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

Posted a review in my blog:

I watched this one this morning. Gotta agree with some others on here. Once I got into the film I really enjoyed it but the last few minutes and ending left me feeling a bit let down. Sort of didn’t go anywhere after the earlier promise. Not bad with some great moments but only above average so a 3/5 overall from me.

I thought this was alright but for a comedy it was quite violent even compared to the Trinity films. I didn’t find it as funny as the Trinity films either. I don’t recall the Trinity boys beating the shit out of eachother. It became dark comedy to me (which I usually love but for some reason not so much in this movie) when they started robbing banks and pointing guns at people. I guess I’ll have to give it another viewing.



I completely agree with every word.

Always the same with every Lupo western. They are good looking, and have a lavish production design (Arizona Colt not that much), but are too uneven to be real fun.
And this one is a 5/10, which is the typical Michele Lupo rating in my book.

Great review Scherp. Absolutely spot on with everything I felt about the film.
When you say ‘what is bound to happen never happens due to decision to rewrite the original script’ that is exactly why I felt a bit let down. I fully expected it to be a tragedy. I couldn’t see it going any other way. I thought it was building nicely in this direction. I did not know about the rewrite so the ending just screwed up a decentish film for me. It wasn’t a clever twist just sort of fizzled out a bit limply.

I’ve seen a TV version, runtime 108m 38s PAL (113m)

Thumbs up
The pair Gemma-Eastman works successfully

There are some fine camera takes

The well-matched trio composed of Remo Capitani, Luciano Catenacci/Lorcas and Nello Pazzafini

Marisa Mell, Aldo Sambrell and Allan 3% Smith death scene

Thumbs down
The saloon brawl is exceedingly silly

Towards the end of the film the passage from the chase to the desert sequence is too abrupt

Interesting review.

There’s an equally positive review of the film here that includes some similar observations:

When adopting ideas or loosely paraphrasing from the work of others it is customary to include a reference to the original writer’s review (either in the body of your own review or in a footnote). I’m guessing that its omission was an oversight, but shouldn’t a reference or link to the earlier DVD Savant review now be added to your review page? It may not be the case with the content of the Spaghetti Western Database but the content of DVD Talk and DVD Savant’s articles are covered by copyright.

[quote=“SWreggie, post:19, topic:678”]One of the best IW Comedys with two great Actors (Gemma, Eastman) and a superb Score!

Listen to this:


I always thought it was a shame they didn’t this alternate song… much better, imo

I liked this one. The transfer in the 44 spaghetti western movie pack from Mill Creek is really good quality.

^I really didn’t like it the first time, so I never went back … Hmm I guess I’ll need to rewatch it again.

Everyone has their own taste, so it’s okay to dislike it. I’ve watched Death Rides a Horse twice, for example, and it’s never blown me away. I think it’s a very good spaghetti western but it’s not outstanding. A Fistful of Dynamite, however, is one of my absolute favourites. I think it’s a masterpiece and I know you disagree with me on that one.

Does anyone know where I could get the Wild East or any English-friendly DVD? The only one I can find is on amazon and it’s $95/£72 which I’m not gonna lie I don’t fancy paying even though I really want to see this one.

The Mill Creek box set has a widescreen transfer. It’s the one with 44 films.

Went ahead and ordered it last night even though the films on it are either crap or ones that I already own (except for Four of the Apocalypse, which I love but have never bought). But it has this one and Johnny Yuma which I still haven’t seen so I suppose it was worth £14 for 3 films. Cheers for the info :slight_smile:

Watched this one again over the last few nights, in a much better copy than the first time I saw it. I think I differ a little with some of the previous reviews. I see this as much less influenced by Trinity (though certainly, in the cycle of the spaghetti films, the Trinity effect is there…especially in the saloon brawl) and more by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid style buddy movies. This one even has a rain-themed song, even though I don’t remember seeing any physical rain in the movie.

I also think that breaking up my viewing over three nights (sick kid took my attention!) benefitted my viewing, as I saw it less as a straight comedy, and more a semi-serious movie with comedic undertones. Gemma is an albatross around Eastman’s neck, and though Eastman repeatedly attempts to break from that responsibility, fate compels him back. But he’s not completely blameless – after all, he waits three days outside (nevermind that earlier comment about the rain – I forgot it was in this scene!) the prison for Gemma to emerge. In the conversation with Mell, Gemma finally becomes self-aware of his general worthlessness, but still doesn’t quite understand how he brings Eastman down. It’s only in the end, during the final gunfight, that he gets a sense of purpose that compels him to act (sort of) selflessly, refusing to let Eastman cover his escape.

It’s also the reason the ending is so disappointing, as it seems that all of the dynamicism of Gemma’s character is erased, and he’s back at square one (with a hair color change?).

The cinematography in the film is outstanding, though, with a consistently great use of deep focus. Eastman is the surprise runaway talent here, and makes more of the material than was in the script. Though I love him in these sorts of movies, it’s sort of a shame that he never got a bigger break. Gemma somehow plays younger here than in the Ringo movies he’d made a decade before, and plays against the natural charisma we’ve seen of him in other films. And the trio of villains, especially Luciano Catenacci, are fantastic and dominate every scene they’re in.

And I know I said I liked the serious bits, but the gag where the two cheaters sit down opposite each other and try to gauge what they know of each others’ cheating styles, and the resulting reveal of cards, was a highlight of the film.


That’s also the runtime of the German DVD, but actually the German version is supposed to be 120 min and the Italian one 121 min. But it seems that no existing version runs beyond these 113 min.

The film has a lot of abrupt changes, after which the actor’s clothes have changed without any explanation, but on the other hand the film feels already longer than necessary.

And I stand to my former review:

Some of the comedy stuff is well done, better than in many other SW comedies, but overall Clucher was the much more talented director in that department. But Lupo has an eye for western directing, only that he never had a screenplay good enough to make his abilities shine.

The Database runtime (118 minutes) is correct for the Italian version.

Verified film length 3230 meters.

But again is the question, if these Italian data are correct.
Your TV version also runs only the 113 min of the German DVD. And no known version so far is longer.

What data do you have e.g. for Joko invoca Dio… e muori?