March 14, 2014

Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo and the Common Good


The term “Spaghetti Western” is used to describe a movie about the American West but directed and produced by Italians and normally filmed in Europe. This motion picture genre has been around for more than 70 years.  Outdoor scenes are often shot in an area of Spain that bears a striking resemblance to the Southwestern United States.

A young actor who wore a white hat in the television series “Rawhide” from the late 1950’s had, according to his own account, grown weary of “kissing old ladies and dogs and being kind to everybody, and was looking for a way to break free of this squeaky clean image.

So for $15,000 and Director Sergio Leone’s promise of a Mercedes automobile upon completion of a movie, Clint Eastwood headed to Rome in 1964.  He was to star in the first movie in a series of films that were later referred to as the “Dollar Trilogy.”  That movie, “A Fistful of Dollars” was completed and released with little fanfare and followed the next year by “For A Few Dollars More.”

Eastwood rose to international fame in his role as “The Man With No Name,” after his third movie, “Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo, was released first in Europe and then in the U.S. as “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.”

Clint Eastwood’s image of the white hatted nice guy was forever replaced with that of a poncho wearing loner whose distance from humanity was as much a survival instinct as a matter of choice.  He later recalled that as a non-smoker, the foul taste of the cigar the director required him to smoke put him in the mood for the character of the Man with No Name.

Last week marked the midway point of the 2014 regular session of the Oklahoma legislature and as usual, there were plenty of bills and votes that qualify as Good, Bad and Ugly.

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