Characters / The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

"Blondie", The Good (Clint Eastwood)

  • Affably Evil: While he acts soft-spoken and rather polite, he is actually much of a scoundrel as Tuco or Angel Eyes. However, he still retains a moral value unlike the other two and most of the time does what's right, as long as it doesn't interfere with going after the gold.
  • Anti-Hero: The main reason he's "The Good" is because his two opponents are worse.
  • Badass Cape: Though only at the end.
  • Badass Longcoat: Goes through three of them.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The most (conventionally) handsome man just happens to be "The Good". Granted, the other two were morally worse than him, but Blondie's not exactly a nice guy.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Blondie is capable of being as violent and ruthless as Tuco, but he's much less flamboyant. He barely ever talks above a whisper, and he frequently confronts life-threatening situations without uttering a single word. Even when he's crawling through the desert, half-dead from sunburns and dehydration, he never once begs Tuco for his life.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: To Tuco's "two kinds of people" line.
  • Bounty Hunter: Though, he has a tendency to claim bounties and free said criminals, raising the bounty and turning them in at another town to make more money.
  • Broken Ace: Anytime Tuco takes charge.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: With Tuco.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially with Tuco.
    Tuco: God's on our side because he hates the yanks too!
    Blondie: God's not on our side because he hates idiots also.
  • Deus ex Machina: Saved from death by a hangman's noose at the hands of Tuco as the result of a sudden cannon ball that crashes through the wall.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: He and Tuco in the Union soldier camp.
  • Enemy Mine: With Tuco.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Shooting down the guys that were about to catch Tuco, but then turning the latter in for the bounty.

Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez, The Ugly (Eli Wallach)

  • Affably Evil: He doesn't actually seem like such a bad guy once you get to know him, despite the chance that he'll betray you for his own personal gain anyway.
  • The Alcoholic: Chugs whiskey like a pirate frequently throughout the film.
  • And Starring: "and Eli Wallach in the role of Tuco." Only in the US version; the European prints billed the three principal actors together ahead of the title.
  • Anti-Villain: His rather Sympathetic P.O.V. turns him into a Type I by the end of the film.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: He's quite hyperactive and generally talks and acts on impulse. The cemetery scene is worth noting.
  • Bandito: Tuco redefined the Bandito character as a sympathetic figure rather than a merely malevolent one, and set the trend for the creation of many more characters like him.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Though a hairy, goofy, scruffy, slovenly klutz, he's every bit as dangerous as Blondie and Angel Eyes, perhaps even more so.
  • Boisterous Bruiser
  • Bond One-Liner: "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk." Actually improvised on the spot by Eli Wallach. Also to Wallace: "You made a lot of noise, my friend."
  • Butt Monkey: He isn't successful for more than 20 onscreen minutes. Although, considering that Tuco is a scheming and opportunistic bandit, he probably deserves most of what happens to him.
  • Can't Bathe Without a Weapon: He was probably expecting Blondie rather than the one-armed soldier, but it still came in handy...
  • Catch Phrase: "There are two kinds of people in this world, my friend..."
    • A variation in the infamous chicken soliloquy from a deleted scene: "The world is divided into two parts: those who have friends, and those who are lonely, like poor Tuco."
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: With Blondie. It's originally part of their get-rich-quick scheme, but later becomes real when they go after the big money.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: From Wallace, courtesy of Angel Eyes.
  • The Comically Serious: He'll occasionally do the silliest things completely stone-faced. For example, watch him roll a bullet chamber up and down between his palms; his utmost sincere look of concentration makes the scene inherently funny.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Acts like he got dumped by Blondie and forces him to let his new partner die as revenge.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He seems like a buffoon, but is quite the opposite.
  • Curse Cut Short: The famous last line of the film - "HEY BLONDIE! YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE? JUST A DIRTY SON OF A BAAAAAA!!!"
  • Determinator: He just won't give in on catching up to Blondie or searching for the gold.
  • Dirty Coward: He may be a treacherous scoundrel who would betray his allies when he gets the chance. Even so, he's so much fun that you can't help but love him all the while.
  • Dynamic Entry: His very first scene shows him crashing through a window.
  • Enemy Mine: With Blondie.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Gunning down the men who were sent to kill him while apparently enjoying a meal. In addition to Foreshadowing how Tuco gets ambushed in the most unlikely of times, it sets him up as The Comically Serious because his freeze-frame intro has him holding a chicken leg in his hand.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He is genuinely distraught to learn that his parents have passed away.
  • Evil Gloating: "Shoot, don't talk."
  • Eye Scream: Wallace gets him to reveal to Angel Eyes the name of the cemetery where the gold is buried by pressing down on Tuco's eyes with his thumbs. This was Eli Wallach's own suggestion; he'd seen doctors revive drunken soldiers that way during his time in the military.
  • Faux Affably Evil: When he's taunting Blondie, he speaks in a reserved, cool manner (that is, until Blondie pisses him off). Regardless, Blondie himself isn't fooled, and is never really intimidated by Tuco. Except for the two occasions in which Tuco actually comes close to killing him.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Hobo-style, to be exact. This is only in his Bill Carson disguise; the other times he wears enormous silver rings on his left hand.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Foolish to Pablo's Responsible.
  • Genre Savvy: Enough to hide a gun under the bubbles when he takes a bath. It works, too.
  • Girly Run: Tends to skip and bound with his upper arms close to his chest, hands slightly out from his sides. It's part of what makes him The Comically Serious.
  • Gold Fever: One could argue that Tuco has it the worst. Just watch his "Gold Ecstasy" when he finally digs up the treasure during the finale.
  • Gold Tooth: He has a prominent silver tooth on the right side of his top jaw.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He's quite feisty; When Blondie rescues him the first time, they're both laughing about it like old friends. Then, in the next scene, he's screaming countless obscenities as Blondie prepares to turn him in for the bounty.
  • I'll Kill You!: After he is left behind in the desert when Blondie dissolves their initial partnership.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: His gun during the final showdown.
  • Ironic Name: Benedicto and Juan mean "Blessed" and Pacifico means "Peaceful"
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The more we get to know about Tuco, the more we understand that he's one of these. Justified since Tuco is the only character whose backstory we learn; Blondie's and Angel Eyes' histories are a complete mystery.
  • Large Ham: Wacky, flamboyant and larger than life in voice and body language.
  • Laughably Evil: Doesn't mean he's stupid. Not one bit.
  • Long List of Transgressions: And it gets longer every time it's read out. Apparently (if you believe at least half of it), he has raped, killed, stolen money from both sides of the Civil War, and gambled with marked cards.
  • Lovable Coward: When his cowardice isn't shameful, it's endearing.
  • Lovable Traitor: See Dirty Coward above.
  • Made of Iron: Gets hit full-on by a blast of cannon fire, has the hell beat out of him by Wallace, jumps out of a moving train and down a pretty steep hill, and is nearly hanged for his crimes on several occasions.
  • The Man They Couldn't Hang: Because, according to Angel Eyes, a scoundrel like Tuco has a guardian angel as well (Blondie).
  • The McCoy: Mercurial and hot-headed.
  • Meaningful Name: "Tuco" means "rat" in Spanish. "Maria" means "bitter".
  • Naked People Are Funny: The scene in the cantina bathtub.
  • The Napoleon: He's about 5'10, so he's not exactly pint-sized, but almost everyone he meets is much taller than him, and he does have the attitude to match his comparative stature. To put into perspective, Lee Van Cleef is 6'2 and Clint Eastwood is 6'4.''
  • Never Learned to Read:
    Tuco (reading a note Angel Eyes has left for Blondie and him): "See you soon, id-id-idi..."
    Blondie: "'Idiots.' It's for you."
    • "Un-k... un-k... there's no name on it!"
  • Nice Hat: For a good portion of the movie, although he loses it following the episode in the second Union camp.
  • Nice, Mean and In-Between: The Inbetween. Obviously, one is "The Good", the other is "The Bad", so "The Ugly" is inbetween by default. He is by far the most human character in the whole movie, made likeable by how funny and childish he is and caught between the other two outlaws, who act like forces of nature rather than people.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Receives an extremely painful one from Wallace. He gets his revenge after springing from the POW train and breaking Wallace's neck, after which Tuco proceeds to savagely beat his head with a rock.
  • Not Goodwith Rejection: Does not take Blondie severing their partnership well.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He acts pretty buffoonish and has some genuine moments of stupidity, but that doesn't mean he's not dangerous. Not at all.
  • Oh Crap!: Has three moments: the first when he realizes the true colors of the soldiers whom he has mistaken for Confederates, the second when he notices that Blondie has set up a hangman's noose for him in the cemetery, and the third is his reaction when he thinks Blondie is going to shoot him rather than cut the noose.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Usually vaguely has a plan revolving around getting the money and/or revenge on Blondie and has to improvise around situations to reach his end goal.
  • Pet the Dog: After punching his brother due to his "The Reason You Suck" Speech and walking out on him, Tuco notes that no matter how low he sinks, he'll always be the one man who'll offer him a free bowl of soup.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Can be seen as this, as the movie's funniest moments involve him one way or another.
  • Really Gets Around: His offscreen promiscuity is mentioned offhand in a conversation.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: At one point carries a shredded pink parasol to shield himself from the sun (as well as taunt Blondie, who is crawling through the desert on his hands and knees).
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Blondie's Blue.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Unleashes quite a tirade on Blondie when Blondie turns him in for the bounty for the 1st time. It's understandable, though.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Continually overestimates his own intelligence.
  • Talk to the Fist: The "shoot, don't talk" line.
  • Tempting Fate: The scene where he confuses the Union soldiers for Confederates.
  • Third-Person Person: Frequently refers to himself this way.
  • Unorthodox Holstering: Keeps his pistol dangling around his neck with a piece of rope. Apparently, this was because Eli Wallach kept looking down to check whenever he wore a pistol belt.
  • Villain Protagonist: The movie is practically his story.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Blondie, when they aren't arguing about something.
  • With Friends Like These...: With Blondie.

Angel Eyes, The Bad (Lee Van Cleef)

  • Gold Fever: Not as bad as Tuco, but his motivation for killing so many people.
  • Greed: The motivating factor of all three protagonists, but especially Angel Eyes.
  • The Heavy: The biggest threat in the movie. Everything else that happens is simply because, well, there's a War going on.
  • Ironic Nickname: Neither his eyes nor character resemble anything particularly angelic.
    • Fluffy the Terrible: "Angel Eyes" isn't the name you'd expect from a ruthless assassin. It was originally something Clint Eastwood ad-libbed while filming.
  • It's All About Me: His reason for killing Baker, the man who hired him to kill Stevens.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: He interrogates Tuco this way, courtesy of Union Cpl. Wallace.
  • Lack of Empathy: Amazingly, he shows no remorse whatsoever for his actions, and is generally emotionless. This trait is downplayed in the extended cut, however.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: In the scene where Angel Eyes beats Maria to make her tell him where Bill Carson is, Rada Rassimov told Van Cleef to hit her for real, but he refused.
  • Psycho for Hire: He enjoys killing and torturing as much as the money he makes from it.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Never raises his voice because he knows that his victims have heard him the first time.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: His golden rule is to always see a job through if he's been paid, even if the person you paid him to kill has paid him to kill you.
  • Smoking Is Cool: To contrast even more with Blondie, he has a pipe.

Union Captain (Aldo Giuffre)

  • The Alcoholic: That's what he is when we meet him, up until he dies shortly after.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Tells Blondie and Tuco that he "lacks the guts" to disobey orders and destroy the bridge, moments before leading a suicidal bayonet charge.

Corporal Wallace (Mario Brega)

  • Asshole Victim: His prisoner, Tuco, ends up craftily pushing him out of a moving train to make his escape.
  • The Dragon: To Angel Eyes, at least in the prison camp.
  • Dumb Muscle: Letting a scheming, conniving bandit out of his sight for even a minute onboard a moving train probably wasn't a good idea. Even though said bandit tricked him by telling him he had to use the bathroom.
  • Jerkass: Unlike Angel Eyes, he had no inner motivation for what he did, and mercilessly pummeled Tuco simply because Angel Eyes told him to.
  • Mutilation Conga: After inflicting a cold-blooded beat down on Tuco (courtesy of Angel Eyes), Tuco makes his escape by pushing Wallace out of a moving train (which either knocks Wallace out cold or kills him instantly), and then Tuco proceeds to bash his former captor's head in with a rock. As if that wasn't enough, Tuco frees himself from a set of handcuffs by placing Wallace's body on the train tracks, which not only breaks the link on the cuffs, but takes Wallace's body with it.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Does torturing prisoners for information not in any way related to the War at hand count? Check.
  • Torture Technician: Gets medieval on Tuco's ass by attempting to squeeze out the latter's eyes with his fingers.

Father Pablo Ramirez (Luigi Pistilli)

  • Affectionate Nickname: A brotherly example in the form of "Pablito".
  • Aloof Big Brother: Assuming that Pablo is the older brother. He certainly has the attitude.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: For a relative use of "nice", Pablo is gentle and patient, if cold and distant, but do not anger him and do not call him a coward.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Responsible to Tuco's Foolish.
  • Hypocrite: Chides Tuco for not going to see his dying father when, in their childhoods, Pablo was the one who left his family to become a monk and Tuco was the one who had to stay behind to look after them.

Baker (Livo Lorenzon)

A wounded former soldier who'd wanted to go after the gold that Jackson had hidden away somewhere.

Jackson / Bill Carson (Antonio Casale)

  • Eyepatchof Power: Averted. After Carson lost an eye, he was killed in an ambush.
  • Heroof Another Story: We're not told explicitly where all that money came from or why Baker wanted it. In any case the film feels like an epilogue to his story.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Is desperate enough to give away information about a cache of gold to a bandit, of all people.

Stevens (Antonio Casas)

A retired soldier who had presumably been in the same regiment as Jackson and Baker. He takes Jackson refuge after he was finished storing away the missing gold. However, Baker sends his hitman after him when he suspects such a thing.