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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A genre-defining masterpiece
This masterpiece is the film which defines the Spaghetti Western. Clint Eastwood is good guy Blondie and the other two main characters, Tuco (Eli Wallach) and Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) veer between bad and ugly over the two and half hour duration of this film. The plot is long and winding, but is essentially fairly simple - three guys who don't trust each other trying to...
Published on 11 Dec 2000 by Dave

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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2014 release is same as 2009 release, with the exception of picture quality ... now sharper, darker and in yellow/teal!
As well reported, the 2009 Blu-Ray release of TGBU was marred by some PQ issues, namely DNR was liberally used throughout the film, to wipe away some (but not all) of the grain inherent with the film stock TGBU was shot in. However, I did not find the DNR to be nowhere near as bad as some other infamous Blu-Ray titles, such as 'Predator: Ultimate Edition', 'Gladiator' and...
Published 2 months ago by Hugo D. Hackenbush


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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2014 release is same as 2009 release, with the exception of picture quality ... now sharper, darker and in yellow/teal!, 7 Jun 2014
By 
As well reported, the 2009 Blu-Ray release of TGBU was marred by some PQ issues, namely DNR was liberally used throughout the film, to wipe away some (but not all) of the grain inherent with the film stock TGBU was shot in. However, I did not find the DNR to be nowhere near as bad as some other infamous Blu-Ray titles, such as 'Predator: Ultimate Edition', 'Gladiator' and 'Patton'; for instance, actors did not appear waxy in the 2009 TGBU release, as was the case in those other aforementioned Blu-Ray releases. Overall, while far from perfect, I found the picture to be reasonably good-looking for a film of its age, film stock and budget. That being said, a film of this caliber cries out for an extensive remastering, à la Lowry Digital.

Sans Lowry, the new 2014 Blu-Ray remaster of TGBU has, for the most part, rectified the DNR issue, with DNR being used far more discreetly this go-around. Overall, the 2014 release has a nice, crisp look; whether this is attributable to the 4K scan or the lack of DNR, I can only guess. Is it sharper than the 2009 release? At times, it is indeed ... but not always. This is not surprising to me, given the film's age and the film stock it was shot on. Still, sharpness looks very good ... the best it has ever looked on any version of home video.

That was the good news. The bad news? Unfortunately, the remastering has also given TGBU a different color timing scheme. Now, the film's cinematography has a yellow and teal tint, with orange overtones for the actors, giving the film a more modern look, at the expense of changing the distinctive look of the original film. In general, the colors are punchier in the 2014 release when compared to the 2009 release; too bad the punchier colors are all tinted in yellow, orange and teal. Furthermore, the 2014 version also looks darker, likely a result of lowering gamma on the remaster; a darker picture can give the illusion of increased sharpness, but it also swathes scenes in shadows that were previously quite visible in earlier video releases.

Why do this to all of your catalog title releases, 20th Century Fox? From Alien Quadrilogy, to the French Connection, to the recent release of The R&H box set, someone over at Fox is convinced that all older films should be swathed in teal and/or orange/yellow.

Of note, according to recent reviews I have read, this new tint is what Sergio Leone had supposedly intended the film to look like, via second-hand information from an assistant cameraman who worked with the director and the cinematographer; of course, since both the original cinematographer and the director are long dead, there is no way to truly confirm this (at least George Lucas had the excuse of being alive when he started to second-guess his past work). At any rate, whatever the "intended" look might have been, this is not what the finished film has traditionally looked like since its original release ... a few Italian Technicolor prints, notwithstanding.

(For screenshot comparisons, check out "The Man With No Name" trilogy review at Blu-ray dotcom; they loved the new remaster, FYI).

As far as audio is concerned for TGBU, the 2014 version is the same as the 2009 version, complete with souped-up sound effects.

Also of note, the traditional 161 minute cut of TGBU is not included in any Blu-Ray release, including this new 2014 release; it can still only be had via the 1998 16x9 anamorphically-enhanced DVD.

So to sum up, choosing which Blu-Ray version to own of TGBU is a strictly a matter of taste. Which version of TGBU you prefer is what will determine your choice of releases; personally, I feel the 2009 release of the film is a far more accurate representation of the film's original cinematography than this new yellow/teal-ified version. Yes, PQ is sharper and more colorful in the 2014 release, but that's certainly not enough for me to get past the altered look of the film. For the record, the new look isn't awful, mind you; it just makes the film look different. If you wish to have a different-looking version of TGBU, then the 2014 version is the one to pick up.

In fact, for casual viewers who do not own prior releases, I will put aside my biases and recommend that they pick up the 2014 release over the 2009 release, as they will likely care about (and notice) sharpness and color saturation in PQ, more so than a change in color timing.

Please, 20th Century Fox ... stop the blue/teal/yellow/orange madness, and release your catalog films in their original color timing!
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A genre-defining masterpiece, 11 Dec 2000
By 
Dave (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
This masterpiece is the film which defines the Spaghetti Western. Clint Eastwood is good guy Blondie and the other two main characters, Tuco (Eli Wallach) and Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) veer between bad and ugly over the two and half hour duration of this film. The plot is long and winding, but is essentially fairly simple - three guys who don't trust each other trying to get their hands on a consigment of gold. We all know about the music - and Morricone's soundtrack is an undisputed masterpiece. If there is a better marriage of sound and vision in cinema than the last 15 minutes of this film, I have yet to see it. But it's more than just a music video - the direction from the legendary Sergio Leone is out of this world. This is an epic in every sense of the word - the battle against good and bad, a cast of hundreds in the Civil War scenes and camera work which makes no concessions to TV and uses the entire length of the screen. The DVD is good, too. The picture and sound quality are out of this world. The 15 minutes of deleted scenes add nothing, but are a nice curio. You also get the original theatrical trailer. So this isn't a DVD to buy for fancy bells and whistles, but it delivers in spades on the top-quality basics - ie perfect sound and vision. A masterpiece.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT HAS IT ALL....., 28 Jan 2012
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This film without doubt is one of the best westerns ever made. Clint,lee, eli give masterfull yet humorous performances. The music on it's own is great to listen to. I have seen this film, more than 10 times and haven't tired of it and never will....BUY IT
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WOW - Pin sharp. And Yellow., 11 Jun 2014
By 
M. Hevingham "Mark Hevingham" (BIRMINGHAM, WEST MIDLANDS United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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OK you may have read about the transfer. I watched this on my Samsung 1080P projector and the image was 14ft diagonal. As such the screen blisters with detail you have never seen on previous releases. There has been much debate about the new grade. Although an assistant on the film was involved I think that the colour is off as the sky looks green not blue in certain shots and the white on the titles is yellowed. However, I was able to pay with the colour values on the projector and return the image to something I would approximate as "natural". I admit this is "My" interpretation and it worked for me - you may like the new colour palette.

Once this is done, the film looks AMAZING. Its a great movie anyway and seeing it so crystal and sharp - far better definition on detail than the previous release - really made the screen come alive

The extras and menu are just lazy. They are ported over from the original version and I would have hoped that Clint and Eli could have been coaxed to record a commentary even if it were separately and edited as a single track As they are both alive and very lucid its a massive opportunity wasted and probably the last time they will be able to get them. I saw Eli at a screening of the film in 2006 and he stated "I have never been asked to do a commentary - I don't know why?" 8 year son and he still hasn't apparently?

If you don't own the movie in HD buy it NOW. If you do its worth a double dip if you can live with the new colouring or change your display manually. All of this is from my point of view if you disagree fair enough I will accept your opinion. Please accept mine as mine.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good , The Better and The Excellent, 7 Mar 2000
By A Customer
Years have past since the first time I saw this movie and the unique pleasure of watching it has never wayned. Now the DVD format has brought the whole experiance afresh. The movie has a cleaned up sound track and lot of the degradation obvious in the VHS transfers has gone. The booklet has a nice selection of information about the films, that you probably already new if your a fan but nicely done all the same, and the missing 14 minutes of removed footage a real treat. Its a pity it could not have been intergrated into the film but this does not detract from the it. The only touch which I did not like was the characters names being changed from italian to english when they splash up on the screen. I have never seen this in any previous cut and feel it detracts from the magic.
On the whole an excellent release every one should have a copy. In fact buy the trilogy and get the free picture set.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good, The Better and The Best, 1 Jun 2004
This review is from: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - 2 Disc Special Edition [1966] [DVD] (DVD)
This is definately my favourite film that I have seen in a long time. Leone at his absolute finest TG TB TU is the epitome of the spagheti western. Once Upon A Time in the West comes close but Morricones score settles it for me. The oft reused cyote howl and the mariachi theme a the end make the music the best I've ever heard in a film. The film itself is a little long however my interest was held throughout. The acting is superb and the additional scenes while not greatly adding to the film do not detract from it. An absolute classic that has been desecrated by TV editors at Christmas time, this film deserves to be seen in full.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mother of all westerns!, 24 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Following his recent success in the two previous films, Clint Eastwood returns as the man with no name and is as expected brilliant in combination with director Sergio Leone's stylish and witty direction. Eastwood is also very much at home in this one, he's blended in with Leone's style and way of direction. Ennino Morricone also played a key role in the film's success with the most recognisable western tune of modern times and countless breathtaking tunes throughout. On the whole, this is probably the best of the trilogy but lacks the one off exciting scene e.g. The Colonel Mortimer-El Indio showdown in 'For a Few Dollars More' But delivers plenty of heart throbbing scenes as in blowing up the bridge and the mini gun attack by the river, and Leone uses the American Civil war as an effective and a deemingly good background. This film is a must see if you haven't already seen it. This is true brilliance in all means.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Clint!, 7 Aug 2014
By 
Mr. C. Gelderd "aka GelNerd" (Basingstoke, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
After two previous films that helped establish a set of actors, tone and genre, this final film of the three takes everything that has gone before it and crafts it into a far greater and well-made Western film that contains enough of what you need to be satisfied this is one of, if not THE greatest Westerns of all time.

Eastwood, van Cleef and Wallach are perfect in their respective roles; calculating and effective gun-slingers who each have different methods of working and who play off each other along their journey to locate hidden gold. They have it all, from the iconic clothing, the furrowed brows and the snappy dialogue.

One of the greatest aspects to director Leone’s cinematography is the fact that pictures and images speak louder than words. The dialogue is there but not actually as important as what we are allowed to see or not see on screen. Each frame is important, each camera angle dictates the emotion felt and the musical soundtrack is bombastic and spine-tingling as they tell the stories of 3 men making their way in a dangerous world. They don’t need to speak to be understood thanks to the direction of Leone and the way each actor looks. It’s a remarkable achievement to convey so much without using dialogue, but it works.

The locations set the standard for Westerns, but this looks hauntingly authentic in the fact this feels like it actually was made and set in the Old West of America. The endless deserts stretch into the distance behind the actors, the old ghost towns are vast and carry a real character with them. There are no signs of Hollywood sets, matte paintings or CG enhancement here; this is authentic film making which uses every aspect of the natural world the film is set in to make it even more believable and real. This again adds to the sense of the world we are visiting, with the American Civil War raging around the plains thanks to some great action sequences and battles.

It should be perfect, which at most times it is, but maybe the bad lip synching of dubbing every actor bar Eastwood, van Cleef and Wallach is a little off putting and reduces the authenticity of things. But then again maybe it’s a hidden charm? I’m not sure myself, but it’s only a little irk of mine. It doesn’t detract from the film at all.

From the opening sequence using ghostly silhouettes and squinty eyes in an old ghost town, to the finale based in the iconic Sad Hill Cemetery where only the quickest gun-slinger makes it out alive, this film is a testimony to real, passionate film-making and contains everything you could expect from a genuine, non-glossy Western film.

With a stellar soundtrack by Ennio Morricone and his iconic, rousing opening theme that encapsulates a real ‘Western’ vibe, this film is brutal, it’s real and it’s wonderfully entertaining, and cemented Clint Eastwood as real movie star calibre.
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44 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are those with guns, and those who dig. You dig., 16 Mar 2004
This review is from: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - 2 Disc Special Edition [1966] [DVD] (DVD)
The special edition DVD is finally here. It has been eagerly awaited, for never has such a fine picture graced a digital versatile disc.
This film has everything that defines a classic. Frankly it remains under-rated even though it is highly respected.
My personal favourite from Leone, and certainly Morricone, the film doesn't pull you along, it pushes you along, and you don't want it to stop.
Eastwood is entirely enjoyable to watch, and never is there a dull moment. The slower scenes perfectly build the tension, and the resolutions are always pleasing - not in a manic explosion of a climax, with explosions, bullets and Hollywood-director-boat only scrapes a rock and then explodes - scenes, but with the expert craftsmanship of Sergio Leone, and he makes you wait and then beg for what's coming. And by God, you won't be able to keep yourself from smiling.
This film brings out all the things you want to see in a western. The music does nothing but compiment the action, the photography is graceful yet enjoyably stylish, the dialogue is well written, with a few one liners that have outshined the others for years, and wow, the film is just great.
I do not believe i have ever sat through a film with a better ending scene. THE climax of cinema. BRILLIANT!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE classic spaghetti western, 5 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Practically everyone in the western world must know or have seen this film. This is THE seminal spaghetti western that transcended the already high standards set by Fistful of Dollars, and For a Few Dollars More. Clint Eastwood is icy cool throughout, Lee Van Cleef exudes evil, but for me the acting honours go to Eli Wallach, who comes close to the line, but never crosses it, of parody in portraying the low-life Tuco. The film teems with quotable lines (check out the quotes and trivia section), fabulously atmospheric Morricone music, and a superb panoramic setting against the back-drop of the Americal Civil War. What more can you ask for ?
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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - 2 Disc Special Edition [1966] [DVD]
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