Welcome to Framed, a column at Cinematical that runs every Thursday and celebrates the artistry of cinema -- one frame at a time.
It's been six months since 'Framed' started at Cinematical -- with Duncan Jones' haunting tale, 'Moon' -- and during that time I've examined a variety of films, but I can't think of a movie I'd be more excited to close out the year with than Sergio Leone's epic western, 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.' Leone's film reimagines the classic western and shakes the dust off of Hollywood's good guys versus bad guys gimmick. There's a bit of everything in Leone's final installment of the 'The Man with No Name' Trilogy (aka the Dollars Trilogy): it's beautifully violent, offbeat and humorous, has an unforgettable soundtrack (thanks to maestro Ennio Morricone), impeccable direction, colorful characters and a palpable atmosphere.
While the plot is entertaining enough, it serves mainly as a canvas for Leone's craft: three gunslingers (Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach) race to uncover a fortune in buried gold during the Civil War. We quickly learn that the good guy earns his title by only a slight and sketchy margin, the bad guy makes his predecessors look like pussycats, and the ugly guy is brilliant enough to secure the most screen time.