One of the landmark spaghetti Westerns from Italian director Sergio Leone, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly follows the crisscrossing paths of three killers in Civil War-era America. The scam artists and all-around scoundrels are played by Eli Wallach (the ugly), Lee Van Cleef (the bad) and Clint Eastwood (the good, but only by default). Each of them is introduced with a self-conscious panache that’s years ahead of its time. There’s a freeze-frame shot, a title announcing who’s good and who’s bad and then an aural blast of Ennio Morricone’s endlessly imitated score.Though garishly violent, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly hardly is cavalier about pain and death. There are times, especially when we catch glimpses of an abandoned battlefield or overcrowded infirmary in the background, that the movie’s setting allows it to attain the poignancy of a pacifist poem. The movie also gives us Eastwood, who owes his early, Man With No Name image to Leone and the handful of films they made together. Eastwood’s Joe doesn’t say much, but he shoots straight and in the end doesn’t really kill anyone who didn’t deserve it. In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, that qualifies him as a hero.