A classic spaghetti western and a milestone in Sergio Leone's career, The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly is as thrilling as it was upon the film's original 1966 release. Back then, the film was missing over 16 minutes of footage and it's only because of this unusually dedicated DVD release that we can now see the movie as never before.
Missing, Nearly Destroyed
The importance of DVD to old films is already proven with many fine restorations of previously crumbling movies, bringing classics back to life for a new generation to enjoy. None though has had to go quite as far as this two-disc release. On disc two you can see the fascinating restoration of the film from sourcing lost footage through to the inserting of a scene not available in any previous cut. The problem with doing all of this was that the fresh material had never been dubbed. This required Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach to come back and record new dialogue 38 years after they made the movie.
Revived, Up To A Point
Some material was beyond restoration, but has been made available on this DVD as best as possible - including an extended torture sequence, and a reconstruction from stills. You'll also find French trailer footage of The Socorro sequence. The skill and attention that has been put into this disc sets the benchmark for the restoration of movies for DVD.
What has all this work done for the film? We now have a transfer that is crystal clear and colour-rich. The 5.1 sound mix is a detailed effort, which uses newly recorded sound effects to enhance things like gun and cannon fire with impressive clarity. Indeed such is the work that has been lavished upon the film that it's guaranteed to look better than when it did upon original cinema release. That alone makes this DVD release something special.
This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-N5 DVD player.