Between God, the Devil and a Winchester / Anche nel West c’era una volta Dio (Marino Girolami, 1968)


(Phil H) #1

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Anche_nel_west_c'era_una_volta_Dio

Bad Lieutenant mentioning on another thread that he had just watched this one reminded me that I recently wrote a review and that there was no discussion thread for the film. Until now that is.

I suspect the lack of discussion could be caused by the fact that it is not very good. But let’s give it a go anyway.
For my own take on it here’s the review I wrote recently.

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Between_God%2C_the_Devil_and_a_Winchester_Review


(AceHigh) #2

Another ace review, Phil. You nailed this one perfectly. Oh, and I liked the Hannibal Lecter reference also. Thanks for your efforts; they are truly appreciated.


(scherpschutter) #3

A bit of a surprise that this film, clearly family entertainment, was made during the heydays of the genre

Looks like Castellari could have done miracles with this material
A kind of Any Gun can Play for the whole family

Great review by the way

Edit: just read that the director is Enzo’s father !
Like father, like son, but maybe the son would’ve done better


(Bill san Antonio) #4

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:3, topic:1157”]Looks like Castellari could have done miracles with this material
A kind of Any Gun can Play for the whole family[/quote]It’s Girolamis film, not Castellari’s. Or do you just mean that son Girolami would have been better director? I wasn’t sure what do you mean.


(alk0) #5

Below average. The idea behind it was interesting, but the execution is uneven. Harrison’s performance was average at best. Gilbert Roland’s role was good, he tends to add a touch of class to movies he’s in, but i have to add that iron hand was ridiculous - you can clearly see his real hand below. That ‘cute’ kid was annoying. I’ve seen it about a week ago and can’t remeber how the soundtrack was, so i guess it wasn’t a good one. 4/10


(T.H) #6

Not very good at all. I almost fell asleep during the movie which is not a good sign. 3/10


(Stanton) #7

Treasure Island without an Island, without the wooden leg, without a parrot. So what?

Gilbert Roland, as charismatic as ever, easily steals the show.
But, Jesus, what happened to Richard Harrison? He looks 10 years older with his bloated face than in Vengeance, which was released the same year.

The film has some good scenes, but the story isn’t very convincing.

2,5 / 5


(Spaghetti Monkey) #8

Gilbet Roland is good in this, and i like it just a hair more. 6/10 from me.


(Dorado) #9

I really liked this one especially the first 1/3 of it, that is the part before they leave in search of the treasure.
Had the film been able to keep the suspense and tension throughout it would have been a top 20 SW IMO.
Unfortunately the rest of the film is average.
As mentioned by others in this thread Gilbert Roland gives a good performance, and the opposite can be said about Harrison who put in a bleak and dull performance.

But even though the last 2/3 of the film is only average I would still give it 7/10.


(Pacificador) #10

Average at best, boring and painful at the slow spots. Gilbert Roland barely salvages this into a 2/5 movie.


(Bawtyshouse) #11

Several problems plague this overlong, tedious flick. For one, it takes an ideal premise and draws it out interminably as to make it excruciating. Also, your protagonists are a motley, poorly-rendered bunch for the most part.

The story is a basic rework of TREASURE ISLAND. Transpose a literary classic to a new genre, I get it. Should be fun, right? A boy whose family runs a boarding house discovers a treasure map hidden by a traveling bounty hunter. The boy, along with his own old uncle, a dapper caballero, and a wandering preacher, set out across the mountains to find the gold. They must fight off a gang of roving bandits as well as their own paranoia and suspicions of each other. The story seems to take forever to get started, and once the crew gets started on their trek to find the treasure, nothing really happens for the next hour til the inevitable showdown.

An action/adventure film like this that centers around a little boy is going to rise and fall on the performance of the boy, and here, young Humberto Sempere as Tony is sniveling, wide-eyed, unlikeable. Plus, he is voiced in a shrill, broad manner by an obviously adult female actor. That alone kills the vibe of the flick from the get-go. Similarly, the boy’s uncle is given a “goofy” characterization which is truly grating. Among the other leads is the blank-faced American Richard Harrison as Pat the Preacher, who has very limited, Chuck Norris-esque range, and who doesn’t even show up until 30 minutes into the show. The best of the cast is the super-classy, mucho macho Gilbert Roland. Imagine the Dos Equis Guy with a pencil-thin John Waters-style mustache and a gaudy vest, that’s him! Roland is dignified and sympathetic in all his parts, and to this one he brings subtle shadings to a shady gunslinger that is at heart a decent man.

Aside from Roland’s performance, the other part of the film I enjoyed is the initial setup featuring bounty killer Folco Lulli coming into town, scoping out his next mark, killing an informant and an outlaw along the way. Lulli’s character, however is killed off pretty quickly, setting the scene for annoying Tony to find the map and begin the main thrust of the pic’s story.

Maybe the original Italian cut of this film favors the actors better than the English dub, but even if that’s so, you’d still have to deal with the tedious pacing and lack of action. For the English dub anyway, I call it a generous 5/10 stars.

Also known as GOD WAS IN THE WEST, TOO, AT ONE TIME. (Doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it?)


(Spuff vermon) #12

it sucked wind better than my vaccum cleaner


(StefaanD) #13

Alpha Video ( Amazon linkhttp://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00104AYJM/ref=nosim/dvdpricesearch ) a DVD for this and Boot Hill, anybody this version and can tell me how the quality is. The Wild East disc is OOP … unfortunately :frowning:


(StefaanD) #14

Humm, seems nobody has this version. Is there another version which is English friendly ?


(JonathanCorbett) #15

The first half hour is undoubtedly the best part of the film.

that iron hand was ridiculous - you can clearly see his real hand below

It was an unusual support for a broken wrist, not an iron hand. :wink:

Some screenshots


(chameleon) #16

Recently viewed this one myself! Nothing special here, just an average one.


(Lee Van Cleef) #17

The first part was the best, but even there it had its irritating moments. When the boy witnessed “the fat guy” hiding the gold, I couldn’t understand why he would let him see that. “The fat guy” not only shows the gold to the boy, but also hides it (aware that he stands next to him), sounds to me like an poor plot excuse. Below average for me, didn’t like it a bit. 2/5


(Spuff vermon) #18

I was thinking about giving this one another shot I’ll take your advice Van Cleef.


(JonathanCorbett) #19

The rather interesting pre-credits sequence with Luis Barboo and Folco Lulli is missing from the Italian TV version, most likely due to the character shot in the head.


(scherpschutter) #20

Not the greatest of spaghetti westerns, but I liked it a bit better than some of you and … it made me want to re-read TREASURE ISLAND. It was one of the first novels I ever read (like most kids i preferred comic strips up to the age of eight, nine) and I’ll never forget the experience of reading this exciting story about a treasure, pirates, a parrot, a wooden leg and God knows what more. My first Treasure Island was a Dutch translation, of course, and most probably an abridged version, but I read the novel in English as a student. So far I haven’t been able to locate my copy … (it’s a real treasure hunt)

https://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Between_God,_the_Devil_and_a_Winchester_Film_Review