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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1967)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Film historian Richard Schickel Rating:5.5/10 (12 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Lurch on June 16th, 2004:Find all reviews by Lurch
An extremely disappointing track.

I actually didn't mind Shickel's commentary that appeared on another Sergio Leone film, but here (Which is quite an entirely different movie) Shickel just seems lost and unsure of what to say most of the time. And what he does say doesn't fulfill fans wishes. Nor will it provoke interest for viewers who are new to the film and the genre it represents.

I've seen ads for this dvd in magazines quoting Quentin Tarantino with saying that this is the "best directed" movie. Too bad this commentary doesn't back up that statement.
Reviewed by The Cubist on August 15th, 2007:Find all reviews by The Cubist
He starts off the track by explaining how the film was originally cut by over twenty minutes for the American release. This new version is as close to Leone’s original Italian version as is possible with the surviving footage. Schickel talks at length about Leone’s distinctive style of filmmaking while also examining the influence of fine art on the filmmaker's style. Despite mistakenly calling Angel Eyes "The Ugly" character from the titles (it is actually Tuco), his track is very informative and rich with interesting factoids if not a little on the dry side.
Reviewed by loyalcitizen on June 29th, 2009:Find all reviews by loyalcitizen
Just listened to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly commentary by film historian Richard Shickel. Very informative and scene relevant. Naturally a tad dry as he was never on set. He talks mostly about Leone's unique style, the influence on Leone of certain (painted) artistic styles, and his deteriorating relationship with Eastwood.

Especially interesting were the speculations on Leone's religious views. Most prominently (though I had never even thought/noticed it) was the fact that at the end of the film, Tuco is perched on the graveyard cross and it's unstable and ready to break apart at any moment.

Shickel makes an error during the character introduction scenes, calling Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) "The Ugly" despite the fact that Eli Wallach's initro scene had only ended a few minutes previous with the on-screen titling splash. Though he does later refer to Angel Eyes as "The Bad."
Reviewed by Agressor on April 18th, 2010:Find all reviews by Agressor
I really like these kind of commentaries, a film historian holds so much knowledge of the craft and can usually provide an extensive "lecture" on the film he's commenting on. And, being a contemporary commentary of a classic film, there is the benefit of having years of analyzing and philosophising on this perticular object to draw from.

It is clear that Shickel possesses that knowledge and have thought at great lenght about the themes of the film as well as other aspects like the compositing of the frame and the motivation of the characters.

That said, he doesn't deliver 100% on this commentary, on several instances he entices me with some profound idea and/or fact on a scene, to promptly leave the subject, leaving me craving for more.
Still, it is an informing track with loads of factoids to soak up if you're interested. But it could have been better.