The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Factual error: Just before Angel Eyes confronts the girl in her room about the whereabouts of Bill Carson, we see her walking in the hall outside her room, and lighting this hallway is a very modern day lightbulb.

Visible crew/equipment: When Angel Eyes sits down at the dinner table in his first scene, there is a small unlit lantern hanging on the wall near his head, and unexplainable light sources reflected on it.

Factual error: The judges reading Tuco and Shorty's death sentences mention them being wanted by so many counties within "the state." This cannot be correct. The battles the characters are near at all times in the film depict the battles over New Mexico. The Union never invaded Texas through its western deserts, despite landing in the Rio Grande valley. New Mexico was not a state until 1912 and was never treated as a state by the CSA. Thus, the judges should be saying territory.


Character mistake: At the confederate prison camp after they are captured a soldier comes up to the sergeant (Van Cleef) and informs him that the "Captain" wants to see him right away. In the next shot with Van Cleef where he is talking to the commanding officer you will see that he is not a captain but a major.

Other mistake: When Blondie is cleaning his pistol he only loaded 3 bullets, but as Tuco's bandits enter the door Blondie shoots off 4 rounds.

Continuity mistake: When Tuco pulls the corporal from train they fall down a steep grade. When train runs over the corporal, they're on flat ground. The corporal would be too heavy for Tuco to carry far enough for the ground to flatten out. Watch the ground when the train approaches before the jump.

Factual error: While cleaning his pistol Eastwood is using a plastic bore brush, not available in that era. (00:00:45 - 00:50:00)

Factual error: The movie depicts General Sibley's New Mexico campaign. This occurred in the first half of 1862, with the last battle occurring on June 1, prior to a Confederate retreat to Texas. General Sibley is seen, and he lost his battlefield command altogether in 1863. However, Angel Eyes makes reference to Andersonville prison, which did not open until 1864. The question is also begged as to how Art Scanlon, who died in February of 1862, had completely rotted away by May in dry soil.


Continuity mistake: A dirty Union cavalry officer hits himself to clean off the dust that made him appeared Confederate. His first two strikes barely shake the dust on his uniform, yet, after a cutaway and two off-screen strikes, his arm is almost completely free of dust. (01:16:50)


Other mistake: About 20 minutes into the film, Tuco is arrested by the sheriff who rolls out a Wanted poster which has Tuco's picture. However, as can be seen (but only visible for a second or two), the name on the Wanted poster says Guy Calloway, who was a character in Leone's previous film For A Few Dollars More, who had a bounty on him (and a poster) and was killed by Col. Mortimer early in that film. Leone was notorious for trying to reuse props to save money (the Al Mulock story being the most infamous example), and possibly just reused the old poster with Wallach's picture on it, figuring nobody would notice.

Factual error: Regarding the train scenes when Tuco is taken then escapes from Mario Brega, there were no trains / railways in New Mexico in any of the years of the US Civil War, let alone 1862 when Selby's short-lived and daft campaign was limited to. I believe the RRs were starting to move into Texas then, but not NM until the 1870s. Also, the whole geography of the film is wrong if the gold was intercepted but 'escaped' with the three people in the wagon near Glorietta Pass in early 1862. The sequence of events means all involved had to go up and down the Rio Bravo constantly - eg. the 'jornado del muerto' is hundreds of miles from Glorietta. This is too complicated to summarise here, but check the actual battles and timelines.

Other mistake: Director Sergio Leone uses one of his trademark filming techniques throughout this film, where anything outside the camera frame doesn't exist. Several times the characters react to situations and other characters when they come into frame that they logically would've seen much sooner. For example, at one point Blondie and Tuco are walking and stumble across an army camp. Even though in reality they would have been walking toward it for a long time and would have been aware of it, they react with surprise the moment it appears on screen.

Factual error: Extended version. After finding a dying Bill Carson, Tuco arrives at an outpost looking for a hospital. It's night, or at least dark outside - he is told the hospital is 18 miles away. In the next scene he arrives at the hospital at nearly high noon. A horse canters and gallops (full speed) between 4-30 mph. Basically the hospital was an hour away.

Beau Peterson

Revealing mistake: When Tuco is about to shoot Blondie in the desert, and the Army wagon is seen approaching, the driver can be seen sitting far back in the rear of the coach wearing a hat. (00:54:10)

Tuco: I'll kill you.
Man With No Name: If you do that... You'll always be poor... Just like the greasy rat you are.

More quotes from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Trivia: There is no dialogue in the first 10 minutes of the film.

More trivia for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Question: At the end of the film Blondie, sitting on the horse, turns around, aims his rifle, fires, and severs the rope with a single shot. Lets face it, that rope would be a very small target, and difficult to hit with precision, even from ten or twenty feet, and Blondie is now so far from Tuco that he would no longer even be able to see the rope. Could anyone hit such a small target from such a distance with such incredible accuracy?

Rob Halliday

Answer: There's a show called "Hollywood Weapons: Fact or Fiction" which dealt with this exact question (s01e03). Blondie is roughly 200 yds away. In the show the host didn't hit the rope, but only missed by an inch on his first attempt. I definitely think an expert Sharps Rifle shooter could make the shot. The issue however, is the bullet would most likely not actually slice the rope apart as seen in the film (they fired the Sharps at point blank and the rope remained partially intact still). They also tested shooting a hat off someone and (as expected) the bullet just goes right through the hat without lifting the hat at all.


That was another thing that puzzled me. On several occasions in this film, Tuco is suspended from a rope, and Blondie cuts the rope by firing a bullet at it, (I think Clint Eastwood repeated the trick in "The Outlaw Josey Wales"). But if you fired a bullet at a rope holding a (rather large) person like Tuco (or a similarly heavy weight), even at close range, would it really sever the rope? I will have to look out for "Hollywood Weapons Fact Or Fiction." I hope they only used a dummy or a model to re-create the shooting feats. I don't think I would have liked to have been hanging on a rope while somebody fired bullets at me to see if this would sever the rope, or to stand there while they fired bullets into my hat to see if they could lift it off my head.

Rob Halliday

Answer: Probably not, but remember...this is a movie, a western at that and they typically have over the top action to excite audiences. Kinda like how its impossible to shoot someone's hat off without harming them. It's all for show.


More questions & answers from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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