A two hundred thousand dollar shipment of Confederate gold is ambushed by Yankees in the southwest making it open season for huge news for every grifter, bad guy, and bounty hunter in the area. Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach are Good, Bad, and Ugly (respectively).

Each has a key portion of the puzzle leading to the location of the gold. Unfortunately, none of them ever learned to share.

Join co-hosts Elysabeth Gwendolyn Belle and Robert Meyer Burnett as they enjoy a fine grape and continue their ride through some great Westerns during the second half of January. Now, this is “drinking and driving” in style.

Check out the re-mastered version of the original trailer, below …

Interesting facts about the movie (IMDb)

There is no dialogue for the first ten and a half minutes of this movie. In their introductory scenes where they are identified on-screen as “The Good” (Clint Eastwood ), “The Bad” (Lee Van Cleef), and “The Ugly” (Eli Wallach), each shoot three people.

Although Eastwood’s character is labelled “the good” in this movie, he kills eleven people during the course of the movie, which is more than Tuco (Eli Wallach) and Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) combined. Tuco, “the ugly”, kills six people while Angel Eyes, “the bad”, has the lowest body count with three.

Due to the striking height difference between Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach (over nine inches), it was sometimes difficult to include them in the same frame.

This is a “prequel” to A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and For a Few Dollars More (1965), as it is set during the American Civil War while the other two movies are set afterward. Towards the end of this movie, Blondie (Clint Eastwood) acquires his trademark poncho. Clint Eastwood wore the same poncho through all three “Man with No Name” movies without replacement or cleaning.

As an Italian-made movie, the sound would not have been recorded live. This means that the actors and actresses would have spoken whatever they wanted, and the dialogue would have been dubbed in post-production. This was the traditional way of making movies in Italy and was because of the poor soundproofing in Italian studios. All of the actors and actresses in this movie spoke in their native languages, and were dubbed into other languages in post-production (Italian, German, Spanish, English, et cetera).

The battle scenes were shot in the Spanish desert with 1,500 Spanish soldiers as extras. According to Eli Wallach, when it came time to blow up the bridge, Sergio Leone asked the Spanish Army Captain in charge to trigger the fuse, as a sign of gratitude for the Army’s collaboration. They agreed to blow up the bridge when Leone gave the signal over the walkie-talkie.

Unfortunately, another crew member spoke on the same channel, saying words meaning “it’s okay, proceed” to a second crew member. The Captain overheard the signal and blew up the bridge. Unfortunately, no cameras were running at the time.

Leone was so upset that he fired the crewman, who promptly fled from the set in his car. The Captain was so sorry for what happened that he proposed to Leone that the Army would rebuild the bridge to blow it up again, with one condition: that the fired crewman be re-hired. Leone agreed, the crewman was forgiven, the bridge was rebuilt, and the scene was successfully shot.

When the bridge was blown up the second time, with Tuco (Wallach) and Blondie (Eastwood) hunkered down behind sandbags waiting for the explosion, Clint Eastwood’s career came within two feet of ending prematurely. A fist-sized piece of rock shrapnel from the explosion slams into the sandbag right next to Eastwood’s head (watch it in slow motion to see the rock flying in).

Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack album stayed on the charts for over a year, his most commercially successful movie score. This film was the third of six times that Sergio Leone worked with Ennio Morricone. Aside from the Dollars trilogy, they also worked together on Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), Duck You Sucker (1971), and Once Upon a Time in America (1984).

The movie remains the highest rated movie on IMDb to not receive a single Oscar nomination.