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Once upon a Time in Widescreen: The Films of Sergio Leone

Saturday, October 13, 2007
8:15 p.m. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Sergio Leone (Italy, 1967)

Restored Print!

(Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo). The conclusion of the "Dollars" trilogy, this unrivaled oater about an elusive cache of Confederate coins and the three reckless rawhiders who try to find it is Leone in full reign of his steed. The intricacies of the duplicity dealt these desperadoes in a Texas ravaged by the Civil War push the film from saddle-sore Western to full Wagnerian horse opera. Clint Eastwood is back as Blondie, his signature poncho no worse for wear. This time he's partnered with Tuco (Eli Wallach), a brutal bandito who delivers lines faster than a Gatling gun. Crossing (and double-crossing) their path is Lee Van Cleef, now a cold-blooded opportunist who's set his sights on the same spoils. With a marksman's eye, Leone perfects violence as kinetic composition, creating pleasure from the precise alignment of men and their guns. But he also has Morricone's stylish score and the darkest gallows humor this side of Tombstone, so you can be sure The G, The B and The U always shoots from the hip.

—Steve Seid

• Written by Leone, Luciano Vincenzoni, from a story by Age, Scarpelli, Leone, Vincenzoni. Photographed by Tonino Delli Colli. Music by Ennio Morricone. With Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef. (179 mins, Color, 'Scope, 35mm, From MGM)