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#028 Sergio Leone: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly vs. The Colossus of Rhodes

Download MP3 In today's episode Nate and Austin compare Sergio Leone's best and worst rated films, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) and The Colossus of Rhodes (1961), respectively. Nate can't pay attention to the movies when 95% of dialogue is dubbed over, and Austin falls asleep. Check back next on Sunday, August 21st at 7pm PST where we will compare Milos Forman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Goya's Ghosts (2006), his best and worst rated films.

Also check out this old interview with Sergio Leone talking about the trilogy involving The Good, the Bad and the Ugly:

The Colossus of Rhodes Notes
Worst Rated
PLOT: While on holiday in Rhodes, Athenian war hero Darios becomes involved in two different plots to overthrow the tyrannical king, one from Rhodian patriots and the other from sinister Phoenician agents.
  • Ratings: IMDb 5.9 | RT 57% C / 34% A
  • Released: 1961
  • Director: Sergio Leone (Once Upon a Time in the West, A Fistful of Dollars)
  • Writer(s): Ennio De Concini, Sergio Leone, Cesare Seccia, Luciano Martino, Ageo Savioli, Luciano Chitarrini, Carlo Gualtieri (story and screenplay)
  • Cinematographer: Antonio L. Ballesteros (The Last Days of Pompeii)
  • Notable actors: Rory Calhoun, Lea Massari, Angel Aranda, Georges Marchal, Conrado San Martin
  • Budget: N/A
  • Box office: N/A
  • Fun Facts:
    • Although he had experience directing other films, this was the first to give full on-screen credit to Sergio Leone.
    • One of the few films to be set in the Hellenic period that spanned the period from the death of Alexander the Great to the rise of Rome as a world power.
    • The widescreen process used is TotalScope, an Italian version of Cinemascope.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Notes
Best Rated
PLOT: A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.
  • Ratings: IMDb 8.9 | RT 97% C / 97% A
  • Released: 1966
  • Director: Sergio Leone (Once Upon a Time in the West, A Fistful of Dollars)
  • Writer(s): Luciano Vincenzoni & Sergio Leone (story), Agenore Incrocci & Furio Scarpelli & Luciano Vincenzoni & Sergio Leone (screenplay), Mickey Knox (English version by)
  • Cinematographer: Tonino Delli Colli (Life is Beautiful, Once Upon a Time in the West)
  • Notable actors: Eli Wallach, Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Aldo Giuffre, Luigi Pistilli
  • Budget: $1.2 million
  • Box office: $25.1 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • In the gun store, everything Eli Wallach does with the guns is completely unscripted. Wallach knew little about guns, so he was instructed to do whatever he wanted. Most of Enzo Petito's bemused reactions throughout the scene are genuine. The scene where Tuco shoves the open/closed sign in his mouth was also Wallach's idea.
    • In addition to the train scene, Eli Wallach cheated death in the first scene where Blondie shoots him down from a hanging. The gunshot scared the horse, which took off running at full speed for nearly a mile. Wallach's hands were tied behind his back, and he had to hang on for dear life with his knees.
    • Eli Wallach would have been decapitated during the train scene if he had lifted his head up. In the wide-shot, you can see the step that would have impacted his head.
    • Because Sergio Leone spoke barely any English and Eli Wallach spoke barely any Italian, the two communicated in French.
    • Sad Hill Cemetery was a very convincing set piece constructed by the pyrotechnic crew, and not a real cemetery. Today the site is marked as a local point of interest. Though the central stone "proscenium" and parapet are gone, the circles of grave mounds are still quite prominent.
    • Clint Eastwood wore the same poncho through all three "Man with No Name" movies without replacement or cleaning.
    • Four scenes were cut from the original English-language release and never dubbed into English from Italian. When American Movie Classics showed the "Extended English Version", the scenes were restored. Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach dubbed their voices for the movie, but another actor had to be found to dub Angel Eyes' lines, as Lee Van Cleef had died in 1989. The actor who dubbed Angel Eyes' lines into English was voice actor Simon Prescott.
    • There is no dialog for the first 10-1/2 minutes of the film.
    • The three principal actors are the only ones who speak actual English in the film: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach, with the exceptions of Al Mulock (the one-armed man) and John Bartha (the sheriff). Everyone else in the film is really speaking their native language, mostly Italian and Spanish, and was later dubbed into English.
    • The movie remains the highest rated movie in IMDb to not receive a single Oscar nomination.
    • Filming had a short delay when Clint Eastwood refused to turn up for work until Sergio Leone agreed to his $250,000 fee in addition to a new Ferrari.

  Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down - Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0  

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