Kino immer anders

1862, in the southwestern United States, in the middle of the American Civil War. A Confederate soldier stole $200,000 and hid it in a grave. He dies shortly afterwards in the chaos of war, but before that three men find out where the treasure is buried: a scoundrel, a bounty hunter, and a contract killer. The three unreliable rivals are forced to work together. But things get even worse, because the front lies between the men and the cemetery and a battle is brewing…

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is the film that revolutionized the Western. Sergio Leone has thoroughly done away with the old clichés and the inflated morals of Hollywood westerns. The protagonists are anti-heroes who lead a rough, violent life in poor conditions and lost in a hostile landscape. War also no longer has anything heroic about it, but is a pointless massacre. This bone-dry, merciless world is impressively captured in widescreen format. The rapid change between breath-taking panoramas and extreme close-ups builds tension to fever pitch. Ennio Morricone’s iconic music plays over it, sometimes melancholic, sometimes hard and ironic, and always rousing. Clint Eastwood, poncho, hat, cigarette butt, appears here in the role of his life. The plot rushes almost operatically to the grand finale: the most famous Mexican stand-off of all time.

Michael Schmutzer

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