The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Western films are the major defining genre of the American film industry, a eulogy to the early days of the expansive American frontier.They are one of the oldest, most enduring and flexible genres and one of the most characteristically American genres in their mythic origins – they focus on the West – in North America.Western films have also been called the horse opera, the oater (quickly-made, short western films which became as common place as oats for horses), or the cowboy picture.
The western film genre has portrayed much about America's past, glorifying the past-fading values and aspirations of the mythical by-gone age of the West.Over time, westerns have been re-defined, re-invented and expanded, dismissed, re-discovered, and spoofed.But, most western movies ideas derived from characteristics known to the Native Americans and Mexicans way before the American culture knew about it.What you probably know as a good old western American movie originated from a culture knows as vaqueros (cowboys for Spanish).They are many misrepresentations of cultures and races shown throughout movies from as early as 1920’s with silent films.
Although one could argue that silent film era was more politically correct then now a day films, the movie industry should not have the right of misrepresenting cultures of Mexicans, Indians and there life styles in films known as western films. The film I picked is “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.”I first saw this movie about five years ago while a senior in high school.I loved the movie, but now after watching it I took a closer look at the stereotypes and generalizations that are being depicted in various ways like language, names, landscapes and people.
I picked this film because the movie is famous and very well known by Italians, Americans, and Hispanics, and not just famous in America Hollywood (and because I had list of required films I had to pick from).While watching the movie my second time around I tried and focus on the location where the movie takes place in order to demonstrate how lands of Mexico, New Mexico and Texas generalized.I also placed attention to the names the characters are given.There is a term used in Hollywood called ‘little man wins’ but after watching The Good, The Bad and The Ugly one observe how this cliché is not used.
I will also talk about the director of the film and how he approaches to tackle a cowboy western theme.The production of the film started when an obscure director named Sergio Leone was given $200,000 and a load of leftover film stock and told to make a Western.With a script based on Akira Kurosawa's samurai epic Yojimbo, an American TV actor named Clint Eastwood, a music composer named Ennio Morricone, and a cameraman named Massimo Dallamano, Leone made what was essentially supposed to be a throw-away film; Per un Pugno di Dollari — A Fistful of Dollars.
This violent, cynical and visually stunning film introduced The Man with no name, the anti-heroic gunslinger for which money is the only motivation and the villains, which are merely obstacles to be removed.Director Leone's unique style, artistic camera angles, extension of time, explosive violence presented a distorted view of the West, making his film different from any Western that had come before.Critics criticized it for its brutal depiction of an unromantic West, but nevertheless it was loved, and the Western took off and made it into the big Hollywood.Although this movie became very successful it plays a dangerous game with the stereotypes it can portrait using people of color.Furthermore whenever you have movies that consist of people of color there will always be stereotypes and generalizations.
The film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (like many others) portrait blacks as almost non-existent and Mexicans were usually portrayed as either priests or bandits.Furthermore the “good” characters are played by a gringo or other wise known as an American and the “bad” is played by a Mexican and the “ugly” also a Mexican.Throughout the movie if you ever wondered why brown haired Clint Eastwood is called "Blondie" in.
Here's why: A Mexican slang term for a white person is Guero (pronounced HWE-ro), which means light skinned, or also blond.Tuco is just translating the name Guero into English when he speaks to Eastwood.It has nothing to do with his actual hair color, but only a Mexican slang term for a white person. Elbert says, “And they are populated by cheap Italian extras, apparently chosen because of their appearance rather than their acting ability, if any.
… these are not Hollywood extras with stuck-on whiskers but Italian peasants who have worked in the sun all their lives and will go back to work tomorrow.… that is the kind of macabre detail unthinkable.