Buono, il Brutto, il Cattivo, Il (1966, ITA/SPA) C-178m. SCOPE *** D: Sergio Leone. Starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach, Aldo Giuffrè, Luigi Pistilli, Rada Rassimov, Aldo Sambrell, Mario Brega, Frank Brana, Romano Puppo. Conclusion of Leone's DOLLARI trilogy is the ultimate cult western, if not cult movie: Lonesome cowboy Eastwood, Mexican bandit Wallach and cunning villain Van Cleef are contending for a gold loot, whose whereabouts are only partially known to them. Amid the confusions of Civil War, each of them tries to get the last laugh on the others. Probably the most influential western, cool, funny, with some rich historic flavor and unforgettable performances (especially Wallach's). Ennio Morricone's superbly orchestrated score also features moviedom's most often-quoted theme tune. Film's only fault is overlength. Superb cinematography by Tonino delli Colli. Director Leone perfected his style and storytelling in the haunting follow-up C'ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST (1969). Cut to 161m. for foreign release, restored to 178m. for 2003 DVD re-release (with Eastwood and Wallach dubbing their lines). English title: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

© Ron Altman