Long Netflix movies: 3. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)
Directed by Sergio Leone
Runtime: 2 hours, 58 minutes
It’s got gunfights. It’s got widescreen cinematography. It’s got a quest for Confederate gold. It’s got the Mexican standoff. What more could you want? Sergio Leone’s masterwork is simply astonishing, containing some of the most beautiful camerawork, editing, and sonic cues ever put to film. Set against the Civil War, three men (Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef) of varying backgrounds and personalities search the Southwest for two hundred thousand dollars in pure gold.
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly is responsible for solidifying Clint Eastwood as a bona fide star, bringing esteem and class to the Spaghetti Western genre, and making Sergio Leone a household name. However, a more timely reason to watch this movie is for its incredible score. The composer, Ennio Morricone, recently passed away, and this film contains a lot of his immediately recognizable work. “The Ecstasy of Gold” and the “Main Title” in particular codified a sonic landscape that evokes soul-searching intensity with a rustic honor.
This is no less than a must-see if there ever was one. You’ve absolutely seen its spoofs and references, but it’ll do you good to check out where it all started.