(aka "Le bon, la brute et le truand" or "Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo" or "Zwei glorreiche Halunken")

directed by Sergio Leone
Italy 1966

Arguable one of the best Westerns ever made, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” is Leone’s first masterpiece. Having invented the spaghetti-western a few years prior by virtually copying Akira Kurosawa’s “Yojimbo” frame by frame as “A Fistful of Dollars” to such a degree that Toho sued him, Leone used the spaghetti-western as a form to attack the, in Leone’s opinion, dominating morality of American Puritanism.

 

In order to do so, Leone re-invited the genre. By re-examination the last days of the “West”, an American torn apart by civil war, about to be civilized by the railroad, his protagonist was “the man without a name”, a mythical figure raised by the American spirit, but without the crippling morality: It was in “A Fistful of Dollars” that we saw a gun fired and the bullet hitting its target in the same frame, a presentation originally forbidden by MPAA. The fact that Eastwood's character ("The Man without a Name") is a criminal, who robs and lies, and yet is the hero, with whom we sympathize, marked a significant change in the paradigm in the Western. The characters in Leone’s Westerns are selfish and completely without any moral: Sentenza shoots Stevens and his son in cold blood, then takes his money and goes and kills Baker, and “Joe” (Eastwood) backstabs Tuco for no reason.

 

Re-inventing the genre, Leone re-invented the imagery. “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” is full of almost surreal imagery: the ghost towns, the lonely house in the middle of nowhere, the huge cemeteries, the trenches: all noting upon the films central motif: Death. Where lonely houses or settlements aren’t unusual in Westerns, they are normally surrounded by lifestock or fields: In the Westerns of Leone, they are surrounded by dry land. Notice the opening sequence: broken down wagons, broken barrels, torn posters – all suggesting decay and an end. We are likewise constantly introduced to imagery of noses, guns, cemeteries and dead people. It if wasn't for the films boyish humour, this would very well be the most depressing and bleakest Western by Leone.

 

As an extension of re-inventing the genre, Leone also re-invented frame compositions: not only transitions between extreme close-ups and extreme long shots, but he introduced the now iconographic Leone close up (EECU – Eyes Only), on which Eastwood once joked, “in those days I was such a bad actor, they only shot by eyes.” The cinematography of Colli is breathtaking in its use of scope and how it composes in space. Another Leone element is snailcrawling pace: All his Westerns are incredible slow. Where the tendency in American Westerns moved towards a faster pace and more graphical killings (especially by Sam Peckinpah), Leone did the exact opposite. His Westerns spends eons of time, before a sudden shooting.

 

As revisionism, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” stands directly opposite Leone’s other seminal Western, “Once Upon a Time in the West”, with its cynical view on both the genre and the west, full of humour and pathos. Where “Once Upon a Time in the West” is serious and full of drama, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” has the same tone as films like “Gunga-Din”, full of boyish action and often corny humour: Actually, there are many similarities between “Gunga-Din” and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”. Nevertheless Leone is able to set a serious tone by his motif of decay – and present the most impressive composed show-down in any Western. 

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 23, 1966

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

NOTE: The Man With No Name Trilogy on Blu-ray Reviewed HERE

Comparison:

MGM (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL vs. MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM Home Entertainment (Extended Version Collector's Set) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Fox Pathe Europa - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Mathias Nielsen and Henrik Sylow for all the SD-DVD Screen Caps!

1) MGM (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM Home Entertainment (Extended Version Collector's Set) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Fox Pathe Europa - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

   

   

   

We can assume the MGM US release will have the exact same transfer:

Distribution

MGM

Region 2 - PAL

MGM Home Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM Home Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC
Fox Pathe Europa
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 2:51:14 (4% PAL speedup) 2:42:14 2:58:24 2:58:41.669
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: N/A mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.29:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.62 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

2.31:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.62 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Feature: 41,377,056,768 bytes

Disc Size:  47,810,187,355 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 30.87 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

MGM PAL

NOT AVAILABLE

Bitrate:

MGM Home Entertainment

Bitrate:

 

MGM Home Entertainment (Extended Version Collector's Set)

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1, German Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1 1.0 English, 1.0 French, 1.0 Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 English, 1.0 Italian mono

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2887 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2887 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps /
24-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1
/ 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Japanese 768 kbps 5.1
/ 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Hungarian 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 224 kbps 2.0
/ 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Turkish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps

Subtitles French, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, Portuguese, Polish, Greek, Hebrew, Turkish, Czech, Slovenian, Croatian, Romanian, none English, French, Spanish, None English, French, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, None English, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian , Slovenian, Swedish, Turkish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with Writer and Critic Richard Schickel
• Leone's West - Documentary
• The Leone Style - Documentary
• The Man Who Lost the Civil War - Documentary
• Restoring The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Featurette
• The Socorro Sequence: A Reconstruction - Animated Gallery of Missing Sequences
• Extended Tuco Torture Scene
• Il Maestro - Featurette
• Il Maestro, Part 2 - Audio Featurette
• French Trailer
• Poster Gallery

DVD Release Date: April 26, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 32

 

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 2.29:1

Edition Details:
• Deleted scenes (14:24)
• 1 - Setenza visits rebel fort (4:48)
• 2 - Taco taunts Blondie in the dunes (2:23)
• 3 - Night state stop for Taco and Blondie (1:48)
• 4 - On the trail (1:05)
• 5 - Blondie meets Setenza's gang (2:25)
• 6 - Talk in the trenches (1:07)
• 7 - Surgery and stringing wires (0:48)
• Original US trailer (3:25)
• ...
• All extra presented in non 16x9. Deleted scenes are in Italian with English subtitles
• ...
• 4-page insert

DVD Release Date: June 5, 2001
Amaray

Chapters 64
 

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 2.31:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by Richard Schickel
• Disc 2 (80:54)
• Leone's West (19:53)
• The Leone's Style (27:43)
• The Man who lost the Civil War (14:22)
• Reconstructing 'The good, the bad, the ugly' (11:08)
• Il Maestro: Ennio Morricone and 'The good, the bad, the ugly' (7:48)
• Deleted scenes
• - Extended Toco torture scene (7:15)
• - The Socorro sequence (3:02 reconstructed)
• - French trailer (3:30) and US trailer (3:20)
• Poster Gallery (8 posters)
• 5 relief printed reproductions of posters (Italian, French, US, Chinese and German)
• Original Sound Track cover (CD size)
• 8-page booklet

 

DVD Release Date: May 18, 2004
Special Box

Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio:
Fox Pathe Europa

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Feature: 41,377,056,768 bytes

Disc Size:  47,810,187,355 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 30.87 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by Richard Schickel
• Leone's West (19:53)
• The Leone's Style (27:43)
• The Man who Lost the Civil War (14:22)
• Reconstructing 'The good, the bad, the ugly' (11:08)
• Il Maestro: Ennio Morricone and 'The good, the bad, the ugly'parts 1 + 2 (7:48)
• Deleted scenes
• Extended Toco torture scene (7:15)
• The Socorro sequence (3:02 reconstructed)
• Unrestored US trailer IN HD! (3:20)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: April 15th, 2009
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 32

 

Comments NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION - Region FREE Blu-ray - April 09': Firstly, this is the French Blu-ray edition and IS Region FREE (as verified by my Momitsu player) but many things lead me to believe it will be EXACTLY the same as the US MGM Blu-ray disc coming out on May 15th, 2009 - except for the French language packaging. It's region-free and main menus are in English. This is probably the only edition that will be available and it is 'international' with plenty of subtitle and some DUB options. Finally, the disc takes up almost 48 Gig of the available, dual-layered, 50 and I can't see a US version extending beyond that. No, I'm fairly certain this will be the same transfer as on the US Blu-ray. We will compare but I'm not expecting any surprises. So, let's take a look at this...

How does it look? Well the 'Extended' DVD was quite strong, but, of course, this high-definition transfer exceeds it in most visual categories. Detail is only marginally better but where I noticed the greatest improvement is the absence of prominent artifacts that exist in the SD-DVDs (ex. the sky in the desert capture below.) The color scheme seems to support both the 'Extended' and the PAL 'SD' but is somewhat warmer without green/yellow infiltration. Black levels are deeper with contrast better defined and there is a marginally more information in the frame. The comparative captures may not indicate the advancement that many fans were hoping, but in motion this looks quite good and we've added some further stills at the bottom to help support the Blu-ray appearance. I should state that any improvement that exists here will be solely dependant on the system that you view it - the larger - the more advanced the superiority over the DVD. In the end it's a 43 year-old film and even with the strong cleaning and restoration - the image is at the mercy of original production. Mostly this looks as expected - no gloss, a dusty, grittier, and sometimes an even duller, look but the frequent absence of grain makes one think momentarily of DNR (Digital Noise Reduction). While I suspect it in some scenes it is absent throughout most and if it was applied - wasn't blanketed. It represents a 'flatter' look than A Fistful of Dollars on Blu-ray - a film made only 2 years earlier.

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2887 kbps seems to show more depth than its DVD counterpart but the mix won't blow the windows out although the segments with canon-fire were fairly aggressive. Ennio Morricone's iconic score is as haunting as ever an the available Italian track is 2.0 channel - not mono as on the DVD.

Nothing new, or Blu-ray exclusive with the extras - they repeat the MGM extended with the commentaries, deleted scenes and the interesting documentaries. The trailers are unrestored and in HD!   

Gary Tooze

****

ADDITION May 2005: MGM - PAL DVD - The R2 UK lacks the original Italian mono, but features German and French DD 5.1 instead. The color palette matches that of the Region 1 Extended version and the PAL may be negligibly sharper. A good disc aside from the loss of the Italian audio.

The extras appears to be the same as the R1 extended and the this edition contains a booklet as well, but again the R2 lacks the "5 relief printed reproductions of posters and the Original Sound Track cover".

****


 

The Extended Version Collector's Set DVD is simply impressive. Beautifully presented, fat and balanced colours, great 5.1 sound, along with the original 1.0 Italian mono for the purists. Add to that a very insightful commentary. I only all DVDs were presented like this.

A second DVD is full with additional material. Starting with 80-minutes of newly produced documentaries reflection upon the many aspects of this film, it also presents us with 2 deleted scenes, reconstructed as material was damaged or lost.

While the two versions differ 16 minutes 5 seconds, most of the newly inserted material is present on the MGM DVD from 2001 in form of deleted scenes. An example of a deleted scene from the 2001 DVD and its present form on the 2004 DVD is shown above in the menu section. Where the deleted scenes are in Italian, the restored and inserted scenes have been newly dubbed by the actors. It is strange to watch the new version, when one has seen the "original" so many times, and the some of the new scenes do feel abrupt. Personally, I am holding on to my "original" version, as the two versions are so different.

Another significant difference about the 2004 DVD is the frame of the image. While some scenes are cropped up to 4%, some scenes reveals more image than the 2001. So this cropping may be a side effect of some sort of scanning.

* NOTE: The posters are taken from the DVD's poster gallery.

 - Henrik Sylow

From a very cursory glance - the new versions skin tones are VERY red and the older version has a yellowish tinge to the image.

Gary Tooze

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (UPDATE) - Now that I have seen the three-hour film print, I have discovered that the actual film restoration is a true restoration and far, far superior to this DVD set. Though still not a three-strip Technicolor print, the lack of grain, color consistency and lack of redness on the print are impressive. The DVD is a poor representation of how saved and upgraded the film is. If a dye-transfer source could be found, all Sony/MGM would need to do is matrix the print into the three strips if the Technicolor format was revived and use a theoretical old Technicolor print in pristine shape to change and recreate the color. As for the sound, the theater showed it in Dolby SR, but I heard sound and fullness NOT on the DVD's Dolby 5.1 mix, so the sound mix is actually better too. I grossly underestimated how downtraded the DVD set was and now that Sony has delayed the previous DOLLARS films in the U.S. market, they should reissue all three as DTS Superbit Deluxe titles and do the stunning
restoration work proper justice. That should extend to DUCK, YOU SUCKER aka A FISTFUL OF DYNAMITE, which they also had saved and fixed. Now I want to see a new print of Paramount's ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST to compare!

Nicholas Sheffo from FulvueDrive-In.com

 


DVD Menus

(MGM (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. MGM Home Entertainment (Extended Version Collector's Set) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

Blu-ray extras:

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) MGM (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM Home Entertainment (Extended Version Collector's Set) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Fox Pathe Europa - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 


Screen Captures

1) MGM (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM Home Entertainment (Extended Version Collector's Set) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Fox Pathe Europa - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM Home Entertainment (Extended Version Collector's Set) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Fox Pathe Europa - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM Home Entertainment (Extended Version Collector's Set) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Fox Pathe Europa - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) MGM (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) MGM Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM Home Entertainment (Extended Version Collector's Set) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Fox Pathe Europa - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

More Blu-ray captures

 

NOTE: The Man With No Name Trilogy on Blu-ray Reviewed HERE


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray
Menu: Blu-ray

Recommended Reading for Western Genre Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

Check out more in "The Library"


 

Recommended Books on Italian Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

DVD Box Covers

   

   

   

We can assume the MGM US release will have the exact same transfer:

Distribution

MGM

Region 2 - PAL

MGM Home Entertainment

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM Home Entertainment
Region 1 - NTSC
Fox Pathe Europa
Region FREE -
Blu-ray



 

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