Tag Archives: The Good The Bad The Ugly

According to The Wrap :”MGM Hit With $5 Million Lawsuit Over Classic Clint Eastwood, Marlon Brando Films”

the wrpa

Fistful of Dollars (1964) was involved in legal disputes upon its release due to copyright infringement on Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (The Bodyguard) (1961) — of course, that film infringed on Dashiell Hammet’s novel The Red Harvest. Well, it has recently been reported that the legal issues around rights and royalties for the Dollars films continue. Obviously, these are valuable properties.

According to Pamela Chelin at The Wrap:

Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer Inc. has been hit with a lawsuit by P.E.A. Films, Inc. alleging a breach of contract over the classic films “Last Tango in Paris” starring Marlon Brando, and Clint Eastwood‘s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “For a Few Dollars More.”

P.E.A. Films owns the rights to these films, and seeks to terminate MGM’s licenses, alleging that MGM failed to provide accurate and honest accounting statements with revenue and expenses for the films, nor did they provide timely payment of amounts due to P.E.A. They seek termination of their agreement with MGM on the grounds that they claim MGM breached the agreements.

P.E.A. further seeks a full accounting of all sums due from MGM, as well as more than $5 million in damages.

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Great piece by Simon Gelten “Return of Ringo – my soul was born”

return of ringo my soul is born

Well, my day job has been increasingly busy over the past few weeks and I have not been posting as often as I was earlier during the summer. I will try to make sure that I post a couple times of week on the blog. Episode 2 of the Django Rising Podcast is being put together and should be out on Sunday the 7th of September.

Simon Geltin has really great piece at Planet Spaghetti Western “Return of Ringo – my soul was born” Here is the opening:

Archimedes was having a bath, Newton was sitting under a tree when it happened. All of a sudden these two men knew how the problem that had been tormenting them could be solved. In science and religion the experience is called epiphany, the moment of sudden insight.

Most of us are neither a Newton nor and Archimedes, and even though we watch falling apples or have a bath from time to time, we don’t make any scientific discoveries. And yet we have moments of epiphany. The secular, every-day-experience owes a lot to the descriptions of it by Irish novelist James Joyce (1882-1941). In his stories and novels, characters often experience a moment in which things become manifest to them: a veil seems to be lifted, as if this person’s life is literally revealed. Joyce called these experiences “the moment the soul is born” (1).

I had this experience when I first watched a spaghetti western. In Dutch (movie titles were translated in those days) the movie was calledRingo Keert Terug, meaning Ringo’s Return or Return of Ringo (2). What attracted me most, was the high publicity board above the entrance of the theatre (Cinema Rembrandt in my birthplace, Eindhoven). It was a painting, in harsh colors, of a cowboy, handling his gun with his left hand, supporting his shooting hand with his wounded right arm. The title was also fascinating: Return of Ringo: Where had he been to? Why did he return?

I was a fan of TV-westerns like Rawhide and High Chaparral, and had already seen a couple of westerns in cinema, but this film was different from anything I had experienced before. It looked different and it sounded different. It took me a while to get used to it – a couple of minutes, a quarter of an hour – to realize that this music and the deliberate style of film making were putting me in a trance. Before the film was over, I felt hypnotized.

Simon’s blogs is always a great read. I really recommend it. This post was especially interesting to me because it mirrors my own first experience of the genre. I was 12 or 13 and into western movies and novels. That in and of itself was a little strange. Few American teenagers in the 1990s liked westerns much. One evening, the local UHF channel out of Denver, Colorado was playing For A Few Dollars More (1964). Of course, everyone who lived through the 1980s knew who Clint Eastwood was. But I did not really know much about him. So I decided to watch the film on a television with two bent rabbit ears sprawled out to catch the faint broadcast signal.

I was entranced and amazed. I had never seen anything like it, the way that the stunning visuals and music played off of each other. The film was mysterious. The westerns that I was familiar with expressed different ideas and feelings. They had different rules for making it through a different world. This was something different.

A few months later the same channel showed all three Dollars films in three consecutive nights (Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, and The Good The Bad And The Ugly). After watching all three, I was hooked.

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Monkey social cognition tested by viewing Leone’s “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly” (1966)!

Spaghetti western reveals differences between human and monkey brains   Mo Costandi   Neurophilosophy blog   Science   theguardian.com

From The Guardian’s Neurophilosophy blog: 

In a 2004 study, Uri Hasson and colleagues used functional magnetic resonance to scan the brains of five participants as they watched a 30 minute clip from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. They found that the film activated widespread regions of the cerebral cortex, especially in the visual and auditory parts of the brain, and that the activation patterns were remarkably similar in all of them. This high degree of synchronicity led the researchers to the conclusion that films can make their viewers’ brains tick collectively; it also led to a new field called “neurocinematics,” which aims to assess the similarities in participants’ brain responses during film watching. . . 


. . . They recruited 24 human participants, and used functional magnetic resonance imaging to scan their brains as they watched the same film clip. This confirmed that the film clip evoked the same pattern of brain activity in all the participants, as in the 2004 study. They then did the same with four macaque monkeys, each of which was shown the same clip six times, and found that all four animals also exhibited the same activity patterns as each other across multiple viewings. Next, the researchers compared the activity patterns they observed in the human participants with those of the monkeys, focusing on 34 distinct regions the visual cortex.


In both species, visual information is processed in a hierarchical manner. The earliest stages of visual processing take place in the primary and secondary visual cortical areas, often referred to simply as V1 and V2, which contain cells that respond to the simplest features of a scene, such as contrast between adjacent areas of the visual scene and the orientation of edges. Each successive stage of processing encodes increasingly complex features, with higher order visual regions encoding complex features such as object categories. . .


. . . Like most other films, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a complex multisensory stimulus, filled with rich, operatic imagery and, of course, Ennio Morricone’s unforgettable score. It is, however, fairly safe to assume that humans and monkeys will interpret the film quite differently, and this is one of the major limitations of the new method. We understand the language used in the film and its emotional content. We follow the plot as it progresses, anticipate what is going to happen in the next shot while we watch, and may also make associations with the film, such as watching it on an earlier occasion at a friend’s house.


“I’m pretty sure the monkeys aren’t worrying about plot twists,” says Yarkoni, “but the biggest limitation is the fact that two regions activated at similar times aren’t necessarily supporting the same cognitive processes.”


“Suppose we both watch The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” he explains, “but every time Clint Eastwood is on screen, you focus on how his presence furthers the plot, whereas I focus on what a nice-looking man he is. You might conclude that you and I have differently organized brains, because different parts of our brains seem to respond to the movie in similar ways”.

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“Vincenzoni was known as a spaghetti western scribe, to his chagrin”

RIP Vincenzoni

“Vincenzoni was known as a spaghetti western scribe, to his chagrin”

Co-writer of For A few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. From a syndicated New York Times column from last year, whenVincenzoni died.

Luciano Vincenzoni, an urbane Italian screenwriter who worked with Billy Wilder, Dino De Laurentiis and other giants of film but to his dismay was best known for writing two spaghetti westerns starring a young Clint Eastwood, died Sunday in Rome. He was 87.

The cause was cancer, said Federico Vincenzoni, a grandson.

Vincenzoni contributed to about 70 films, chiefly as a screenwriter or script doctor. His humorous touch could be found in films like “Seduced and Abandoned,” which he made with Pietro Germi in 1964, and “The Best of Enemies,” which De Laurentiis, the producer, released in the United States in 1962.

But to the general public Vincenzoni was most associated with “For a Few Dollars More” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” two hugely successful Italian-made westerns directed by Sergio Leone that are now recognized as classics.

“I have written movies that won prizes at Cannes and Venice,” he told Sir Christopher Frayling, a cultural historian and Leone biographer. “These were screenplays for which we suffered on paper for months. Do you know how long it took me to write ‘For a Few Dollars More’? Nine days.”


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To celebrate the UK Blu-ray release of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, food artist Carl Warner has fashioned a unique tribute to the film made entirely from pasta! We’ll admit it looks magnificent, Carl– but we’re still waiting for that King Kong tribute made from bananas. Here is the official press release:

World renowned food artist Carl Warner has produced his culinary interpretation of the classic ‘Spaghetti Western’ film trilogy, made entirely from spaghetti and other Italian ingredients.

In his film foodscape debut, Warner has brought Sergio Leone’s masterpiece The Good, The Bad and The Ugly to life using traditional Italian ingredients from pasta to pancetta, to celebrate the re-mastered Blu-ray release of the and to mark the 90th Anniversary of the studio MGM

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