It took me a month, but I finally finished the trilogy! I’m glad that the final installment was so epic, as it really seemed to close things off perfectly. How does it stack up against its predecessors? The acting is even icier, the cinematography is even deeper and the score is (somehow) even more iconic. Eastwood, Van Cleef and Wallach shine together in any and all combinations, playing distinct characters that compliment each other greatly. They occupy different portions of the spectrum, they all know it, and try to use it to their advantage. Blondie (Eastwood) is the Devil we know; he is cold, calculating and quiet, meticulous in his plotting but simple in his actions. Angel Eyes (Van Cleef) has more of a cocky vibe, assuming he always has the drop on everyone because he often does. And Tuco (Wallach), as slimy as he is lovable, relies on his mouth because it moves faster than his brain. The result is a memorable mix of personalities that helps you forget about a three hour run time. Leone has made a masterpiece here, framing scene after scene with a keen eye and making the most of each one. There are some really impressive shots for the time period, and for a low-budget picture it had a big-budget feel. Camera movements were more precise and defined, fields were deeper with occasionally major background action, and the locations are more vividly desolate than before. Ennio Morricone’s score is absolutely classic, as he plays with multiple variations on the main theme and makes it all utterly infectious. It is a testament to his abilities that he can make such a flexible and all-encompassing piece that can add to the drama, the comedy and the mystery with the most subtle of changes. This film is flat-out excellent, accomplishing all that it set out to and more. Everything about this trilogy is timeless and I can’t wait to revisit it as I get older.