Analysis of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Analysis of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post  EmmaMcKinney on Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:27 am

Jungian Analysis of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
By: Emma McKinney

The film I chose to analyze is called The Good, the Bad and the Ugly directed by Sergio Leone. The plot consists of three men driven by greed on a perilous journey to find buried money, and the many obstacles and traps they must overcome.

The symbolic archetype, light vs. darkness, is one that I thought would be most applicable to this film. It does not apply to a physical situation, but it is represented through the main character, Blondie’s (Clint Eastwood), internal moral dilemmas. Although he is deemed as a killer, there is also some good in him hence his title: The Good. The opportunity to kill is consistent throughout this film, not only because it was the only option to help them succeed in finding their money, but also because his occupation was a bounty hunter because of his skill with fire arms, making him a feared killer, which I feel represents his dark side. The ending scene of the movie consisted of Blondie’s final betrayal of Tuco (The Ugly), where he leaves Tuco stranded in an abandoned cemetery, instead of deciding to just kill him on the spot. He could have easily killed Tuco, but his internal light told him to do otherwise.

The title of the film makes it easier to pick out character archetypes. Although all of the three main characters are selfish and greedy, The Bad is most applicable to the devil figure. The characters name is Angel Eyes, which touches on irony the slightest bit. He tortures, he does not hesitate to kill, he does not spare lives, and he would do anything to help him get the money all for himself. There is a scene where he is torturing Tuco with the intent to try and get information about the whereabouts of the money. He also made deals that were almost always broken by him. Not only did he act like a devil figure, but his looks helped place him under the stereotype of an evil villain. He had a moustache that could be curled upward, his eyes always suggested that he was scheming and planning what to do next, and he always wore dark clothes and a big hat that would partially cover his face.

The situational archetype, the fall, is apparent throughout this film. Because of all of the betrayals and deceiving each other, there would be a negative effect on whoever it was unleashed upon. Each character is betrayed at least once or twice in this film. The fall for Blondie is shown when Tuco decides to betray him and savagely guides him out in the middle of the desert with nothing except for the clothes on his back. Tuco’s fall is in the ending scene of the movie when Blondie does the exact same thing to him, except leaves him his share of the money. For Angel Eyes (The Bad), his fall would be his death in the famous shoot off scene. He entered the shoot off with confidence, but his subconscious fear of Blondie was too strong for him to maintain it. There is a second in that scene where you can clearly see the loss of confidence in his eyes, and the sweat dripping down his cheek, as he gazes at Blondie in the last few moments of his life.

This film is abundant in Jungian archetypes, and I felt that it was an obvious choice for this assignment. This movie is an excellent piece of art, and the intriguing and unpredictable plot line make this film a must see.




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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Post  Graham Mansfield on Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:28 am

Hey Emma, I also thought that a great situational archetype for this film would be 'The Journey'. This archetype would apply to the film because it takes the hero, 'Blondie', in search of the money which would represent his search for information, or in this case an object, which will restore fertility to the finder. Blondie's partnership with Tuco cuases Blondie to descend into a psychological hell as he tries to stay one step ahead of Tuco and Angel Eyes. Blondie's discovery of the path that his former partner Angel Eyes has taken,(from 'For a Few Dollars More') is his realization of the curruption money and wealth can trigger. Once Blondie finds himself in the weakest position he can be in, he receives the nescessary information to raise him to a position of command.

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Post  Mr. C on Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:52 pm

Emma - nice to see a Western in the mix here - and a classic by Leone in the bargain. A very good analysis. The choice of Light vs. Darkness is a strong one. I was also curious about Water vs. Desert, especially with the spilling of blood and the importance of water in the dry West. And if the Bad is the Devil, what are the Good and the Ugly? Do you think any one of them might be the Hero? Or anti-hero? Cheers!
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