A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
Here is the third of the Dollar Westerns, so named after the first two ("A Fistful of Dollars" and "For a Few Dollars More"). All three have been tremendously popular and, curiously enough, all three have been pretty good. That is strange. Stop to consider:
All three were shot on low budgets in southern Italy. Their American actors -- Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach -- had no box-office followings. Most of the other actors were unknown Italians, largely amateurs, with their English dialog dubbed.
Yet "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and its two predecessors have been great successes during a period when many U.S. Westerns have bombed. Their secret, I think, is their understanding of the Western bad man: mysterious, without a name, absolutely ruthless.
The Dollars have no good guys to dilute the action. They also gain immensely by being shot on location in Italy. The back lots of Hollywood studios have been worn smooth over the years by countless posses, but the landscape of the Dollars looks barren and deserted. These are new Old Hills.