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This week we have our very first guest episode, featuring Ross Burton from our sister podcast Beer, Pizza & A Movie. The film he’s chosen to subject to the Beyond The Box Set experience is Sergio Leone’s classic 1966 Spaghetti Western The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach.
Now technically this film does break our rule about only covering standalone movies, as it’s widely considered to be the third instalment of Leone’s Dollars Trilogy, however it does feature a self-contained story and non-repeated characters, so we’re not going to beat ourselves up over it.
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is one of those movies that’s so iconic that it’s almost impossible to appreciate purely on its own merits. Practically every scene has been referenced or recreated multiple times in popular culture, most notably in the works of Quentin Tarantino, who has described it as “the best directed film of all time”. If many of the dramatic and comedic beats now read as cliches, it’s because this movie practically invented them.
The challenge for this episode was to come up with a vaguely original spin on the story. After some discussion around subjects including the appropriateness of the movie’s title (Is Clint Eastwood’s character really that good? Does Lee Van Cleef’s peripheral character really merit second billing? Are there some questionable racial politics going on in Eli Wallach’s Tuco being defined as ‘the Ugly’?) and the complete lack of regard for personal safety exhibited by every major character in this film, we settled down to business…
Harry’s Pitch | The Good, The Bad and the Furry
Guest Pitch | Before They Were Good, or Bad, or Ugly
John’s Pitch | The Good, The Bad and the Fugly
Our The Good, The Bad and the Ugly episode is available through iTunes, Stitcher, acast, Overcast, Pocket Casts and Player FM. Feedback is our lifeblood, so give us a listen and let us know either below or via our social channels if you have a better idea for how to reboot, revamp or otherwise bastardise this timeless classic. As always, best ideas will be read out on a future episode.