Boot Hill / La collina degli stivali (Giuseppe Colizzi, 1969)

(Stanton) #121

I don’t know much about Colizzi. With another career you mean the 2 comedies he made in the 70s?

He had a feeble health and died too young in the late 70s. Made only these 2 Spencer Hill type Comedies (the first, with the duo, was another big success, the 2nd without the duo, not). I don’t know their English titles.

I haven’t seen the first for ages. It was better than most of the Spencer Hill films, but not as funny as the Clucher films. But I have read a few comments from fans who think very much of it. I’ll check it again some days if the style is also to find there.

The 2nd one I haven’t seen.

(scherpschutter) #122

The first one Più forte, Ragazzi, is called All the Way, Boys in English

It often seems a Trinity movie set in a non-western setting
I saw it on TV about a decade ago (I guess it was Christmas time, I remember watching it with two kids), it’s not too bad, but not that great either. The formula still works, but you notice all too well it is a formula.

(Stanton) #123

Yeah, I also remember it not being great, but much better than most of the later Spencer Hill films.

(korano) #124

I’d say God Forgives, I Don’t contains Colizzi’s best visual style. His use of lighting and colors recalls both John Alton and Vittorio Storaro. but to a lesser degree of both. A lot of his lighting and stuff there has a somewhat natural or incandescent look and feel. However, Boot Hill is the second best of the trilogy as far as visuals are concerned. The desert has never looked so hot and there is a lot of well filmed night time photography.

(Paco Roman) #125

Hopefully I didn’t mixed him with another SW Guy but I remember I have read (I couldn’t find the source) that he became a manager of an Italian TV Station.

All the Way Boys is next to the Trinity Westerns my favourite with Bud/Terence. IMO it’s head to head to the Barboni Movies.

(Silence) #126

Finally rewatched God Forgives. Liked it a lot this time.

(Silence) #127

I really liked this one too.

(El Topo) #128

Didn’t like that much from the three Colizzi films I think this is the weaker, (the best being God forgives …).

It has a very good cast the film does not fail in that aspect, Woody Strode, Spencer, Hill and Victor Buono a fine actor. The film starts in a true Fellinesque manner, maybe an homage or something, the story is not so bad, the normal stuff but even so in middle of the film the viewer gets a little bit lost with the past events. I was never a fan of Collizi way of filming, never having that thing or toutch which could make a or the difference for the better, the final climax isn’t also very well donne in my view, those shut outs combined with the circus performances may be an original choice a very theatrical one, but sincerely not for my taste. And another thing is it just me or there is a let’s say or how can I say this a… well a homosexual feeling in this film thee realtion beetween Woody and the acrobat boy Spencer with the mute boy calling him Babyy doll strange at least
Colizzi best film may well be All the way boys so that says it all.

Another thing I bought the DVD in a major retail store and the edition it’s from a big dvd distribuiter but all they can get was a tape copy in 4:3 FF it looks like we are seeing the film in one those old cinema with a nasty tape, in the end it add some SW feeling to the film do.

(tomobea) #129

The Best Version???The Longest Version???

(El Topo) #130

The only version… for me at least :smiley:

98 minutes of runtime

(Stanton) #131

Watching it in 4:3 is a crime.

Wasn’t the acrobat boy the son of Strode? Or is it now me who got it all wrong?

The relationship between Spencer and Eastman was for me also more a father/son one.

(mike siegel) #132

You bet. I thought these miserably days of the 80’s are over?
I learned by now not to judge ANY film until I saw it in the right length / format & sometimes language.
I remember I used to loathe TEPEPA. 'saw it in 1990 on VHS, Pan-Scan, cut by 30 minutes…
Then I saw the 131 min Italian widescreen version and loved it. Fine film. Different film now :slight_smile:

I met a lot of people who like Colizzis films with Hill/Spencer, I met some who hate them and very few who love them. I just love Colizzi. Next to Leone he’s one of the very few who could create that special artificial western feeling which always makes me wish I could ride along with them :).
He really understood what you can do visually with the genre. To some he might be boring, not to me. Come to think of it, his films are a bit slower on TV than they were in the teatres. Like Sergio’s films, they belong to the big Screen ! (certainly not 4:3 on TV) I think he was Leone’s best student. The photography (composition, angles, lenses, framing) tops almost everything in the genre. HILL is my favorite in Italian Westerns, he moves like a cat, does his own stunts (like Belmondo, another one of my heros), looks very handsome, has t (next to clint of course)he had the best costumes (especially hats) and plays it really cool. Believable cool, at least in my opinion. I can’t stand Steffen or some of these guys who look phony to me. No, I think the Colizzis are among the best. And COLLINA DEGLI STIVALI is almost an experimental film. As mentioned, the leading has not that much screen time and the almost no dialogue at all during the first 20 minutes! Also, like MERCENARIO, it treats the CIRCUS-theme very well. The score is weird and just great. Cool film.
Colizzi got better every time. DIO PERDONA is good, different, a bit rough in it’s style, not right there… AVE MARIA is great, yet too long. By COLLINA he had learned a lot, it is over 20 minutes shorter. And hey, plot? Plot is for American reviewers who miss it during the films initial releases and when they become classics they forget about the story and rave about the style. And Colizzi’s style is great. Extraordinary. See for me it’s the other way around: I’M boored with suspensful revenge stories and tight scripts - seen it all in 30 years and most of the time much better. All stories are told anyway.
And yet Colizzi wasn’t all about style. I can’t believe people tend to forget that he ‘invented’ Europe most successful screen-team. They became a phenomenon with Barboni’s TRINITA films, but it was Colizzi who created the team nevertheless. I love their films except for the later ones who were just TOO childish, but the first three have a special place in my heart because they have action, violence & humour. A good mixture the two changed later because both actors hate violence & blood in films. Their first contemporary film ALL THE WAY BOYS (Piu forte, Ragazzi!) is another favorite of mine. Who would go to the Columbian jungle and make a film about airplanes? Great film which these days needs to be defended it seems to me - back in the 70’s there was no reason for that: it was one the biggest hits ever in Germany, some 6 milion tickets sold as I recall. Again: a film for the big screen…

The German promo material for BOOT HILL is just amazing: a beautiful poster and a set of 29 cards! Some ofthe best ones are attached…

(El Topo) #133

Nice text Mike

But nevertheless I’ve got the ideia that Collizi big influence is not Leone (what wouldn’t be subtle at all) but Fellini, and those experimental parts in his films makes me believe in that even more.

(Phil H) #134

One thing I can guarantee Mike. You now have a friend in Stanton. If I didn’t know better I’d believe he wrote your entry himself. ;D

(Novecento) #135

Yeh, very interesting post Mike. Colizzi was definitely a talented director. While I would also take nice camera work over plot or dialogue every time, I can’t deny that the latter two do also play a role and I just wish that Colizzi had had the chance to leave his mark on say a Franco Solinas script or the like rather than Boot Hill.

Have been wanting to see ALL THE WAY BOYS (Piu forte, Ragazzi!) ever since you mentioned it on the SLWB a while back - what’s the best release of this?

(mike siegel) #136

Absolutely. It just shows that Colizzi had a better taste than most of the other SW directors.

I was merely referring to the visual style in terms of framing, production design, wardrobe & make up.
Although Leone didn’t surround himself with scholars, he treated Colizzi a bit like a student. I suppose
Leone liked his brains and appreciated the fact the Colizzi loved the way Leone’s footage looked on the screen. :slight_smile:
I’m so spoiled by them, I have problems getting to like SW that look like Karl-May westerns or filmed in an uninspired way (set - actors - film it).

Another fine mess. The Italian/US version is much to short (some 90 min.) but includes about 8 min. not in the German version (101 min.) - there fore the German version has 18 min. NOT included in the It/US version!
A nightmare.

We have a fantastic looking ‘homemade’ cut made of both versions running 109 min. Just great. Last year I was preparing to do a special edition for a German label (extended cut with engl. subs + extras). Unfortunately the label went broke :frowning:
Maybe some day.

I don’t know about the english dubbing - the German and Italian dubbing is great. In english it was always a bit difficult for me to watch Hill/Spencer. They’re soo European…

(Starblack) #137

Great posts Mike. For me (and obviously for you too) Colizzi is one of the most under-rated SW directors. Few others could capture the sweaty, oppressive texture so well, and I think l he manouevres his characters around quite skilfully.

Yes, his films have their slow sections, but visually they’re always interesting and the confrontations, when they occur, are worth the wait.

I just wish he’d employed a different composer. Rustichelli was not suited to the Western.

(Stanton) #138

Shit, you got it. Mike Siegel is one of my stooges in order to take over the opinion control of data base …

In fact I had quoted parts of Mike’s text on page 2 of this thread. This was originally written by Mike longer ago for the SLWB. Well, the truth doesn’t suffer from being published more often … :wink:

(mike siegel) #139

Ah, funny…
I just read the whole thread…
'could have saved my breath :slight_smile:

‘sweaty feeling’, yes that about nails it down.
How I long for the late 70’s / early 80’s, seeing those films on a big screen
in a cool cinema on a hot summer day…

As for the music, well it would be interesting to see the first two
with a different soundtrack. I grew up on those and always liked them.
(although the first one IS strange indeed :)).
BOOT HILL is my favorite partly because of the soundtrack.
Works against the standard SW soundtracks of the time very well.
And you really hear how well it was composed, conducted and played…
Fits the strange mood of the film very well.

He didn’t really copy Leone (others did and died) but he used his
style and ideas very well. For instance GOD FORGIVES… is very similar to GBU.
They even changed the original title from THE CAT, THE DOG & THE FOX
to GOD FORGIVES. They felt the similar plot (three guys fighting for
a gold treasure, 2 have love&hate relationship, the third one is really a bad guy)
was enough already :slight_smile:

Colizzi had loved the GBU scenes between Tuco & Blondie. That was the real
inspiration to Hill & Spencer as a team. And audiences loved it. With Barbony
it then became more comedy and less ‘western’ and therefore a wider audience.

(The Stranger) #140

I also think the music is the great problem of the Colizzi films.
Especially in the first film, this is very clear. The film is very good. But the music robs the movie something about his darkness character.
With a typical spaghetti western music of the film still one class would be better.

Boots Hill but I think the worst of the Colizzi trilogy.
Where the beginning is really promising. Hill slips into the darkness and hides before his pursuers. Very good.

In general, I give Mike right, Hill is very cool. Behind Eastwood and Nero the coolest SW hero. But after this trilogy and Viva Django, he worked primarily in comedies. I find that very sad. He would have had a lot of potential for more darkness films.

Boots Hill, however, is still well above average. Even if the end is disappointing with the many brawls. But the end well know the path where the journey goes for Hill and Spencer. And is a small taste of the Trinity movies.

My rating for Boots Hill 7 / 10