Hollywood is full of bad guys and good guys, so what's it like to see a movie where you know the bad guy won, but they don't? A well known "bad guy" turned bad guy is shown to win in a film that everybody remembers... The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly are a hugely successful film for two reasons. The first is the choice of the main character. Johnny Depp is a movie star who hasn't acted like one in years, so when he puts on the bravado of a French colonial guard (played by his long time co-star Tom Selleck) and uses his wit to outwit the Huns, you can almost smell the Cologne. The rest of the cast is also a crowd favorite from past movies that everyone knows...so when the film's hero, the Dutch colonial soldier (Cary Elwes), says "Let me introduce myself; I am none other than the boyhood hero of this great nation" it's hard not to get nostalgic about him...and then the music hits.
The second reason the film is so successful is that the film's director, Francis Ford Coppola, has teamed up with the makers of the Criterion Collection to release a series of classic films on DVD and Blu Ray. While the Good, the Bad and the Ugly aren't the most important film of the lot, it does have some of the best special features available today.
The film begins with a scene in which Martin Sheen (Mack Davison) is walking down a street and is shot from behind by an American soldier named Martin Mack (Dan Aykroyd). Afterwards, the soldier brings the wounded man to his father's house for a celebration. At this moment, we are introduced to the character of Private Dreyfuss (Marlon Brando), who never had a chance to act any scene in a movie and whose only scene was the initial scenes from the beginning of The Godfather: Part II, playing the bartender.
Following this, we move on to Johnny Depp as the French colonial governor, Deke (Danusia Samolueva) who he just wants to watch his war movies and drink whiskey in peace with his sweetheart. Martin Sheen's character will never meet Martin Luther King Jr., who would become his lifelong nemesis.
As time passes, Mack Davison will be making to go through some very tough times, but never really try to stop the development of the war. Of course, there is also the mysterious and sexy Celia Cruz (Penelope Ann Miller) who seems to have everything. She must be a lot of fun, because we find out later that she has been recruited into the army and could very well be the "black sheep" of the cast. There are also Lieutenant Weber (Walter Pidgeon), who in turn serve his country at a very difficult time, but who is used to being made fun of by the soldiers around him.
Although it is mainly a western, the movie also goes into more of a Mexican culture and this includes the character of Mexican General Maximilian Robusta (Burt Lancaster) who can talk English and speaks Spanish fluently, just like Walter White would. One of the film's themes is making war even more violent when in reality you never want it to be.
So, how do The Good, the Bad and the Ugly rank among the best in its genre? It has the right mix of humor, drama, melodrama and sarcasm. It is fun, yet heartbreaking, while being bold, daring and confident at the same time.