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Author Topic: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: The Story 1: The Title  (Read 6331 times)
KC
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« on: January 08, 2010, 09:21:49 PM »

Why do you think Leone chose to call this movie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? Why is the Clint Eastwood character called "The Good," the Lee Van Cleef character called "The Bad," and the Eli Wallach character called "The Ugly"? Could the names and the characters have been switched around?
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 06:36:39 AM »

First just say, in Brasil, the movie got a lame translation: Três Homens em Conflito, (something like "Three Men in Trouble").


In my opinion, the title is supposed to be controversial and sarcastic. Blondie is labeled as "the good". Why? He is certainly good at aiming targets, at shooting, but he is a cynical, sometimes a sadistic man who enjoys playing with others lifes.

I think all those three characteres are bad on different levels. I can't see Blondie inflicting pain or "hosting" a torture the way Angel Eyes did to Tuco but he is sadistic by leaving Tuco cross the desert alone after he didn't "interest" him anymore. And later, while Tuco was busy digging, he set up his "friend" distressed upcoming moments.
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It's not a joke, it's a rope,Tuco.
The calmness in his voice disturbs me.
Then, he leaves him there, on the frail wooden cross that could break any time...or Tuco could have lost the balance of his body and been hung.

Quote
Tsc tsc. Such ingratitude after all the times I saved your life...
(And the caption "the good" shows up) Clearly a joke. It makes you think "wow, imagine if you were bad" :D

Also, good and bad are personality characteristics. We tend to associate "ugly" with physicality, right? ??? But Tuco's ugliness is in his actions or in his physicality? Because if it is in his actions, Angel Eyes is ugly too. And so is Blondie. I not even find Tuco ugly, physically.
This is something to discuss.

Roberto Gómez Bolaños, a Mexican comedian actor and creator of the fictional characters El Chavo del Ocho and El Chapulín Colorado is the main character of those two shows. Those are silly, amateurish comedy series with cheap scenarios but I confess I enjoyed when a kid/teenager and still nowadays, the show gives me laughs. 



Chapolin facing a dangerous outlaw. Old west scenarios were frequent in some episodes.

There is a funny episode where Chapolin (a stupid "hero" with no muscles or brain) change, by mistake, the medical records files of two patients...one of them badly injured and doomed to die and other one, in healing process. Realizing Chapolin is making a terrible mistake, the "good" patient insists:

"Chapolin, you just don't understand... I'm the good, he is the bad!"

As Chapolin replies quickly:

"And I'm the ugly, eh?"

;D

The scene never fails me making laugh and it's just an example of how famous the title is around the world.




Looking forward for others comments :)



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Christopher
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2010, 03:01:21 PM »

I agree with Aline. Blondie is "good" compared to Angel Eyes and Tuco, but he isn't a purely good character.
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Lin Sunderland
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2010, 07:11:36 AM »

The Good.  Blondie.    Of the three he is the good, although not Good in the true sense of the word.    He cares about the dying soldier and does shoot the hangman's rope to save Tuco.  A fair amount of his goodness is for selfish ends to find the money.  He does leave Tuco with half of the cash so I suppose that constitutes good but he tormented Tuco before he shot the rope for the second time in Tuco's life, not so good!

The Bad.   Angel Eyes.  He is cruel thinking only of the money and his own ends.  The end he meets is deserved.  The good winning over the bad.

The Ugly.  Tuco.   He is a little ugly with the faces he pulls but I think the ugly really means his life and how he too can be cruel (the walk in the heat for Blondie even though it was tit for tat).  His treatment of his brother could be seen as ugly too.

I don't think the names would have worked so well switched around.  As far as appearance goes Angel Eyes could have been the ugly.  However I think the choices are right.   They each have a little of the other in them. 

Just why Leone selected this as the title I can only hazard a guess, he chose it because he saw the characters in that light.  They are different but also very similar and greed is the end product for all of them.     It is such a well known name now I can't imagine it being called anything else.
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D'Ambrosia
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2010, 02:53:39 AM »

Weren’t there some trailers or something at one time that actually messed the names up?

On the commentary track of the special edition Richard Schickel calls Van Cleef the Ugly.  

The names in themselves could be interchanged with one another.  Those nomenclatures they represent could be interpreted as different aspects of our own personalities, or the characters.  The Good being the best. The Bad being the worst.  And the Ugly, well, lets just say the Ugly is somewhere in between.
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El Cigarillo
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2010, 03:27:56 PM »

a literal translation from Italian puts the Ugly second!
i wonder what would have happened if the English kept that order.

The title GBU is so much a part of our language. Thom Hartman, a radio commentator uses it and practically every day someone in the media uses the phrase!!!!!!!!!!!!!

certainly when the Good title comes up on the screen it is meant to be deeply ironic
the audience always laughs
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KC
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2010, 08:00:01 PM »

In Italian, it's "Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo" ("The good, the ugly, the bad") ... two syllables, two syllables, three syllables. With the English title as it is, it's one syllable, one syllable, two syllables. That may have been why they chose that order.

On the commentary track of the special edition Richard Schickel calls Van Cleef the Ugly.   

That's about par for the course for Schickel.
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Matt
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2015, 01:40:14 PM »

An interesting question -- it made me wonder if there was a slight tweak to this movie title if we would have an equally popular expression, since the phrase has been adopted into everyday conversation (and was recently featured in our last Republican presidential debates), or if it never would have become such a popular saying.

What else could Eli Wallach's character have been if they didn't go with "Ugly"?

The Lunatic? The Strange?

And for the hell of it, I googled the title along with "popular expression" to see what would come up, and found this page:

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly

And here's a little quote:

Quote
Another element of the movie that has become iconic independent of the film’s content is its title. “The good, the bad, and the ugly” — not a common expression before Leone used it — pops up frequently in discussions of complicated or multifaceted issues, used to suggest that the matter has pros, cons, and unpleasant facts.

http://www.film.com/movies/whats-the-big-deal-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-1966
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 01:44:41 PM by Matt » Logged
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