June 2, 2014

Saturday night was a chance to see a movie that I had not seen in years.

Decided to watch Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name and the spaghetti Western The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

What struck me on viewing was the music by Ennio Morricone and how it adds greatly to the film.   I can hear traces of other movies like The Untouchables and The Mission there which were later done by him.    But it is simply a great score and makes it a much better viewing experience.

The movie is long and you can feel it.   It takes its’ time but there is good development there and a story that moves it all along as one mercenary after another searches for one another and the buried treasure.   IMDB says that the $200K of gold that they were seeking in 2010 dollars would be worth $10MM.

Clint is very good and has some excellent one liners.   Van Cleef plays sinister very well with an unsympathetic villain who will do whatever is necessary to find the gold.   Finally there is Eli Wallach (remarkably still alive as of today!)   He is so very good here, and plays that scoundrel who manipulates and lives for himself looking to gain an upper hand somehow and somewhere.    I had forgotten how funny that this movie was.   There are some good one liners and despite the obvious dubbing for everyone but the three main characters, it does not take away from the film.

I can see how some aspects of story and filming were later borrowed by Clint as a Director for Unforgiven.     This movie shows how the criminal search for treasure film can work and be done simply.    Not fancy sets.  No extensive dialog and in fact I think that there was a motivation to have them say as little as possible.

An evening well spent for when there was no hockey on.   I will catch the latest episode of Turn tonight.

P.S. This movie was released in 1966.   Scary to think that 48 years have passed.  But it still holds up very well.

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