10 Westerns You Need To Watch After Playing Red Dead Redemption 2

10. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

United Artists

Whilst hardly a surprising entry, Sergio Leone's three-hour Civil War epic undoubtedly set the tone for westerns for decades to come.

Serving as a prequel to Leone's first two entries in The Dollars Trilogy, We follow Clint Eastwood's now legendary Man With No Name (who is actually named in all three films) on the hunt for a cache of Confederate gold buried somewhere in New Mexico. It's a sprawling masterpiece, taking our (anti)hero(es) over deserts, through volatile border towns and chaotic battlefields on their quest.

Eastwood oozes cool as Blondie (The Good), but it's Eli Wallach's deuteragonist Tuco Ramírez (The Ugly), and Lee Van Cleef as villain Angel Eyes (The Bad, predictably enough), who really shine throughout the film.

Tuco is an uncouth loudmouth with no regard for dignity or personal hygiene - of course, that's what makes him relatable. His swivel-eyed, paranoid energy is a joy to watch. Angel Eyes, on the other hand, is utterly terrifying - he tails the duo like a gathering stormcloud, dispatching everyone who stands between him and them. He feels like some nightmarish 19th century version of a T-800, and it could be argued that if he didn't have such little screen time in comparison to Blondie and Tuco, he'd have stolen the show.

Leone's direction is, as ever, stunning. Huge vistas juxtapose perfectly with his trademark use of extreme close-ups to add a palpable sense of dread to every impending moment of violence.

Contributor
Contributor

Revisionist western fan, lover of the 1990s Lucasarts adventure games and detractor of just about everything else. An insufferable, over-opinionated pillock.