During the American Civil War, three men hunt the American Southwest in quest of a strongbox holding $200,000 in stolen gold: a calm loner, a brutal hit man, and a Mexican bandit.
Sergio Leone‘s 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly stars Clint Eastwood as “the Good,” Lee Van Cleef as “the Bad,” and Eli Wallach as “the Ugly.”
[The script was written by Age & Scarpelli, Luciano Vincenzoni, and Leone (with extra screenplay material and dialogue given by an uncredited Sergio Donati), and was based on a tale by Vincenzoni and Leone.
Photographic director Tonino Delli Colli was in charge of the film’s sweeping widescreen cinematography, while Ennio Morricone created the soundtrack, which included the film’s primary theme. It is a production led by Italy, with co-producers from Spain, West Germany, and the United States.
Leone’s use of long views and close-up photography, as well as his trademark use of violence, tension, and stylized gunfights, distinguish the picture. The story centres around three gunslingers striving for wealth in a buried stash of Confederate treasure amid the violent turmoil of the American Civil War (particularly, the New Mexico Campaign in 1862), while engaging in several fights and duels along the way. The picture marked Leone and Clint Eastwood’s third collaboration and their second with Lee Van Cleef.
Following A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was advertised as the third and final installment of the Dollars Trilogy. The picture was a box office hit, generating more than $25 million, and is credited with catapulting Eastwood to prominence. Due to widespread disdain of the Spaghetti Western genre at the time, the critical reaction to the picture was mixed at its initial release, but it eventually received critical recognition.