Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => The Good, The Bad and The Ugly => Topic started by: Moorman on January 27, 2017, 07:54:25 AM



Title: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: Moorman on January 27, 2017, 07:54:25 AM
I've been discussing this movie in another thread, so before it gets too far out of hand over there, decided to review it here.  Like most fans of Westerns, this movie ranks very high on my alltime list of great westerns.  That being said, i've always had a couple of problems with the script of the movie.  Lets get the good stuff out of the way:

1. Cinematography. As always, Sergio doesn't disappoint. He mixes up the desert with your western town scenes,  villas, and of course, the civil war scenes.  Very on point.

2. Characters.  Tuco could've won a best supporting award for this movie. Blondie and Angel Eyes did their thing also.

3. Musical Score.  Does anyone need to ask? One of the best scores EVER for a movie.

4. Script. Great.  Once of the greatest endings to a movie, ever, period, end of discussion.  The whole premise of Tuco and Blondie working together, breaking up, and reuniting to find the loot is very on point.  The script was tight....BUT...here is where i also run into a couple of problems. After receiving feedback from forum members, i've learned that i've only seen the 161 minute version that i currently own on DVD.

This is important because its been explained that the one extended portion of the movie that has always confused me is when Angel Eyes pops up in the civil war camp, leading it, as a officer in the Union Army.  This always bothered me because no explanation was given. He just popped up liked that. I've always thought it was either Sergio or the screen writers being lazy.  Forum member Cigar Joe gave me a timeline and a explanation that makes this work. I've got to get the longer version of this movie to see exactly how it plays out over that version.

The second part of the script i didn't like, and this is me being picky, is the scene where Blondie is "saved " by a stray cannonball when Tuco has him strung up. I've always thought the escape was too cartoonish, or batman like.  Again, this is me being picky because of the overall tight script.  These two points, makes me rank the movie at 9/10 at this point.  I may move it up after seeing the extended version. Dont't get me wrong, its a great movie nonetheless...


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: stanton on January 27, 2017, 10:13:15 AM
Don't worry too much about these things. GBU is, despite the civil war background, a film still set in a fantasy west with superheroes instead of realistic characters.

The longer version doesn't give you an explanation how LvC managed it to become not only a Sergeant, but also how he came exactly to this prison camp. Find yourself an explanation which fits, like he bribed someone, or he has connections, or better both.
There's only a scene which makes clear that he isn't there by coincidence, but actually, that was what I had assumed already in the 161 min version. The scene is not really important for what it explains about that.


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: Lil Brutto on January 27, 2017, 12:13:14 PM
Extended version gets 9/10 while the 161 min version gets 10/10. Heck, I'll pretend I'm Spinal Tap and give it 11/10. Screw it, I'm giving it 100/10.


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 27, 2017, 12:22:10 PM
Moorman: the point is that the war keeps interrupting Blondie and Tuco's adventures. First when the cannon hits the hotel where Blondie is about to be hung. Then when the carriage with the corpses comes by just as Tuco is about to shoot Blondie. Finally when the cannon hits that bombed-out town. It is not random: we hear the cannon roars and know a cannon may hit at any time.

This is one of the themes of the movie: The war keeps interrupting their quest for the gold. A historic war is going on all around them, but these guys don't give a damn about it; it's just an annoyance for them.


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: Moorman on January 27, 2017, 01:32:31 PM
Moorman: the point is that the war keeps interrupting Blondie and Tuco's adventures. First when the cannon hits the hotel where Blondie is about to be hung. Then when the carriage with the corpses comes by just as Tuco is about to shoot Blondie. Finally when the cannon hits that bombed-out town. It is not random: we hear the cannon roars and know a cannon may hit at any time.

This is one of the themes of the movie: The war keeps interrupting their quest for the gold. A historic war is going on all around them, but these guys don't give a damn about it; it's just an annoyance for them.

Ok.  I can see that.  What exactly is in the extended versions that i don't have. I'm debating whether i should get a Blu Ray extended version, if its available...


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: Lil Brutto on January 27, 2017, 01:45:27 PM
The extended version is the only option available on BD.


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: stanton on January 28, 2017, 03:03:18 AM
Ok.  I can see that.  What exactly is in the extended versions that i don't have. I'm debating whether i should get a Blu Ray extended version, if its available...

It's basically the original Italian version, while the 161 min version was a cut version produced for the international market. Main approach surely was to make the 3 hours film a little bit shorter.

But meanwhile worldwide only the longer version is released. But still not exactly the same version as the Italian one, as the English version contains now even one scene more, but one which shouldn't be in the film.

But if this one new scene should be in the film or not, or if the international version is the better one, or not, that is all depending on one's personal opinion.

So far:

Old theatrical international version: 161 min (available on the first DVD)

New English version as released on Blu: 178 min

Italian version as released in Italy on DVD and Blu: 174 min

(The Stanton cut aka the most reasonable version: 171 min (holy shit, still totally unreleased) )


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: Cusser on January 28, 2017, 07:50:16 AM
I'd say that at least 5 of the additional scenes are worthwhile.  Most notable: the Confederate outpost, Tuco getting information that Mission San Antonio was only a few miles away, and he might be able to get help there, leaving the mission, all the dead bodies on the way, Tuco telling Blondie that they have a long way to go, will need to cross enemy lines several times.


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: dave jenkins on January 28, 2017, 08:21:02 AM
Old theatrical international version: 161 min (available on the first DVD)

New English version as released on Blu: 178 min

Italian version as released in Italy on DVD and Blu: 174 min

(The Stanton cut aka the most reasonable version: 171 min (holy shit, still totally unreleased) )
You're leaving out the DJ cut: 210 minutes. Using modern technology (CGI, new voice actors) we now get to see scenes like the one where Angel Eyes steals the identity of the Union sergeant. ("Do you believe in heaven, Sergeant?" "Yes, I do." "Good. You've just been promoted." BAM!--ha ha, that scene gets me every time!). Naturally, the Socorro sequence is in there. Also a bunch of stuff I haven't written yet. What a cut!


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: stanton on January 28, 2017, 09:16:09 AM
You're leaving out the DJ cut: 210 minutes. Using modern technology (CGI, new voice actors) we now get to see scenes like the one where Angel Eyes steals the identity of the Union sergeant. ("Do you believe in heaven, Sergeant?" "Yes, I do." "Good. You've just been promoted." BAM!--ha ha, that scene gets me every time!). Naturally, the Socorro sequence is in there. Also a bunch of stuff I haven't written yet. What a cut!

You mean 310 min ...


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: stanton on January 28, 2017, 09:19:34 AM
I'd say that at least 5 of the additional scenes are worthwhile.  Tuco getting information that Mission San Antonio was only a few miles away, and he might be able to get help there, leaving the mission,

Hmmm, unfortunately that's one of two totally superfluous scenes the acclaimed Stanton cut leaves wisely out, otherwise it would hardly be the most reasonable cut.


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: dave jenkins on January 28, 2017, 10:08:08 AM
The whole point of GBU (IMVVVVVVHO) is to tell the story through digressions. That's why it takes an hour before the central problem is introduced to the heroes (i.e. the quest for the gold). There can never be enough extraneous scenes; in fact, there can never even be any extraneous scenes at all, by definition. GBU is the Leonean equivalent of The Odyssey (as OUATITW is Leone's The Iliad). It took Odysseus 10 years to get back to Ithaca: hence, many adventures in between. CJ has demonstrated how GBU spans at least 8 months of time--there's plenty that Leone didn't have time or resources to show us. Who can doubt, though, that he would have given us an even longer movie if he could have? We who follow him now have to technology to fulfill his vision. Let us not shirk this important task.


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: emmo26 on January 28, 2017, 10:52:06 AM
You're leaving out the DJ cut: 210 minutes. Using modern technology (CGI, new voice actors) we now get to see scenes like the one where Angel Eyes steals the identity of the Union sergeant. ("Do you believe in heaven, Sergeant?" "Yes, I do." "Good. You've just been promoted." BAM!--ha ha, that scene gets me every time!). Naturally, the Socorro sequence is in there. Also a bunch of stuff I haven't written yet. What a cut!


Maybe a mashup of
For a few...
GBU
and Once Upon a time....

and make it into a 4/5 season mini-series called Leone's West?  O0


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 28, 2017, 04:33:22 PM
The whole point of GBU (IMVVVVVVHO) is to tell the story through digressions. That's why it takes an hour before the central problem is introduced to the heroes (i.e. the quest for the gold). There can never be enough extraneous scenes; in fact, there can never even be any extraneous scenes at all, by definition. GBU is the Leonean equivalent of The Odyssey (as OUATITW is Leone's The Iliad). It took Odysseus 10 years to get back to Ithaca: hence, many adventures in between. CJ has demonstrated how GBU spans at least 8 months of time--there's plenty that Leone didn't have time or resources to show us. Who can doubt, though, that he would have given us an even longer movie if he could have? We who follow him now have to technology to fulfill his vision. Let us not shirk this important task.

Along the way, Blondie and Tuco go to Le Marais for Sunday brunch; visit The Woman in Gold at Lauder's gallery; see a few Hoppers at MoMA and The Met; then catch Beethoven symphonies at Lincoln Center before topping it all off with a Super Bowl party that evening. Oh, I forgot about the knockwurst and sauerkraut at the Nazi bar.

We could make it at least 410 minutes  >:D


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: Lil Brutto on January 28, 2017, 05:18:21 PM
Italian version as released in Italy on DVD and Blu: 174 min

But the "Italian version as released in Italy on DVD and Blu" that you refer to is NOT the original Italian theatrical version as we've discovered from Italian 35mm elements (circa 1966) that have surfaced over the past couple years. This revelation was unveiled in another thread last year.


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: dave jenkins on January 28, 2017, 06:53:24 PM
Along the way, Blondie and Tuco go to Le Marais for Sunday brunch; visit The Woman in Gold at Lauder's gallery; see a few Hoppers at MoMA and The Met; then catch Beethoven symphonies at Lincoln Center before topping it all off with a Super Bowl party that evening. Oh, I forgot about the knockwurst and sauerkraut at the Nazi bar.

We could make it at least 410 minutes  >:D
What the . . . ? How are Blondie and Tuco supposed to get to NYC? Let's not be ridiculous here!

First thing we need to do is start drafting the extra scenes. Probably should start by reconstructing Socorro. CJ, is this covered in the novelization?


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: stanton on January 29, 2017, 02:35:21 AM
But the "Italian version as released in Italy on DVD and Blu" that you refer to is NOT the original Italian theatrical version as we've discovered from Italian 35mm elements (circa 1966) that have surfaced over the past couple years. This revelation was unveiled in another thread last year.

Of course, but there's not much of a difference, and at the moment it's the only one available. And it was a basic information which did not need to go too much into the details.
And I think we can agree anyway that the Stanton cut is the one which should replace anything else.


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: cigar joe on January 29, 2017, 03:39:10 AM
What the . . . ? How are Blondie and Tuco supposed to get to NYC? Let's not be ridiculous here!

First thing we need to do is start drafting the extra scenes. Probably should start by reconstructing Socorro. CJ, is this covered in the novelization?

don't think so....


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: Lil Brutto on January 29, 2017, 08:36:59 PM
Of course, but there's not much of a difference, and at the moment it's the only one available. And it was a basic information which did not need to go too much into the details.

Understood, and I agree with you. There are no major differences in terms of full scenes being deleted for the Italian home release version. However, the original theatrical version included the full Tuco torture scene, not the abbreviated version as found on all home releases in Italy. Also, we know the desert scene was longer in that it included the "skeleton shot".


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 29, 2017, 08:43:39 PM
Moorman, firstly, I suggest that you watch the long version (on the MGM Special Edition DVD, or any BRD).

Afterward, if you want, you can read our discussion here (and elsewhere) of the various added scenes http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=11287.0

 But I would suggest that you just watch the long version and form your own opinion, before reading anyone else's opinion  :)

Enjoy!


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: stanton on January 30, 2017, 04:05:50 AM
Understood, and I agree with you. There are no major differences in terms of full scenes being deleted for the Italian home release version. However, the original theatrical version included the full Tuco torture scene, not the abbreviated version as found on all home releases in Italy. Also, we know the desert scene was longer in that it included the "skeleton shot".

I think at the moment I still prefer the shorter Torture scene.

My preferred version is still:
Italian Blu version, minus Eastwood and LvC Nightcamp scene, minus Wallach asking for way to the mission, plus short Sorry Tuco segment and shorter Torture scene (maybe the one from the English version).
That would be the perfect version for me, but of course it is a masterpiece in all available versions, but something like the shorter UK theatrical version puts damage to Leone's vision.


Title: Re: My review of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...
Post by: dave jenkins on January 30, 2017, 09:45:06 AM
I think at the moment I still prefer the shorter Torture scene.

My preferred version is still:
minus
Anathema!