'If I fall, they'll have to adjust all the maps.' (The Magician)
Consider how this film starts: the image of the ants in the tree stump in the hot sun, the waterfall of piss that disturbs them, the bare-footed, sweaty peasant, from whom the piss streams. One could write a film thesis just on the opening credits. However, let's not!
'Duck You Sucker' was Leone's masterpiece, an epic of politics and romance, comedy and tragedy. The interplay of low humour and intellectual dialectic, the personal and public issues arising from the characters, are Shakespearean. The drama and emotional thrust of the film as moving as Hemingway, certainly in novels like 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'. Leone should be bracketed with these cultural icons. His film-making was of the very highest quality.
The documentaries on the making of the film give wonderful insight into Leone's art and the art of film creation in general. This is a rare purchase where the extras are indispensable.
A few flaws - and, of course, real beauty could never be flawless: the soundtrack is very lyrical, but, to my taste, overdone. The Irish flashback scenes jar slightly, the soft-focus and over-romanticised setting undercut the power of the political and personal points made. The title lacks the gravitas the film deserves (Hemingway always chose titles that resonated). Nonetheless, one of the great films of any genre. Film poetry. It'll make you a revolutionary, in your heart, at least.
'But for the rich you sing.' (The Peasant)