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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Tuco's gone...Eli Wallach dies age 98. Rest in peace, sir.

I re-watched the classic spaghetti western, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly earlier this week and Wallach stole the film from both Eastwood and Van Cleef. He dominated the screen in every scene he was in and today I woke to the news that the actor had died aged 98 - that's quite an innings and although Wallach gave us many iconic roles over the years, including a great turn in the third Godfather movie,he will always be Tuco for me...that character who set the screen alight in arguably the greatest spaghetti western of all time, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Blondie and Tuco
Throughout the movie he refers to Eastwood's man with no name character, as Blondie and the two actors made an unlikely but superb double act. It's is such a pity the two men didn't work together on another western, perhaps reprising the roles they played in Sergio Leone's classic western. Man, that would have been something very special.

Quite simply The Good, the Bad and the Ugly ranks among my favorite westerns of all time, and like several others, is a movie which I watch at least once a year. Wallach is absolutely superb and he brings his character to vivid life,his extroverted performance perfectly gelling with Eastwood's more laconic approach. There are many memorable scenes in the movie but in one  a gunman seems to get the drop on Wallach’s Tuco when the latter is enjoying a rare relaxing bubble bath. As the one-armed cowboy yaps about how he is going to kill him, Tuco blasts him with a pistol hidden under the water. Says Wallach: “When you have to shoot, shoot — don’t talk.”

Rest in Peace, Sir....You will live forever through your many wonderful performances.


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