Ben and Charlie / Amico, stammi lontano almeno un palmo (Michele Lupo, 1972)


(Jimi) #1

A couple of months ago I bought “Ben and Charlie” on DVD from Wild East. Have watched it 3 times since then. But first, the specs:

Titles: “Amico, stammi lontano almeno un palmo” (Italy); “Ben and Charlie” (USA); “Stay Away, Amigo” (USA); “Fais attention Ben, Charlie arrive” (France)
Original release: 1972
Starring: Giuliano Gemma, George Eastman, Giacomo Rossi Stuart
Director: Michele Lupo (also did “Arizona Colt aka Man From Nowhere” and “Buddy Goes West” among others)
Music: Gianni Ferrio (also did “Fort Yuma Gold aka For a Few Extra Dollars” and “A Bullet For Sandoval” aomng others)
DVD release: Wild East, 2005
Presentation: Widescreen (not sure of the exact aspect)
Language: English

This movie is billed as a spaghetti western comedy and while it is not laughs from start to finish, it is rather comical and a lot of fun to watch. Basically, Gemma’s and Eastman’s characters try to stay as far away from one another as possible but they manage to find themselves at the same places at the oddest times, and of course the next question is do they band together or stay away! They have such vastly different personalities: Gemma’s character is on the more lighthearted yet slightly naive side, which always seems to bother Eastman’s calm and collective side. The balance the characters give here really make this film work so well, and the chemistry between them is phenominal (I wish they had done another movie together!).

Like I said, this is billed as a comedy to some degree. The most comical parts occur when Eastman is bugged by Gemma’s sometimes careless antics, which happens quite a bit here. It almost comes off as a big brother/little brother relationship. Very entertaining. And when it’s not so comical, it is still excellent. The gunfighting is well done and the dialogue is solid. And of course, the scenery is as spaghetti western as it gets.

The best scene is the poker game they play against one another with everyone watching. So funny. They know eachother so well that they are aware of the other person’s cheating tactics and…well, must be seen. So cool.

The transer is phenominal. I like how Wild East let’s you see the “old” way the picture looked before they “fixed” it. This usually happens during the credits. Wow. I have several other of the Wild East vids and this one (image wise…and entertainment wise) is one of their best. The musical score is also very good. Not to the point where it could be ranked among the best sw scores ever, but it certainly does the job for what this movie presents. However, the opening song kind of bugged me at first but has grown on me. I actually prefer the “alternate credit vocals” (one of the extras): different song, more upbeat, and the vocals remind me of Dire Straits, heh heh. The only other extras are the picture gallery and the trailer.

A very entertaining movie (in my opinion). Like I said, I’ve watched it 3 times in the past 2 months. Gemma and Eastman are incredible here (especially Gemma).
8 stars out of 10.


Miss Dynamite / Tutti fratelli nel West … per parte di padre (Sergio Grieco, 1972)
(Stanton) #2

It’s clearly modelled after the Trinita films, but not as funny as these.

Funny thing is that Gemma made this type of SW comedies before the groundbreaking success of 'My Name Is Trinity, and if you look at the SWs he made before, and compare them with the early Terence Hill SWs (all in Franco Nero style), he and not Hill should have been the obvious choice for the Trinita role.
But with Ben and Charly he seemed to be only a copycat.


(ENNIOO) #3

This film has alot going for it; actors, music,camerawork and not a bad budget.

But I can’t help but think the film would have been better if it would have dropped the comedy elements.


(Pacificador) #4

I just watched this for the first time. Scott Mary did a very good job summing it up.

I’m not a big fan of comedy westerns but this was not a bad movie at all. It won’t be one I watch a lot but I was in the right mood to watch this today. I really like both Gemma and Eastman in this movie.


(scherpschutter) #5

[quote=“ENNIOO, post:3, topic:678”]This film has alot going for it; actors, music,camerawork and not a bad budget.

But I can’t help but think the film would have been better if it would have dropped the comedy elements.[/quote]

Ennioo did the job for me

Not a bad film, but they had better dropped the comedy elements
Unlike Scott Mary I did’t detect much chemistry between the two leads

Yes stanton, maybe Gemma would have been a more logical choice than Hill for the Trinity part, but I’m glad they didn’t pick him
In Germany they would have retitled nearly all Gemma movies, cut scenes and added funny dialogue (yek!)
Eine Pistole für Trinity, Trinity’s Rückkehr, Adios Trinity usw
I Giorni dell’Ira would probably have been retitled as Trinity und Lee regen sich auf


(Reverend Danite) #6

Re: The last Western you watched?
« Reply #3049 on: Yesterday at 11:33:53 PM »


well - I might as well stick what I said elsewhere in it’s proper home - I seem to pretty much agree with Brother Ennioo et all …

After a bit of an absence from spaghettis, it was with some trepidation I put Ben and Charlie in the player.
Well, the first 30 minutes confirmed my worst and I was witnessing a sub-trinity film that exists on the wrong side of shit. BUT …
…hang about, whilst rummaging about to find another film to put on, something took over and I was hooked. A bit (lot) let down again by the last 10 minutes as well - but between the beginning and end - there is a fuckin’ brilliant hours worth of film trying to rise above the comedic excesses (of which there are a few). OK - not as slappy as Trinity, but my God - what a great film this could have been if it had stuck to it’s guns. I wanted the ‘prostitute’ to have the “bed of roses” from a dying man - but none of this happened.
A bald headed villain with a dodgy moustache to boot - this film should have been great!
I’m not known for being a big fan of George Eastman, yet am fond of Gemma - but I was completely won over with Big G.E. in this.
I enjoyed - thoroughly enjoyed - much of this, but ultimately feel let down by it trying to do too much. Without the nonsense this could’ve been a contender.

(Oh, and Phil - the other film I was gonna put on would’ve been One Silver Dollar with Gemma - I told you I’d lost it - well it was tucked in with this one - in the wrong box. Which reminds me there’s reference in B&C to this “dollar” plus there’s a gold musical watch as well …) plus summat else I noticed …

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/forum/index.php/topic,1272.new.html#new

That’s the same fountain …

And another thing - I’m not sure what film the synopsis is for, in the database for Ben and Charlie … but it ain’t for B&C - if you get my drift … sounds good tho’ …

« Last Edit: Yesterday


(Paco Roman) #7

The synopsis looks wrong. ???

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Ben_And_Charlie


(Phil H) #8

[quote=“Paco Roman, post:7, topic:678”]The synopsis looks wrong. ???

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Ben_And_Charlie[/quote]

Having just got this film I thought I’d check out what others have thought and noticed the two quotes above. So I checked the synopsis and sure enough it is clearly not for Ben and Charlie. I’m pretty sure I know what film it is for but before I say what I think it is it seemed like a good chance for a little game.
Check it out on the film’s page here: http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Ben_and_Charlie
and then post here what your guess is as to which film that synopsis belongs to.
Hurry up though, I can’t leave such a glaring error on the site much longer. :-[


(Bad Lieutenant) #9

3 colpi di Winchester per Ringo, right?

On the B & C dvd: I have the German e-m-s, which seems to have the best picture quality around:
http://www.sundances.net/spaghetti/1972/amico-stammi-lontano-almeno-un-palmo-ben-and-charlie/screenshots/

Unfortunately German audio only, but that wasn’t much of a mishap to me as I still very much enjoyed this film.


(Phil H) #10

That’s what it looks like to me.

God knows how that synopsis got on Ben and Charlie’s page. :smiley: I can only assume someone got their Wild East releases mixed up ???


(Reverend Danite) #11

I ain’t got a clue Phil, not one I’ve seen - but it sounds like one I’d like to! :slight_smile:

[Edit: ooops - didn’t see it’d been answered … I was just checking my 73 pages of missed ‘most recent posts’ … I’d better check an’ see if I’ve got this movie …]


(LankyFellow) #12

Last night i watched this for the second time and it was as good as the memory i had of that.
Gemma and Eastman are e very good team during the whole movie,although i’m not a Eastman fan,but here he do a good job.
Especially i like the dirty and dusty style of this movie,the locations and maybe the mix with the funny parts,although if they leave out the comedy,it could been more better.
I think its unfair to compare this very good movie with the trinitys,they are another league and pure comedy,besides not my thing.
Then there is Gemma,who is compared with a lot of other good movies he made and thinkable the people say : ‘Hm,Gemma,he did better ones’.Or alike.
However its a free and easy film,with his funny and hard parts,for example the final gunfight.The very best is the cool score from Gianni Ferrio.I whistle it since yesterday,hopefully it won’t be rainy today


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #13

[quote=“Paco Roman, post:7, topic:678”]The synopsis looks wrong. ???

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Ben_And_Charlie[/quote]

I took it out. A former member by the name of “Mark” has given wrong info in a number of the database’s entries. See my post on the “lastest contributions” thread.

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/forum/index.php/topic,625.msg38709.html#msg38709

“Mark” was either deliberately giving wrong info or he was simply an idiot. All these errors are being commited by the same guy.


(Dorado) #14

I watched this one today and found it to be very intertaining even though the commedy westerns are not my cup of tea.
Gemma and Montefiori works well together and the plot is pretty good for that kind of film.
all in all one of the best comedy westerns imo.
3/5


(Stanton) #15

This is a likeable, nicely directed SW comedy, with a good production design and a superior photography (By Joe d’Amato).

But somehow it’s also not too exciting. The change from an episodic comedy about the troublesome friendship between 2 crooks to a more dramatic SW with tragic moments does not work too well. It ends in a typical SW shoot out, which isn’t badly done, but also not good enough to be a satisfying end to all what was shown before.

Nice, but only sub-Trinity. 3/5


(LankyFellow) #16

I think its got nothin to do with the Trinitys.
There are so many buddy movies with funny influences,i cant imagine that they all have the Trinity pattern


(korano) #17

A good fun comedy. Pure and simple.


(El Topo) #18

Actually I wasn’t the greatest enthusiast of western comedies as any die hard fun of Leone films I guess, but since I been watching more SW I SW comedies became more acceptable to me, this one even if not totally a comedy is one of the best I’ve seen for a while.
A great cast on this one, to my shame only after becoming a forum member I’ve discover how great Gemma was, Eastman got a great performance also in one of the best movies I’ve seen with him, the rest of the cast is also SW nobility, special mention to Marisa Mell she was so stupidly beautiful (why I was born at the time she made this film).
The story is well done I liked the way they turned the bank robbery around on who’s were the bad guys, there as lot of references to other SW, the Gemma scene with the gun dealer is a obvious one, by 72 they were already doing references from other films of the genre (creating the legend for those ones), for a 70’s SW the story is very good, and the photography and soundtrack as well.
I’ve seen so many films from Lupo (mostly the Bud Spencer ones) in a time I didn’t pay much attention to who the director was, only to the actors, but after watching California and this on I would take a look at those Spencer comedies (Bulldozer and E.T, and the Sherriff were pretty famous at the time) and bring out of the vault (from my watch pile that is) the film he made with Kirk Douglas and Gemma also.
A pretty solid SW well made that doesn’t give the genre a bad name (none really does, in the end we all have a special place in our heart for every SW).

Four stars


(SWreggie) #19

One of the best IW Comedys with two great Actors (Gemma, Eastman) and a superb Score!

Listen to this:

:slight_smile:


(p.pereira) #20

I’ve searched this flick for years, only remembered a few scenes therefore it was not easy to put a name on it. It felt great the rewatch it. Eastman is great in this one, better than Gemma in my opinion. Too bad that Marisa Mell had such minor appearance, I recently watched to “Diabolik”… gorgeous!

Been reading previous comments, I understand El Topo point of view, as a kid I also watch lot of italian films in VHS or TV which I remember due to the leading actors and not because of the directors. Anyway Lupo stuff in western spaghettis are much better than later comedies.