YMMV: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  • Awesome Music: "The Ecstasy of Gold" and "The Trio" play a large part in creating one of the most memorable finales in the history of film. The former in particular is so memorable that Metallica have used "The Ecstasy of Gold" to open their concerts since 1983.
  • Complete Monster: Angel Eyes/Sentenza ("The Bad") from the original cut is a sociopathic mercenary whose only concern is making as much money as possible. In the opening scenes of the film, he tracks down and murders a man at another's behest. When his victim offers him money if he will spare his life, Angel Eyes replies, "Once I'm been paid, I always see my job through to the end." He kills the man and his son, takes the money, and reports to his employer...whom he promptly kills, since he wants to keep the gold he's found out about for himself. He proceeds to beat the information about the location of the gold out of a hooker. Later on, he has Tuco tortured and watches with absolutely no emotion on his face. While this is going on, he has his men force the POWs to sing in order to cover up the sounds of their friends being tortured. He's less a character than he is Greed in a trench coat and cowboy hat. He's so bad that the other two main characters — no saints themselvesboth agree to shoot him in the three-way Mexican Standoff that ends the film, despite their extreme distaste for one another. Cold-blooded and without remorse, Angel Eyes will cross any lines, and commit any crime as long as he can make a profit doing it.
  • Designated Hero: Outside of a Pet the Dog moment here and there, Blondie's status as "the Good" is... pretty questionable. He mostly comes across well in comparison with his rivals.
  • Ear Worm: One of the most unforgettable musical scores in history. And by that we mean this.
  • Epic Riff: The flute part at the beginning of the main theme.
  • Even Better Sequel: All of the Dollars Trilogy is generally considered good, but The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is the best-known one. And for good reason.
  • Evil Is Cool: Angel Eyes might be an utter bastard, but damn if he isn't a badass.
  • Foe Yay/Ho Yay: Blondie and Tuco, mostly carried through bizarre Does This Remind You of Anything? innuendo. They are really into tying each other up, Tuco bursts in on Blondie tenderly polishing his gun in his hotel room (not a euphemism), and while Blondie is talking to the naked Tuco in the bathtub, he smirks, while suggestively playing with the end of a bedpost. This is almost certainly intentional, as Sergio Leone made them share a bed for the whole of filming as Enforced Method Acting. Quentin Tarantino, who was heavily influenced by the film, claims to ship it a lot.
  • Fridge Brilliance: while the Mexican Stand Off seems to have an uncertain issue at the first viewing, in an incredibly subtle instance of Show Don'tTell, Leone is actually showing the public how it's going to end: at first Tuco hesitates between Angel Eyes and Blondie, frantically switching his sight between the two, though it is foreshadowed by a scene that Tuco is more inclined to kill Angel Eyes, while Angel Eyes quickly asserts that Blondie is the most dangerous of the two, and stares at him. Meanwhile Blondie looks at Tuco and without exchanging a single world, with only a single nod from Blondie, they agree to both shoot Angel Eyes. They lure the latter into a trap, only staring at each others to have him drop his guard, Angel Eyes thinking he has an opening against Blondie sneaks his hand to his revolver and tries to shoot him, having checked that Tuco wasn't looking either, but Blondie reacts faster and kills Angel Eyes, while Tuco tries to shoot too, only discovering thathis gun was emptied beforehand by Blondie.
  • Love to Hate: Angel Eyes.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Tuco. It's somewhat ironic that the most sympathetic and likable character is the one who's most morally ambiguous.
  • Magnum Opus: For Sergio Leone, it's a toss-up between this or Once Upon a Time in the West. This film is also a frequent contender for the greatest Spaghetti Western and even the greatest Western of all time.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moral Event Horizon: Angel Eyes crossed the line at the beginning of the movie, killing the son of the man he was hired to kill. It's one thing to kill the man himself, as that was just business ("When I'm paid, I always see the job through."); he didn't have to kill anyone else beyond those he was hired to kill (yes, those–just before dying, Stevens pays Angel Eyes to bump off the guy that sent him to do the deed). Although the boy came running down the stairs behind him, rifle drawn. Angel Eyes was too smart to chance that the boy would be too scared to pull the trigger.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Tuco mentally torturing a dehydrated Blondie in a sunny desert. It's easily the character's most cruel moment. It makes Blondie finally gaining the upper hand by finding out the name on the grave that much more awesome.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The Union Captain at the bridge fight.
  • Sequel Displacement: The last film of the trilogy is generally more well-known than the previous two.
  • Values Dissonance: Possibly intentional. The ridiculously long list of charges read at one of Tuco's near-hangings explicitly mentioned that he was hanging for raping a white woman, but having consensual sex with a black woman.
  • What an Idiot: In an ultimate example that involves Evil Gloating interrupted with a Talk to the Fist, the One-Armed Bounty Hunter that caught Tuco while the latter was taking a bath. Tuco even mentioned that if he was going to shoot him, shoot. Don't talk.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Blondie comforting the dying Confederate soldier. Clint Eastwood claimed he knew his days of making movies with Sergio Leone were over when they filmed it.