A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Of Thieves, Civil War and Spaghetti Westerns

(Our local library has become an wonderful resource for old movies (ie movies made before I was born)... I've found so many great classics over the past six months and haven't had to pay a cent for them. And yeah, they don't make 'em like they used to. I meant to post this last year but with all the busyness I didn't get to finishing it)

Interesting film, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly... It occurred to me after watching it half way that I had no idea what the film was about despite its classic status. Being a lifelong Dirty Harry fan, I knew Clint Eastwood starred in it and that it was labelled a "spaghetti western" and had some vague memory of large amounts of sand . And the theme music by Ennio Morricone... is the sort that sticks around in the brain forever. For some reason I always think of eagles or vultures when I hear the intro.

At the heart of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a gruesome amorality tale that revolves around the connivances of three hucksters exhibiting varying degrees of badness. For most war is hellish but for some it's an opportunity. Our three main characters are morally dubious but Clint Eastwood in those days was pretty hot stuff and was given the role as the most likeable character of the trio. At least he's the most suave of the lot. So there are bad guys and terrible guys. There's lots of gun play. There's a cache of stolen confederate gold that everybody wants (surprise, surprise) and apparently there's not a lot of honour among thieves. After a fair bit of crossing and doublecrossing, we find out that the gold is inconveniently hidden in a cemetery (surprise, surprise) and only Blondie (Clint Eastwood's character) knows which plot it's buried in. So there's more wheeling and dealing for a cut of the loot and to stay ahead of the game.

To get to their destination, our villianous protagonists temporarily embroil themselves in the war between the Union and the Confederates, who are separated by a bridge, just asking to be blown to bits. There Blondie and Tuco (Eli Wallach) encounter a different kind of villiany. The higher ups from both sides don't want the bridge blown up for fear that the troops will go else where to fight.

Like the rest of the film, the ending is bucketloads of fun. Of course there's a final confrontation with guns ablazing and of course someone dies. It is afterall a western...  Lawlessness, and little regard for life is standard fare in these outings.

Then there's always Little House on the Prairie for everyone else.

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