I would like to thank my good friend Kevin Wilkinson for taking the time to write this incredibly interesting piece. It illustrates the amazing measures that fans of the Leone classic are prepared to endure in order to see this masterpiece presented at its very best.
It’s rather exciting to think that a group of fans are in the process of acquiring a 1971 IB Tech print of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Italy. The reason behind these extreme measures? It seems there are a number of fans still unhappy with the various MGM home video releases of Sergio Leone’s 1966 classic. Their particular concerns focus on the colour and audio issues, all of which have been well documented. The dedicated group of fans have announced their intention to restore the International 161 Min English language cut to its original status. After scanning the print at 4K, they plan to re-grade the colours and transfer the English mono track, probably from the previous MGM Laserdisc release.
What has come to light is potentially very exciting. On frame samples sent by the print seller, there appears to be some incredible shots from the desert scene, shots which have never been seen in any home video version before. They show Blondie (Clint Eastwood) lying on the baking sand with some animal bones scattered nearby. A translated description of the scene (from the original script) was recently posted online by Peter Hanley, the man behind the eagerly anticipated book on The Good, the Bad and the Ugly -
So, the obvious question remains - Does this print include any other treasures that were cut from the film? Could there be more unknown scenes such as this? What of the scenes we do know, such as the Socorro scene or perhaps Blondie and Angel Eyes sharing a meal after leaving the prison camp - a scene teasingly shown on a U.S. Lobby card. Maybe it has the scene at the cemetery where Tuco fires a cannon at Blondie? We await further news with great anticipation…
For further information on this story and to follow how it develops, click here and here