Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => The Good, The Bad and The Ugly => Topic started by: Moomin on December 21, 2020, 06:40:10 AM

Title: My two cents about the main trio
Post by: Moomin on December 21, 2020, 06:40:10 AM
My take on one of the most famous triads in the history of cinema. Clint ("good" Blondie) seems to be repeating his role, but not entirely. He is a bit more human and less calculating. He also doesn't seem to be in full control of events, he happens to come out of the oppression thanks to lucky coincidences (about that later). According to one of the interpretations, "Good, bad and ugly" tells about the events taking place before the previous parts of the saga. Therefore, Blondie does not yet approach reality with total distance. However, after confronting the horrors of war, his attitude changes radically. This version of events seems to be confirmed by the fact that it is only at the end of the film that he finds the poncho he already wore in his previous "Dollars". Despite this peculiar ambiguity, "Blondie" remains the classic "Good". Nevertheless, Eastwood is doing his best to squeeze as much as possible out of this character.

However, there is no chance in confrontation with Mexican trickster Tuco, in a brave interpretation of "ugly" Eli Wallach. The long-time actor has succeeded in an extremely rare play. He was given an exaggerated, almost grotesque role to play, a material that was very easy to burn. Not only did Wallach not do it, but also saturated the character with a delicate note of lyricism. He managed to create a character you believe in. The scene when a hyperactive Tuco tries to persuade (brought earlier by him almost to death) Blondie to reveal a secret to him is so suggestively played that sometimes I got caught holding my thumbs up for trying to persuade him to succeed. Nor should I fail to mention Tuco's confrontation with his brother-priest. On paper, this serious, slightly sad conversation scene could bite with the general comic bookiness of this character, however, Wallachian managed to come out of the clash with a defensive hand.

The character who completes the triumvirate is "angry" Angel Eyes as interpreted by Lee Van Cleef. However, his new incarnation has absolutely nothing to do with the honorary Colonel Mortimer from the middle of the trilogy. Here, he plays the role of a ruthless bandit, who clearly enjoys bullying the weaker. Van Cleef has by far the least screen time of the three, but it is enough for him to create a memorable creation. Angel Eyes is not a very talkative type, but he still steals most of the scenes in which he appears. Especially memorable is the moment when Van Cleef's character behaves in a human way for the only time - he gives a bottle of whisky to a starving soldier - a real gem.
Title: Re: My two cents about the main trio
Post by: dave jenkins on December 22, 2020, 01:17:45 AM
Thanks for your comments. I'm not one of those who believes Eastwood plays the same character in all three films. For me the films take place in parallel universes in which we see 3 avatars, if you will, of a single soul. So there is partial continuity between the movies (the poncho, for example), but the stories aren't strictly sequential. However, if anyone wants to believe that the trilogy is essentially The Man With No Name Parts 1-3 (but in reverse chronological order) then more power to 'em. Given that approach, the comment you make about Blondie's character going through a change in GBU, when confronted by events therein, is interesting. I hadn't really thought about it before, but Clint's role in FOD does seem, as you say, a bit more cynical than the "younger" version he plays in GBU. Of course, on my view, this discrepancy need not be accounted for: they're different people.
Title: Re: My two cents about the main trio
Post by: Cusser on December 22, 2020, 06:02:53 AM
I never considered these films to be a trilogy.  Blondie with $100K in gold in 1863 would've way more than enough money to last out his entire life.

Even the money earned in FDM couldn't have evaporated to where he was reduced to having only an ugly horse/mule in Fistful of Dollars.

Besides: very few (except me) still have clothes from 2 decades ago !!!

Title: Re: My two cents about the main trio
Post by: dave jenkins on December 22, 2020, 07:17:26 AM
Besides: very few (except me) still have clothes from 2 decades ago !!!
I think people in the 19th Century had a different approach to clothing. If it was functional (and most things could be patched when necessary) then they continued wearing it. There was less of an imperative to buy the latest style. If you were rich, of course, it was a different matter--the wealthy were very style conscious. But 99% of the population had to get by on what little they had, which meant wearing things, in some cases, that were decades old.

OTOH, if you were as rich as Blondie was at the end of GBU, you would have been buying a new poncho every year.

The biggest question one has to ask regarding the notion of the 3 Dollars films being a continuous narrative is: What happened to Tuco? There's no way that Blondie could ride away with half of Tuco's gold and hope to spend the rest of his life enjoying it. Tuco has to come after him. We need to see GBU 2: Tuco's Revenge (AKA The Legend of Tuco's Gold) for an explanation. No doubt that will show how Blondie loses all his money but escapes with his life and then has to spend the rest of his days making a living as a bounty killer.

We also need a film to bridge FAFDM and FOD showing how Manco lost all his bounty money and met the first "Marisol."
Title: Re: My two cents about the main trio
Post by: Cusser on December 22, 2020, 11:59:52 AM
Agree that Blondie and Tuco would not buy neighboring ranches and live their lives in peace....