The Cinematography is outstanding in this movie. What’s great about Leone’s collaboration with Delli Colli is Leone had in mind what to shoot and Delli Colli just compliments his vision by excellent camera work . Leone actually studied pieces of artwork and applied them to certain shots.
You can see that artistry in the film. This is one of those rare films (I said the same about Citizen Kane
recently) that you can take almost any frame of the movie and blow it up, frame it, and it would be a work of art. Every frame... art. It's a visual feast, and I only wish I could have seen it in a theater, larger than life. The tight, almost claustrophobic shots of the eyes, the mouths, the fingers... the tension building as the camera lens is the eye of the viewer, anticipating what the other man is thinking, and going to do next... waiting for the slightest flinch or movement... tension building.
And the broad, open vistas that make the journeys feel as long to us as they would have to them. Face in the dirt, the sand -- going on forever, and ever...
What was it like to be The Good, The Bad or The Ugly? This movie makes you feel like one of them... seeing it the way they would have.
And the three hours does fly -- it's so engrossing, and it's an experience, not just something you watch.