van Cleef (returning from the cast of the previous film playing a different role) is a man known as Angel Eyes - the bad. In a remote cemetery an outlaw has buried a stash of $200,000 which immediately sparks interest from the 3 protagonists. Tuco and "The Man With No Name" form an uneasy alliance and have no choice but to trust each other when it's discovered that each possess half the information of the location of the hidden treasure.
Angel Eyes is also focused on finding the money and thus begins a race as the three men move through rugged landscape and across harsh deserts to get to their desired destination.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a very unconventional western. The plot of this third instalment is actually pretty easy to follow, and this simplicity makes the film not as confusing as its predecessors.
Each moment of the film is enthralling, and exceptionally created. Although clocking at almost 160 minutes, the film is not too long. My interest was sustained for each minute of its running time; containing intriguing characters and clever set-ups.
Clint Eastwood is fantastic as always. As always he plays the part to perfection - never showing signs of emotion and always being dark. Eli Wallach was a welcome addition to the cast. He portrays a very realistic outlaw, and his character is most certainly "the ugly". I was disappointed that Lee Van Cleef didn't stick to his original character from For a Few Dollars More, but he still plays this new part exceptionally well.
Of course what addition to this trilogy would be complete without Sergio's magnificent direction and Ennio Morricone's triumphant score. Ennio's music is nothing short of remarkable.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is an enthralling western. For those with short attention spans, go rent a Michael Bay flick. But for those who enjoy good quality westerns and don't mind the slow pacing then go right ahead. One of the best movies of all time!