Clint Eastwood’s legendary 57-year-old western reviewed by a Civil War expert


  • Clint Eastwood’s legendary western The Good, The Bad and The Ugly gets a brutal review for its historical accuracy from a Civil War expert.
  • The film takes creative liberties with storytelling for dramatic purposes and does not intend to be a historically accurate depiction of the American Civil War.
  • Prioritizing entertainment over historical accuracy, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is widely regarded as the finest representation of the spaghetti western genre.

Clint Eastwood’s iconic western, The good the bad and the ugly, is judged by a Civil War expert and receives a brutal rating for its historical accuracy. Released in 1966 as the third installment in Eastwood and director Sergio Leone’s Dollar trilogy, the iconic film follows the three eponymous gunslingers as they search for a buried Confederate gold cache in the middle of the American Civil War. Today, The good the bad and the ugly Widely regarded as the definitive spaghetti western and credited with making Eastwood a star, it’s not held in high esteem for its historical accuracy.

In a new video by insiderjudged Civil War expert Garry Adelman The good the bad and the ugly for its historical accuracy. Adelman immediately objects to the film’s use of anachronistic weapons, including a Gatling gun and mortars, during the Battle of Glorieta Pass in New Mexico. He goes on to explain that some aspects of the bridge demolition scene are accurate. Overall, Adelman gave the film a 2/10 rating for its historical accuracy. Read his full comment or watch the following part of the video:

What immediately catches the eye is the Gatling gun. The Gatling gun existed during the Civil War but was not used in 1862. It also wasn’t used in New Mexico, where this is actually set. One can count on two hands the number of Gatling guns actually used in the Civil War, and these were rarely used in Petersburg and occasionally on Union Naval ships. The idea that these positions are prepared in a fight that actually took place without anyone expecting it. They have disguised walls and mortar guns and whatnot. That was immediately noticed as something crazy.

​​​​It is quite realistic that you see a lot of artillery fire in this scene. Not exactly the artillery fire I would expect. They certainly didn’t lug those heavy, high-arc mortars across the New Mexico desert to get to this location, but it’s pretty realistic that they’ll be shot with artillery again first, because they’re really out of the 250-350 range yards, i.e. the effective range of shoulder-carried rifled muskets. The idea of ​​both sides attacking each other in hand-to-hand combat. At the Battle of Glorietta Pass there were not 800 soldiers on each side, moving 300 yards via a sort of clash in the middle. That sounds more like the Middle Ages than civil war.

We actually have solid accounts of Civil War soldiers wiring bridges. This was often done by sapper soldiers, soldiers who were knowledgeable about explosives and where to place them so they could use them as little as possible to get the job done there. They seem to have done a pretty good job on the film, wiring it in place of the colleagues and key supporters to make it special in Bridge Collapse.​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​I am not aware that soldiers on either side blew up bridges to bring about victory during the Battle of Glorietta Pass.​​​​​​​ Battles were often fought over transportation. It was so important to control rivers, roads, and railroads that bridges were natural targets for both armies during the Civil War. I would give this clip a two out of ten. In fact, this is so bogus that it’s hard to pin it down to a battle in this campaign.

How historically accurate are the good, the bad, and the ugly?

Tuco (Eli Wallach) enters a saloon full of gunmen in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

As Adelman’s low rating shows, The good the bad and the uglyThe depiction of the battles of the American Civil War is not considered to be very historically accurate. Like many works of fiction and especially western films The good the bad and the ugly takes creative liberties in using the story for dramatic purposes. Although the Western is set against the backdrop of the Civil War, it is not intended to be historically accurate. Instead, the violent chaos of that time is intended to serve as the backdrop for the characters’ search for buried treasure.

Related: Did Clint Eastwood’s ‘Man With No Name’ Actually Have a Name? The Mystery of the Dollar Trilogy Explained

As a Sergio Leone film, The good the bad and the ugly is highly stylized and is characterized by the director’s typical use of long shots and close-ups. His costumes and weapons, for example, are not meant to reflect the era, but rather the iconic imagery made popular by the spaghetti western genre. The good the bad and the ugly emphasizes storytelling and entertainment over historical accuracy, which is perhaps why it is now widely regarded as the finest representation of the spaghetti western genre.

Source: insider Clint Eastwood’s legendary 57-year-old western reviewed by a Civil War expert

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