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I've never watched a classic Western, so I'm looking to give the genre a try. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly seems to be the most popular (and rated #4 on IMDB's top 250) so I thought I'd watch that first. But it's also part of a supposed trilogy:

  • A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
  • For a Few Dollars More (1965)
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

I believe there is no specific plot that connects them, only the "Man With No Name" character. Also of consideration is that according to Wikipedia they have a different chronological order (GBU is set before the other two).

Do each of the films work as standalone movies? Is there an "optimal" order in which to view them?

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2 Answers

It seems The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is considered a sort of prequel, but this doesn't mean you need to watch it before the other ones.

Apart from the various "pieces" I've seen now and then, I've finally watched them "completely" using the order of release:

  • (1964) A Fistful of Dollars
  • (1965) For a Few Dollars More
  • (1966) The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

By the way the Trilogy, although Sergio Leone did not originally intend it to be a trilogy, is also called "Dollars trilogy".

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Each of the films works as a stand-alone movie, so there's no real reason to view them in any particular order. I watched them all separately when I was growing up, and it wasn't until years later that I even found out that The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was connected to the other two movies by more than having the same actor/director pair.

From the Dollars Trilogy Wikipedia article:

Although it was not Leone's intention, the three movies came to be considered a trilogy following the exploits of the same "Man with No Name" (Eastwood, wearing the same clothes and acting with the same mannerisms).

The "Man with No Name" concept was invented by the American distributor, looking for a strong angle to sell the movies as a trilogy.

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Also do the same characters re-appear? The same actors do, but are they the same characters? –  phwd Dec 8 '11 at 23:13
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@Alonzo I'm pretty sure only Clint Eastwood is playing the same character in all three films. A few other actors appear in two or more of the three, but they play different characters. –  Bill the Lizard Dec 9 '11 at 0:13
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@BilltheLizard In fact I still wait for any prove that Clint Eastwood played the same character in all three films. –  Napoleon Wilson Aug 29 '12 at 9:51
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