The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

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Critic Consensus: Arguably the greatest of the spaghetti westerns, this epic features a compelling story, memorable performances, breathtaking landscapes, and a haunting score.

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Movie Info

In the last and the best installment of his so-called "Dollars" trilogy of Sergio Leone-directed "spaghetti westerns," Clint Eastwood reprised the role of a taciturn, enigmatic loner. Here he searches for a cache of stolen gold against rivals the Bad (Lee Van Cleef), a ruthless bounty hunter, and the Ugly (Eli Wallach), a Mexican bandit. Though dubbed "the Good," Eastwood's character is not much better than his opponents -- he is just smarter and shoots faster. The film's title reveals its ironic attitude toward the canonized heroes of the classical western. "The real West was the world of violence, fear, and brutal instincts," claimed Leone. "In pursuit of profit there is no such thing as good and evil, generosity or deviousness; everything depends on chance, and not the best wins but the luckiest." Immensely entertaining and beautifully shot in Techniscope by Tonino Delli Colli, the movie is a virtually definitive "spaghetti western," rivaled only by Leone's own Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). The main musical theme by Ennio Morricone hit #1 on the British pop charts. Originally released in Italy at 177 minutes, the movie was later cut for its international release. ~ Yuri German, Rovi

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Cast

Clint Eastwood
as Man With No Name
Lee Van Cleef
as Angel Eyes
Luigi Pistilli
as Father Pablo
Aldo Giuffre
as Alcoholic Union Captain
Mario Brega
as Cpl. Wallace
Claudio Scarchilli
as Mexican Peon
Enzo Petito
as Storekeeper
Antonio Casale
as Jackson / Bill Carson
Sandro Scarchilli
as Mexican Peon
Benito Stefanelli
as Member of Angel Eyes' Gang
John Bartha
as Sheriff
Chelo Alonso
as Stevens' Wife (uncredited)
Aldo Sambrell
as Member of Angel Eyes' Gang
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Critic Reviews for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

All Critics (68) | Top Critics (13)

All three arrive at the cache at the same time. Who gets it? Director Leone doesn't seem to care very much, and after 161 minutes of mayhem, audiences aren't likely to either.

Full Review… | August 11, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The third in the Clint Eastwood series of Italo westerns, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is exactly that -- a curious amalgam of the visually striking, the dramatically feeble and the offensively sadistic.

Full Review… | July 22, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

Though ordained from the beginning, the three-way showdown that climaxes the film is tense and thoroughly astonishing.

Full Review… | March 28, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Sergio Leone's grandiose 1966 western epic is nothing less than a masterclass in movie storytelling, a dynamic testament to the sheer, invigorating uniqueness of cinema.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Sergio Leone's epic looks good, almost great, restored to its original running time.

June 8, 2004
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Of all the great films of the 1960s, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is one of a fistful that can be truly appreciated only on the big screen.

September 11, 2003
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

One of the best films I ever saw!. Fresh.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Leone reaches the level of absolute perfection in this third film of his Dollar Trilogy, a magnificent Spaghetti Western - arguably the best of them all - that features fantastic performances, an unforgettable score and a sublime, breathtaking cinematography.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Three outlaws pursue a cache of gold hidden in a grave. While canonical, this film is oddly structured with its inciting incident pushed to an hour and fifteen minutes into its three-hour run time. What the film is saying about goodness (or ugliness or badness) is unclear as the "good" is just as bad as the "ugly," but I can imagine that it's attempting to show that morality is more contextual than absolute, creating, as it does, an environment in which everybody is immoral even the Union and Confederate troops, who seem to be passing through this film on their way to another. Beautifully shot and operatic in scope, the filmmaking is remarkable even if the story-telling is perplexing. Overall, this classic western isn't bad or good or ugly, just moderately interesting.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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