The Good The Bad And The Ugly (1966) is based on a story about two bounty hunters and a Mexican bandit: Angel Eyes (The Bad), Blondie (The Good), and Tuco (The Ugly). The Man with No name or known as Blondie came to terms with Tuco to turn him over to the local authority for bounty and he would do the job of cutting the rope of gallows. They divide the bounty money into half.
Tuco agrees to run the risk of taking the rope around his neck while Blondie agrees to cut the rope by shooting. They later joined together against another bounty hunter who was going after the 200,000 dollars hidden in a grave in the Sad Hill cemetery.
Starred and acted by Clint Eastwood (as Man with No Name or Blondie) Eli Wallach (as Tuco of the Rat) Lee Van Cleef (as Sergeant Sentenza/Angel Eyes) and Aldo Giuffré (as Union Captain), and directed by Sergio Leone, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966) is one of 100 best films of 100 years in my list.
However, after the second rescue Blondie parted with Tuco, hands tied, and left him alone in the middle of the Albuquerque desert, where he decided to avenge Blondie’s betrayal. Survived, he reached a nearby town and robbed a gun from a gun shop.
Later Tuco tracked Blondie down and took him captive when he was aiming for cutting the rope of a criminal being hanged from the tree, and led him to the desert. He made Blondie go without food or water at the gunpoint in the scorching heat. Treated him deplorably.
The moment Tuco raised his gun to kill Blondie in the middle of the desert he notices a horse-driven cart approaching through the track. He ambushed and stopped the cart. He found all the passengers dead except Bill Carson, the man with an eyepatch. Bill asked for water in exchange for 200,000 dollars in gold. It belonged to the 3rd cavalry of General Sibley. Bill told him that he hid the gold in a safe in a cemetery in the Sad Hill.
However, Bill could not tell the number or name of the grave. When Tuco left Carson for water frantically, Blondie appeared before Bill Carson and obtained the name of the grave, and Bill died before Tuco got back. Blondie told Tuco that if he keeps him alive he will lead him to the grave.
Tuco knows the place of the grave, as Blondie knows the name of the grave among the thousands of graves in the cemetery. Their liaison took form. They promised each other to divide the money 20/20. Tuco took the name of Bill Carson along with his eyepatch. Because Bill happened to be a Corporal of the Confederacy.
In the meantime, Angel Eyes, a Sergeant of Blue shirts, who was involved in robbing the prisoners was another bounty hunter and was looking for Jackson, who was on the escape and hiding among the grey shirts under Bill Carson. Angel Eye went after Bill Carson’s gold box.
Made up with each other they headed for the Sad Hill while they were captured from Apache Canyon by General Canby’s soldiers and had been taken prisoners of war to Batterville where Angel Eyes was waiting for Bill Carson.
Set during the American Civil War, The Good The Bad and The Ugly (1966) is one of the best films, of the Western genre. The film also portrayed the brutal fight between Confederate rebels (Grey shirts) led by Henry Hopkins Sibley and Northerners (blue shirts), the Union, led by General Edward Canby.
As Sergeant Angel Eyes realized that Tuco took the name of Bill Carson, he began torturing him to elicit information about Bill Carson. Tuco confessed that before he died Bill Carson said the 200,000 dollars is hidden inside a grave in the Sad Hill cemetery and told that only Blondie knows the name of the grave.
Angel Eyes made a pact with Blondie that he is to accompany him to the cemetery now that Angel Eyes knows the name of the cemetery and Blondie the name of the grave. Tuco was sent away with corporal Wallace with the prisoners by a train. However, he fled from the train by killing Wallace and ended up crossing the path of Blondie and Angel Eyes’ accomplices.
Blondie wished to join Tuco to get money if they can rid of Angel Eyes’ men. They managed to kill him men, but he fled. On their way to the cemetery. But the problem is that they have to cross the Branston Bridge, on both sides of which were the troops of the Union and the Confederate. Soon they were captured by the Union troops.
Once captured, they pretended to join the Union. They planned to destroy the bridge so as to make their passage easy. They thought if they had destroyed the bridge, the rebels and the Union troops will transfer to a different place. Eventually, that was what happened.
Finally, Tuco reached the cemetery. Confused to see the thousands of graves he made a few rounds inside the cemetery before he finally stumbled to a grave indicated Arche Stanton, a name he got from Blondie. Blondie appeared with a spade and Angel Eyes also while Tuco busied digging the grave. Obviously, he was digging the wrong grave. Because Blondie gave him the wrong name.
There Blondie proposed that they must earn the money by elimination shoot-out where Blondie killed Angel Eyes, which made Tuco and Blondie the sharers of the money.
Then Blondie took him to a grave singed Unknown, beside Arch Stanton’s grave. He made him dig out eight bags of coins. But, just about the moment Tuco lovingly caressed the money with joy he noticed a rope noose hanging from the tree. Utterly shocked Tuco thought Blondie was joking. But his misconception fled when Blondie forced him to put his head in the noose.
Standing on the wooden cross Tuco put his head in the noose. Blondie tied his hands backward. Then he mounted his share of the money on the horse and left the gravesite and left half of the money for Tuco while he was hanging in the balance.
Despite Tuco’s heartbreaking appeal to release him, Blondie disappeared in the mountainside, and again re-appeared to cut him down the rope. From afar Blondie shot the rope and Tuco fell on a bag of money. After that, Blondie’s image had melted away into the vastness of the hills gradually.
As always, Western is my favourite genre. I liked The Good The Bad And The Ugly (1966) in the sense that greed has no race. One of the disturbing aspects of the film was the unmindful killing of each other by Northerners and Southerners.
Observing the scene of war, Blondie expressed to Tuco, “I’ve never seen so many people so wasted.” The opportunistic sergeants like Angel Eyes of the Union must had had disgraced its uniform by bringing personal greed into the scene.
I liked the fact that, when Tuco was looking for an infirmary to treat sick Blondie one of the grey shirts Sergeants suggest to take to San Antonio mission where, “The brothers take care of any wounded, whatever the colour of his uniform.” While the country was torn apart by war, some sacrificial came forward to help the wounded. Strangely, the Father of the mission was the younger brother of Tuco.
Of his parents’ children, one became a bandit while the other a Father. Tuco argued with him that he must not feel better than him. Because as a bandit his work is harder than his, while he could not follow in his footstep because he was a coward.
Clint Eastwood as Blondie and Eli Wallach as Tuco did the acting brilliantly. Lee Van Clef’s brutal activities added an extra thrill to the film. I believe the cinema lovers find the film riveting.