The Good, the Bad, and also the UglyThe last and most expensive of manager Sergio Leone"s "Dollar" trilogy grossed a respectable $6.1 million in 1966 and solidified Clint Eastwood"s status as a significant Western star. Following the success of Leone"s A Fistful that Dollars (Per un pugno di dollari, 1964) and For a few Dollars more (Per qualche dollaro in piu, 1965), The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Il buono, il brutto, et il cattivo, 1966) signifies the aesthetic high suggest of the Italian-produced spaghetti westerns, which revitalized the west hero v Eastwood"s portrayal the the calculating "Man through No Name." Energized by Leone"s vivid film style and Ennio Morricone"s didactic score, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"s international influence permanently altered popular conceptions of the western and its themes.

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The Good, the Bad, and also the Ugly"s plot adheres to the progression of 3 ruthless gunfighters gyeongju to obtain $200,000 in stolen Confederate gold. Start the film v a collection of 3 lovingly created murder scenes, Leone employs excessive long shots and closeups, piercing sound spikes, and dramatic freeze frames that present Tucco the Ugly (Eli Wallach), point of view Eyes the bad (Lee valve Cleef), and "Blondie" the great (Clint Eastwood) with his signature format of bravado exposition. As the story unfolds, all 3 principals form and break alliances in find of invoice Carson"s hidden treasure.

The epic architecture of Leone"s scenarios redefined the film image of the American West. After early on collaborations with innovators prefer Michelangelo Antonioni and also Robert Aldrich, Leone invest hiswestern scenes v an clearly distorted, regularly frenetic perspective. Unequal the stagy studio sets of B-grade Hollywood Westerns, Leone"s plastic camera increased adobe farm yard houses and also barren deserts right into exaggerated seas of space peopled by minuscule though deadly specks that humanity. No Westerns since John Ford"s dramatic Monument Valley movies had offered such profoundly dynamic compositions. Leone"s wild spectacles of dueling gunfighters, publicly hangings, Civil battle battles, and also prison camps create an darkly comic, self-consciously chaotic view of west society. In ~ one point, Tucco and Blondie connect a pack of point of view Eyes" assassins in the middle of a bombed-out ghost town. When artillery proceeds to demolish the buildings roughly them, Tucco and Blondie nonchalantly use the climbing dust as cover and also peep out of brand-new bomb craters to survey their enemies. Leone"s freewheeling camerawork get its expressive heights throughout the montage that whip pans and zooms that describe the finale of one absurdly bloody civil War battle on a bridge, and also during the tension-building lengthy shots the commence the climactic three-way gunfight in a sprawling deserted cemetery.

Much of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"s success depends on Ennio Morricone"s infamously parodic score. Together a discordant aural accompaniment to the crazed animations and also incongruous neck fonts that constitute the title sequence, Morricone"s campy review of distinctive western sounds offers all 3 "Dollar" movies a Monty Python-flavored musical edge. Because that The Good, the Bad, and also the Ugly, Morricone deconstructs clichés the the western soundtrack to create a distinctively catchy theme of shriek-propelled, psychedelic yodeling that became as renowned as Eastwood"s nameless hero. In the feather of 1966, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"s main theme saw No. 1 top top the American billboard charts together the rojo Stones" "Jumpin" Jack Flash." v all the crazed energy, Morricone"s score thematically accentuates key moments that Leone"s narrative v its invocation of acquainted western harmonies. In when upon a Time: The movies of Sergio Leone, Robert Cumbow explains:

The score come The Good, the Bad, and also the Ugly taps Civil war movie conventions in its use of a lilting sentimental ballad played off a recurring march tune. The ballad, "Story that a Soldier," is derivative the the Confederate typical "Lorena" (a top motif in Max Steiner"s score come The Searchers … and in David Buttolph"s music because that The horse Soldiers, because that which the is the key theme). Sung spelling by one Italian chorus, the text of the track are only sporadically intelligible, yet they reflect one antiwar tone consistent with both the film"s therapy of war and also the prevailing atmosphere of ballads showing up during the period.

Cumbow likewise notes the innovative usage of person voices and unconventional instruments in the soundtracks to all three "Dollar" films as specifically affecting aspect of "Morricone"s offbeat orchestration." In The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Morricone"s campy vocal orchestrations amplify not only the opened credits but additionally the introductory vignettes and Tucco"s frantic, almost orgasmic search for the buried gold in the cemetery.

In countless ways, the spectacle that Eli Wallach"s drunken, disheveled Tucco displayed the heart of Leone"s film. Eastwood is without doubt the box-office star, yet the plot and also the camera continuous privilege Tucco"s furious escapades. Grinning, chuckling, and also thieving his method through crowds the bitterly serious supporting characters, Tucco"s vulgarity, tenacity, and also humor do him the most endearingof the three mercenaries. Leone offers Tucco the most entertaining scenes together he crashes half-shaven through a barbershop home window after plugging three bounty hunters, makes faces at one appalled yonsi bystander throughout his very own execution, and also surprises a would-be assassin by hiding his pistol under the froth of his balloon bath. Tucco even rules the final moments of Leone"s 160-minute film as his cursing the Blondie rises in a shocking echo the initiates the last prosper of Morricone"s score. Tucco plainly personifies the aesthetic agenda the Leone"s whole "Dollar" trilogy. In The Good, the Bad, and also the Ugly, themes the war, murder, and greed fuse right into a pseudo-serious, gore-punctuated epic the intercuts Tucco"s torture scene through the lilting strains the a band in a Civil war prison camp. Combining the deadly major with the sickly comic, Leone"s entertaining, anarchic west formula parallels James Whale"s universal horror films, Stanley Kubrick"s satirical science fiction, and also Tim Burton"s gothic Batman series.

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—Daniel Yezbick

Further Reading:

Cumbow, Robert. As soon as upon a Time: The movies of Sergio Leone. Metuchen, brand-new Jersey, Scarecrow Press, 1987.