In my multi-media, cross genre search for the perfect western I have not gotten around to giving serious thought to the Sergio Leone movies. They are good, certainly, perhaps even great, but to me they do not add up to the perfect western. When Blondie stares meaningfully into the desert he is not considering the infinite in the landscape, the purifying fires of the scorched plains, nor his potential to remake himself in the silence. No, he is thinking about booty, both the golden and fleshy kinds. Fun to watch, awesome in execution, but it lacks that certain element that I am looking for in my perfect western.
One writer clearly disagrees, and put together a list of 50 reasons why The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly is the Best Western of All Time. Check it out.