This is first post here.
By sheer fluke I sat down and watched “The Taste of Violence” (French version) earlier today and I was blown away by just how good it is. I won’t go into its many virtues because other posters have already done this so well but what I wanted to do was talk about this movie in the context of the Good the Bad and the Ugly.
There are just so many similarities between these two movies that I can’t help but conclude that this movie was the main inspiration for Leone’s epic SW. Before i go on let me just say that TGTBATU is one of if not my all time favourite movies. I have seen it more than any other movie and the last 30 minutes alone is in my opinion the height of cinematic masterpiece. So I’m in no way seeking to denigrate Leone/Morricone’s work.
Here are just some of the similarities I noticed between the movies:
My main discussion will be of TTOV with the TGTBATU references in brackets:
The plot of Hossein’s movie centres around three main protaganists (Blondie, Tuco and Angel Eyes) who have very different characteristics and are motivated to pursue their goals in very different ways. Perez (Blondie) the lead is uncompromising in the pursuit of his goals but nonetheless has a distinctively strict code of honour, Chico (Tuco) is a coward but its somehow difficult not to like the character and Chamaco (Angel Eyes) is just a lowdown evil doer who we can’t wait to see get what he deserves.
The three men all want the President’s daughter (gold) for themselves and the film recounts a running battle, or a journey (to Sad Hill cemetery), at the conclusion of which the reward can be realised. Whilst Chico wants to steal her away on his own for love and Chamaco wants to sell her for a ransom Perez wants to deliver her to the leader of the resistance so he can secure the release of hostages which will help them all (Blondie is willing to share the gold with Tuco).
The backdrop of this movie is a civil war (American civil war) between a popular people’s movement and a ruthless government regime. A strong theme recurrent throughout the movie is the folly of war, Perez sister repeatedly laments the wasted lives (disillusioned Union Captain beside bridge) and we see a number of wide shots that chronicle the widespread carnage of war (again battle for bridge).
Along the way to the reward the group make a detour to visits Chico’s mother (Father Ramirez) and it forces us to empathise with the character despite their treacherous nature.
At the most pivotal point of the story when the daughter is transformed from hostage to love interest there is no dialogue and the magnificent score bombastically heightens the sense of drama. (final shootout), The camera alternates between close up and wide shot and zooms in and out (again the final shootout) to further dramatise the tension.
The final scene is an extreme wide shot with Perez and the daughter riding off into the distance in different directions (Blondie does the same).
There are other things that come to mind like the religious references in both movies, the portrayal of the deaths of innocents, the musical scores, the camerawork, the lack of dialogue of the main character ie Blondie v Perez (although Eastwood claims credit for that).
Anyway I am so glad i got to see this film that I probably never would have seen. In my view the two films fundamentally share the same story, the love interest is incidental IMO and whilst TTOV is an incredibly oppressive and melancholic film vs what is an action thriller TGTBATU they share so many stylistic and thematic similarities that i just had to mention it and give credit where it is due.