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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(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-invinted 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 23rd, 1966

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino Lorber - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime Theatrical Cut: 2:42:20.564       
Video

2.35:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD
Disc Size: 95,729,679,867 bytes

Feature: 81,024,144,496 bytes
Video Bitrate: 59.20 Mbps
Codec:
HEVC Video

 

Included Blu-ray (also the Theatrical Cut):

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Feature: 47,633,677,466 bytes

Disc Size:  39,308,617,728 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 26.73 Mbps

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2163 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2163 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1558 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1558 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 160 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 160 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

2.35:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD
Disc Size: 95,729,679,867 bytes

Feature: 81,024,144,496 bytes
Video Bitrate: 59.20 Mbps
Codec:
HEVC Video

 

Edition Details on 4K Ultra:

  New Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tim Lucas

  Deleted scenes from the extended version - 17:58

 

Blu-ray

  New Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tim Lucas

  Deleted scenes from the extended version - 17:58
•  Trailers From Hell with Ernest Dickerson (3:24)
•  Restored 1967 UA Logo
•  Alternate Scene: The Optical Flip (0:52)
•  Deleted Scene 1: Skeletons in the Desert (1:03)
•  Deleted Scene 2: Extended Torture Scene (1:03)
•  GBU on the: animated behind-the-scenes image gallery (8:24)
•  Promoting GBU: Posters & Lobby Cards animated image gallery (9:05)
•  Sergio Leone Westerns: Original Theatrical Trailers (3:22)
•  Leone's West: Making Of Documentary (19:55)
•  Il Maestro: Ennio Morricone and GBU Featurette Part 1 (7:48)
•  Il Maestro: Ennio Morricone and GBU Featurette Part 2 (12:26)
•  The Leone Style: On Sergio Leone Featurette (23:48)
•  The Man Who Lost The Civil War: Civil War Documentary (14:24)
•  Reconstruction GBU (11:09)
•  Deleted Scene 1: Extended Tuco Torture scene (7:15)
•  Deleted Scene 2: The Socorro Sequence - A Reconstruction (3:02)
•  Vignette 1: Uno, Due, Tre (0:40)
•  Vignette 2: Italian Lunch (0:43)
•  Vignette 3: New York Accent (0:09)
•  Vignette 4: Gun in Holster (0:58)
•  Original French Theatrical Trailer (3:30)

•  Reversible Art


4K Ultra HD Release Date:
April 27th, 2021
Standard 4K Ultra HD Case inside slipcase

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Kino 4K UHD (April 2021): Kino Lorber have released a new 2-disc set of "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly". The first disc features the original US Theatrical Cut of the film on a 4K UHD with the film taking up over 80 GB of the 100GB capacity of the storage. It does NOT have any HDR applied.

The lack of HDR10, HDR10+, or Dolby Vision makes this a fascinating package. The image looks stellar - significantly better than Kino's own Blu-ray from 2017 (compared by DVDBeaver HERE) - that was, heavily, criticized for its heavy golden palette. The bitrate is much higher than any digital release of the film, and the improved detail (thanks to more information in the UHD's 3840/2160 pixels) tightens the visuals, especially when viewing the film on a large screen or projector. It is impressive. A heftier contrast helps to show a wider range, and depth, of colors. The 4K UHD and Blu-ray (both with new 2021 transfers) picture now has a much more consistent tone, without the previous 2017 release's emphasis on the cold/blue tint, also without being bathed in a yellow/golden haze as it was in a previous version.

NOTE: 60 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

Audio options are the same; 5.1 or dual-mono DTS-HD Masters from the last Kino Blu-ray (reviewed HERE), with the mono being my preferred choice. The score by iconic Ennio Morricone (Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion, The Fifth Cord, Luna, A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) sounds amazing in the lossless. Kino include optional English subtitles on their Region FREE 4K UHD disc.

Extras seem to be identical to Kino's previous Blu-ray release (minus the Extended Cut and its commentaries.) We will report on more detail about this soon. The 4K UHD disc also includes the 17:58 minutes of deleted scenes (from the extended version), which appear to also have this new, improved color scheme restoration. The included second disc features the Theatrical Cut of the film on a standard, dual-layered, Blu-ray, also with this new transfer. The extended version is not here, although the added footage can be accessed via deleted scenes (which also appear to have this newer 2021 transfer!). Fans will hope the Extended Cut will get a similar impressive 4K UHD transfer soon.

Colin Zavitz

 


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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 FOURTH

5) US Theatrical - Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray FIFTH

6) Kino Lorber - Region FREE - 4K UHD  BOTTOM

 


 

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1) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino Lorber - Region FREE - 4K UHD  BOTTOM

 

 

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Distribution Kino Lorber - Region FREE - 4K UHD


 


 

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