Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Moments of Pure Cinema Fusion :: Leone's Masterpiece: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1967)

By definition, nuclear fusion is the process by which multiple like-charged atomic particles join together to form a heavier nucleus -- usually accompanied by the release of a massive amount of energy, depending on the elements involved. Applying that theory to film, there are certain moments in certain movies when the direction, cinematography, acting, editing, and soundtrack collide and merge into something I like to call Moments of Pure Cinema Fusion.

Here's probably the best example of this theory in use: The final, three-way duel in Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Honestly, there are a ton of scenes from this film that would qualify, and I wish there was a clip that started when Tuco is first blown into Sand Hill Cemetery and finished with the closing credits. Alas, this is as close as I could get.
Up first ... Tuco is overcome by the ecstasy of gold.

Which ultimately leads to the final duel.

Honestly ... I'd argue with anyone that, when you add up all the elements, that entire sequence is the greatest twenty-five minutes (give or take) of cinema ever committed to film.

Credit where credit is due:

Director: Sergio Leone / Screenplay: Leone, Luciano Vincenzoni, Furio Scarpelli, Angenore Incrocci / Cinematography:
Tonino Delli Colli / Editing: Eugenio Alabiso, Nino Baragli / Original Music: Ennio Morricone / Cast: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef.

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