THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (Extended Version)
(IL BUONO, IL BRUTTO, IL CATTIVO)
1966, MGM/Park Circus, 179 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 & 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 jawdropping series of double- and triple-crosses to get their hands on a fortune in stolen Confederate gold.


THE GRAND DUEL
IL GRANDE DUELLO
1973, Blue Underground, 98 min, Italy, Dir: Giancarlo Santi

Bloodthirsty bounty hunters are bunching up around the Gila Bend hideout of convicted murderer - or is he? - Peter O’Brien, but ex-lawman Lee Van Cleef has another candidate for the Patriarch’s killer. Former Antonioni/Leone assistant director Santi riffs on the style of the Maestro. Another of Tarantino’s 20 favorite spaghetti Westerns. In English.


DJANGO
1966, Arrow Films, 91 min, Italy/Spain, Dir: Sergio Corbucci

As the first notes ring out from Luis Bacalov’s iconic theme song, dark-clad, blazingly blue-eyed Franco Nero enters dragging a coffin through the inches-thick mud of a crummy town fought over by ex-Confederate soldiers and Mexican Revolutionaries. Director Sergio Corbucci easily could have followed the spaghetti Western template created by Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood, but instead he and Franco pushed things into a more subversive, political and violent direction. This is the original of at least 30 official and unofficial sequels, and Quentin Tarantino lists this film as No. 3 in his 20 favorite spaghetti Westerns (RESERVOIR DOGS’ infamous ear-cutting scene was a direct reference).


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