Snow is dumping outside and the morning chores are done, so I put on The Good, The Bad and The Ugly for background noise. There's been something about that final gunfight that's bugged me since the first time I watched it, and I've figured it out.
For sake of argument, we're going to suspend the artistic license of the misdated firearms, cartridge belts for percussion caps and I know it's a movie that was written so Clint Eastwood doesn't go down.
In every other scene, Angel Eyes is "smooth and fast", a term shootists as myself have pounded in our head right after the fundamental safety rules. When he shoots Stevens, there's minimal movement, he keeps his eyes matching his target and fires. Same as when he guns down Steven's son... smooth and fast. That sidearm is an extension of Angel Eyes and he doesn't need to bob his head or fiddle with his hands.
Now, back to the final gunfight. Angel Eyes knows Tuco is a dirty fighter, in both tactics and accuracy. And the fact his 1851 Colt navy is dangling would take more movement to reach and draw (sidenote- I love the story that the lanyard solution arose after Wallach kept looking down to reholster). Angel knows Blondie is more accurate, and his crossdraw holster points the New Army Remington towards that bigger threat.
Now, when the fervor builds, eyes shift and fingers creep towards their sidearms. Right before Angel Eyes unholsters, he pulls an amateur maneuver and turns his head towards Tuco, THEN draws to fire on Blondie. For every action, there is a reaction, and the first movement (hopefully the sidearm being drawn) is the action, while return fire is the reaction. This has been tested many times, including by myself in live fire and simunition training maneuvers, many times. Angel Eyes gives his shot away to Blondie by moving his head, something he would never do. You always look at your target and he would not need to move his head to see either Blondie or Tuco.
Now, I know it's just a movie, and Clint Eastwood is the star, but I put my finger on what was bothering me with that scene.
After watching all these movies, I pulled some of my black powder pistols out of the safes, and if the weather clears up a bit, I'm going to have some fun. :)
Hope everyone has a fabulous Sunday, Keep your powder dry.
Blondie remained cool and relaxed and only focused on Angel Eyes. Tuco and Angel Eyes had to focus on two excellent guns and in the fast cuts of their faces you see them begin to sweat and take... more
Hi Bob! I saw a great film analysis on the final scene, how LVC has twice as many frames as Blondie and Tuco building the scene. He is also at a disadvantage as the men do not form an equilateral... more