[edited repost from another thread]
Because it was mentioned in the book 'Once upon a time in Italy' I decided that I could give it a go . What did surprise me is that it starred Terence Hill and Bud Spencer, a duo that I usually try to avoid for their slapstick humor.
Surprisingly, in the first 80% of the movie they act pretty normal, without any of the bad jokes, face slapping, silly comments and long scenes playing catch. In general the acting was pretty good, with convincing and interesting characters (besides the deaf/mute..). The story was good enough to keep watching, although in the latter parts of the movie there are some slapstick scenes (I would have preferred a darker or ironical end-of-movie).
One exceptional thing was the camerawork - it did not seem to belong in an old sub-category spaghetti western like this. Camera standpoints, panning, closeups, compositions. All very professional and I would say reaching best-of-leone levels at times. I think the filmingstyle of this movie is way ahead of it's time. Although I cannot directly give any titles, it feels like I have seen this way of filming (the closeups of the clowns for example, almost documentary-style) in many high quality recent productions. There are a few outside scenes that are not very special, but overall ... beautiful camerawork, best I've seen since TGBU.
The lighting was not always up to that level, unfortunately. Rather copious use of reflectors in many outside closeups for example. The editing was very good in some places, especially in parts where there was a lot of play with some staccato rhythm. (The hitting-scene in the circus act where the entire collective memory of the public is depicted, for example). I must add though that the global editing is not as good as the separate scenes.
It is rather miraculous that a film containing mostly circus-stuff can still be good, credits for originality, experimenting and balls here
I did not expect to get such an enjoyeable viewing experience and thought it to be just a one in a dozen cheap western with a funny name. - all in all excellent to watch, especially if you appreciate good editing and underrated, state of the art (at the time!) cinematography. If you really dig deep characters and good music it might not appeal as much.