The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, 1966

Also known as Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo, this “spaghetti western” is famous for its close-ups of stares. It takes three hours for the audience to find out which of three men will end up with a buried treasure. Famous music, whistling, and odd vocals serenade the long search.

Clint Eastwood plays Blondie who pairs up with Tuco, played by Eli Wallach. The duo go from town to town in a bounty hunting con until they find themselves racing for a certain treasure box. Lee Van Cleef is particularly ominous, combining evil actions with the nickname Angel Eyes.

This film is actually Clint Eastwood’s third Sergio Leone directed film. His first, from 1964, A Fistful of Dollars, ran only 99 minutes.

Original Music in this film was composed by Ennio Morricone. He also wrote the music for many other Sergio Leone films. The score was an extremely important part of this movie, especially in the beginning where the first ten minutes were without dialog.

I enjoyed this movie years ago, and again recently – with my son popping in and out of the room. If you haven’t seen this one before, get plenty of popcorn and make yourself comfortable. You’re going to be there a while.

Two Out Of Three

Today on Seek God With Me, I’m looking at three men who responded to Jesus in different ways. One of them made good decisions, one made bad decisions, and one allowed Jesus to pull him from the ugliness of his past.

The last long movie I’ll review this month on this blog has a lot to do with those three kinds of people. So come back and check out this weekend’s review.

Schindler's List, 1993

I remember leaving the movie theater when I saw this film for the first time. The last part of the film with the real Holocaust survivors was very moving. But leaving the theater, I was angry. I knew that there was a spiritual darkness that drove the ugliness during that time period. I hated the ugliness. I hated the hate.

When young people today get a bad attitude and try out their own version of arrogant ugliness, I want to show them this film. I want to show them what ugliness can do. Forget detention after school. Show them this film and other like it that portray the bad people as bad. When films come out that show a bad guy as the hero that everyone wants to cheer for, I shudder. This film showed a character who found out he had a heart. He turned from evil and used what he had for good. Kind of basic, I think. But some people today aren’t getting that.

This film is about 195 minutes long or 3.25 hours. Hollywood produced a lot of long movies in the 1960s, including: Cleopatra, from 1963, which ran 243 minutes; Lawrence of Arabia, from 1962, which ran 216 minutes; Hamlet, from 1964, which ran 191 minutes; The Good The Bad And The Ugly, from 1966, which ran 179 minutes; and The Longest Day, from 1962, which ran 178 minutes.

According to, Schindler’s List was “The most expensive black & white film ever made to date. The previous record was held for over 30 years by another film about World War II, The Longest Day (1962).” The same site also stated, “Without adjusting for inflation, this is the highest-grossing black-and-white film of all time (taking in $96 million domestically and $321 million worldwide).”

Schindler’s List won seven Oscars: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Music - Original Score, Best Writing of a Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Best Director, and Best Picture.

A Time To Hate

This month, I’m sharing movies that have a long runtime. Every good movie has a little conflict in it. Long movies take a little more time to resolve the conflict. I’ll post my review this weekend of a movie that has a lot of conflict in it. A lot of hate.

The word hate gives some people a bad taste in their mouth. It’s an ugliness that I don’t like to talk about or even think about. But the Bible tells us that there is a time for hate.

Ecclesiastes 3:8 “a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

Join me today at Seek God With Me where I am showing this and other verses about how to hate correctly – and how not to.

Lawrence of Arabia, 1962

Thomas Edward Lawrence served as a British officer and, because of brave exploits, became known as Lawrence of Arabia. His writings inspired more than one movie about his life. Actors portraying him through the years included Sir Alec Guinness, Peter O’Toole, Sir Ian McKellen, and Ralph Fiennes.

T. E. Lawrence led the Arab army against the Turks in World War I. Many details in the film were not completely accurate, but put in place for the good of the film. For the most part, the film showed the kind of man Lawrence was and what kind of man it would take to accomplish the things he was able to do.

This 1962 movie won seven Academy Awards for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration Color, Best Cinematography Color, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Music Score – Substantially Original, Best Picture, and Best Sound.

It’s a favorite of many, but the film’s length was a bit too much for some. Over three and a half hours long, this film has no dialog spoken by a woman. With that much footage, you’d think there would be a line for a woman in there somewhere. The film benefitted from the skill of very good actors and a perfectionist director. The Oscars are proof of the dedication and excellence associated with this film.

The Desert

This weekend, I’ll post my review of Lawrence of Arabia. This 1962 film was very expensive to make, but it became a favorite of many. It’s the story of T. E. Lawrence who led the Arab army against the Turks in WWI.

Certain scenes in that movie make me think of Moses in the desert after hearing God’s voice in the burning bush. Some people thought Moses was crazy. His enemy probably did. But being different and surprisingly bold gives one an advantage over the enemy.

Is this what Moses was thinking? Join me at Seek God With Me and find out.

Gone With The Wind, 1939

Scarlett O’Hara loves Tara, her family’s plantation. Her father drove it into her that land is the only thing that lasts. When Tara is neglected during the Civil War, Scarlett comes back to her home to rebuild it to its former glory.

Rhett Butler is a scoundrel and everyone knows it. Scarlett could never fall for a man like that, especially while her heart is wrapped around a man like Ashley Wilkes.

Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to be nominated and win an Academy Award. She won for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Gone With The Wind was the first color film to win the Best Picture Oscar, and it was the longest film of all Best Picture Oscar winners. Besides the eight Oscars presented for work on Gone With The Wind, two more special awards were given. One was an honorary award given to William Cameron Menzies “for outstanding achievement in the use of color for the enhancement of dramatic mood in the production of Gone With The Wind.”

Neither Vivien Leigh nor Clark Gable was the first actor considered for the roles of Scarlett or Rhett. Gary Cooper turned down the male lead thinking the film had no chance of success. For the role of Scarlett, thirty-two screen tests were studied, but Vivien Leigh found success. Even though she won the Best Actress Oscar, she created quite a stir for being a British actress in a role many thought should go to an American.

Thomas Mitchell, who played Scarlett’s father, Gerald O’Hara, acted in three of the ten films nominated for Best Picture in 1939. Of his 103 acting credits, five of them were from 1939. George Reeves who played Stuart Tarleton, one of Scarlet’s boyfriends, became better known when he starred as Superman in the 1950s TV series. Cammie King Conlon played Bonnie Blue Butler, Scarlett and Rhett’s daughter. Conlon later worked as the voice of Young Faline in Bambi in 1942 and retired from acting at age 5.


Last weekend at the beginning of Long Movie Month here on Blogging Domino, I posted the review of Les Miserables, a movie released in 1934. One of the reasons for the enormous length of that movie and other long versions of the same story is the length of the original novel by Victor Hugo. According to, Hugo’s novel was published in 1862 and contained around 513,000 French words on 1,779 pages.

Next weekend, I’ll post my review of Gone With The Wind, which is also a pretty long movie. It’s listed at around 238 minutes. Margaret Mitchell’s novel was published in 1936 and had 1,037 pages in its first edition.

In Gone With The Wind, Scarlett fights to keep Tara, her family’s plantation, out of the hands of those who would steal it from her. After the Civil War takes a toll on Tara, Scarlett must do whatever is necessary to rebuild Tara.

This rebuilding is also found in my devotional blog this week. Join me at Seek God With Me where I share the story of Nehemiah who has to fight to rebuild the walls of the city.

Les Miserables, 1934

Ex-convict Jean Valjean tries to start his life over, but is constantly pursued by police inspector Javert. While Valjean continues trying to make life better for other people, Javert obsesses over getting his hands on the elusive ex-con.

There were many versions made of this story, from black and white film to musical. I noticed that the length of the films made from 1925 to 1995 varied from six hours to almost 3 hours. The 1934 version was just over 4 ½ hours long. And yes, I watched all four and one half hours of it.

The transformation of Valjean from bitter ex-convict to loving father was developed in many emotional steps. The way others responded to him showed how his character changed as well. The moments of decision for Valjean were times of reflection. He could decide who he wanted to be.

I applied what I saw on the screen to society today. There are those in today’s world who want to change who they are, but their past follows them like Javert. My suggestion is for those people to watch Valjean make the decision to help people despite being hounded by Javert. Valjean chose to give his best to those who would receive his help. We can do that too.

Editing would have made this a better film. Even though I imagine no one wants to touch this 281-minute treasure, I could see this reedited with a large Deleted Scenes section. Or we could watch one of the shorter versions.

I must admit I enjoy listening to the French language in this black and white film. The language is beautiful, but the English subtitles are a must since I don’t speak French.