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06/26/2003 - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY: A RESTORED MASTERPIECE
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My POV
Brian A.Wilson

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY: A RESTORED MASTERPIECE

I love The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. It's one of my favorite films, and I think it holds a high place in the pantheon of Westerns. And I admire it all the more because it was written by three Italian guys. (I doubt I'd do so well writing about Italy's frontier days!)

Imagine my delight, then, when I was able to see a restored 35mm print of it yesterday in LA.

The restoration was sponsored by American Movie Channel, or AMC, among many others. That means at the very least, you should be able to see it on the ol' boob tube. With luck, they'll put the print in other theaters across the country, but who can say?

Sixteen minutes have been added to the film. The extra footage does a nice job of smoothing scene transitions, explaining a couple of alliances and enriching the conflict.

This isn't just any restoration, though. In addition to adding scenes, a rockin' Dolby stereo track and making a clean print, John Kirk and his team added new dialogue for the Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef characters.

Eastwood and Wallach returned to the studio, better than 35 years after the fact, to loop their parts. Simon Prescott provided the new voice of Angel Eyes, since Van Cleef died in 1989. The voices all sound brilliant.

This is a first-class restoration from stem to stern. Who knows? Maybe this will reinvigorate the Western genre, and we'll get to see masterworks like this where they belong: on the big screen.

A fan can hope, can't he?

Keep writing.
BW
LA

PS Don't forget-Entertainment Technology World, formerly Showbiz Expo, is this weekend in LA! Check it out-it's always fun, and you might learn something to boot. Get the scoop at
http://www.ent-techworld.com/index.aspx?daw
See you there!

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