THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
(IL BUONO, IL BRUTTO, IL CATTIVO)
1966, Park Circus/MGM, 161 min, Italy, Spain, West Germany, Dir: Sergio Leone

From the opening whistle-and-whipcrack theme to the final images of a vast cemetery stretching almost to infinity, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY is surely one of the bloodiest, funniest and most wickedly entertaining portraits of human corruption ever made. Leone’s surreal masterpiece of the American West during the last days of the Civil War follows a trio of equally violent and unrepentant gunslingers (Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef) who engage in a jaw-dropping series of double and triple crosses to get their hands on a fortune in stolen Confederate gold.


THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE
1962, Paramount, 119 min, Dir: John Ford

James Stewart and John Wayne represent opposing but equally necessary forces in John Ford’s great late Western: Stewart is an unassuming lawyer who rises to political prominence as he civilizes the West, while Wayne is the man of violent action rendered obsolete by the passage of time. Vera Miles co-stars as the woman both men love, with additional support from Lee Marvin, Lee Van Cleef, Woody Strode and John Carradine.


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