Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - Brian Herron

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)

Director - Sergio Leone

Scene - The Contest

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is a Spaghetti Western film about three men who are hunting for a a box of gold. The film takes place in the American South West during the time of the Civil War. The three main characters of the film are represented as "the good" (Clint Eastwood), "the bad" (Lee Van Cleef), and "the ugly" (Eli Wallach). In the scene "the contest," which takes place in a cemetery, the three men face each other for a dual to see who will get the burried gold. This scene does not contain much dialog so it relies heavily on the cinematography to tell the viewer whats going on.

Camera Angle - For most of the shots the camera is angled eye level except when on Clint Eastwood the camera is low-angle to make him more majestic than the other two characters. When Lee Van Cleef is shot, Leone uses a high-angle shot on him when he is on the ground to emphasize his defeat in the battle.

Camera Distance - Leone uses mostly close ups shots to emphasize the facial expressions of the characters who are about to do battle. He mostly cuts to close up shots of each character to build tension between the three of them. Leone has one high-angle extreme long shot to define the position of each character within the setting. There are also extreme closeups of each characters guns and their hand to show that the battle is one step away from actually happening.

Camera Movement - Leone decides to keep the camera still throughout this scene and relies on editing to create movement.

Lighting - The scene is filmed outside and uses natural lighting from the sun. However, Leone decides to film this scene in the middle of the afternoon when light is the strongest to emphasize that they are in the middle of a hot dessert climate, which explains why the characters look sweaty.

Lens and Depth of Field - Leone uses what appears to be a telephoto lens on the close up shots to blur out the background and put more attention on the facial expressions of the three characters. For the one extreme close up shot that Leone uses in this scene, it is apparent he uses a wide-angle lens because the depth of field is so strong and the viewer can see the detail of the cemetery they are in.

Brian Herron

1 comment:

Naima Lowe said...

Good job. Nice, short analysis with plenty of detail. It makes me want to go back and watch the film again.