To celebrate the re-release of this classic Spagehetti Western, Movies.ie presents 10 Things you didn
Sergio Leone’s classic ’66 Spaghetti Western ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’, makes a welcome return to the big screen this weekend in a fully restored and extended version.
In it, we follow Blondie (Clint Eastwood) and Tuco (Eli Wallach), two gunmen who admire each other professionally but dislike each other personally. Encountering a group of dying soldiers, Tuco learns the location of the graveyard where a Confederate treasure is buried, while Blondie learns the identity of the exact grave. Joined by mercenary drifter Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef), they cross the desert, each of the desperadoes knowing half the secret and each focusing his squinty eyes on the $200,000 bounty…
To celebrate the re-release, Movies.ie presenst ten good, bad and ugly trivia factoids about the film.
(1) In the theatrical trailer, Angel Eyes is “The Ugly” and Tuco “The Bad,” which is the reverse of their designations in the actual film. This is because the Italian title translated into English is actually The Good, the Ugly, the Bad, not The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and the Italian trailer had “The Ugly” and “The Bad” in that order.
(2) After Eli Wallach agreed with Sergio Leone that Tuco would carry his pistol on a lanyard, the director asked him to grasp the gun by shaking his neck, thus making the gun land in his hand. Wallach claimed that he wasn’t able to do the intended action, and asked Leone to demonstrate it. When Leone tried, the pistol missed the director’s hand and hit his crotch. Leone then told Wallach to hold the gun in the belt.
(3)The price of gold in 1862 was US$20.672 an ounce. As of 4 September 2006 it is US$628.10 an ounce. So, by today’s standards, the $200,000 Tuco, Angel Eyes and Blondie are after would be worth $6,076,867.50.
(3) Because Sergio Leone spoke barely any English and Eli Wallach spoke barely any Italian, the two communicated in French.
(4) Sergio Leone first had Gian Maria Volontè in mind as “The Ugly”.
(5) The three principal actors are the only ones who speak actual English in the film: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach, with the exceptions of Al Mulock (the one-armed man) and John Bartha (the sheriff). Everyone else in the film is really speaking their native language, mostly Italian and Spanish, and was later dubbed into English.
(6) During the scene right before the final duel where Tuco (Eli Wallach) is running frantically through the cemetery, a dog can be seen running on-screen at the beginning of the scene. In reality, that was improvised on the spot. Sergio Leone, who was afraid that the scene was going to slip into melodrama, released the dog without informing Eli Wallach first – thus, his look of surprise is quite genuine.
(7) Ennio Morricone’s iconic theme music was designed in places to mimic the sound of crying hyena.
(8) The film was shot with a process called Techniscope. This process means that you can shoot without an anamorphic lens, and only use half as much film as you would normally use. The Techniscope process places two widescreen frames on a single 35 mm frame.
(9) Orson Welles warned Sergio Leone not to make this movie on the grounds that Civil War pictures were box office poison.
(10) There is no dialog for the first 10-1/2 minutes of the film.
‘The Good, the bad and the Ugly’ is in selected cinemas from Friday, August 22nd.