Bullets Don’t Argue / Le pistole non discutono (Mario Caiano, 1964)


(Phil H) #1

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Pistole_non_discutono%2C_Le

I’m interested in these early spaghettis at the moment and thought this one was an interesting example of what was being made at the same time that Leone was about to change the whole genre.

Here’s the link to my review on it. I’d be interested in the rest of you guys’ opinions on the film.

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Bullets_Don't_argue_review


(Reverend Danite) #2

[quote=“Phil H, post:1, topic:918”]http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Pistole_non_discutono%2C_Le

I’d be interested in the rest of you guys’ opinions on the film.[/quote]
Great review Phil. Informative, thorough and a smile to boot.
I gotta see what you make of ‘The Implacable Three’ now (on way), I think you’ll find it interesting. And I hope that you can do as fine a job reveiwing this one as well - it’s earlier than ‘Bullets…’ but a definate spaghetti feel in (many) parts.


(scherpschutter) #3

[quote=“Phil H, post:1, topic:918”]http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Pistole_non_discutono%2C_Le

I’m interested in these early spaghettis at the moment and thought this one was an interesting example of what was being made at the same time that Leone was about to change the whole genre.[/quote]

I’m doing some research into the subject of these early ones (more in general, not a particular film)
Italian books and sites spend more time on them
This film apparently was shot more or less back tot back with Leone’s FISTFUL
Both were productions of Jolly Film and the Lion’s share of the money went to Caiano’s movie, leaving some ‘leftovers’ for Sergio

By the way, I ordered the DIZIONARIO in Italy
Don’t know how much time it’ll take, but hope to get it before I’m old and grey
Anyway, in the future you won’t have to copy entire pages if you need some specific information on a movie
I’ll let you know when I have it


(Phil H) #4

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:3, topic:918”]By the way, I ordered the DIZIONARIO in Italy
Don’t know how much time it’ll take, but hope to get it before I’m old and grey
Anyway, in the future you won’t have to copy entire pages if you need some specific information on a movie
I’ll let you know when I have it[/quote]

Oh, that will be a blessing for me Scherps. You may get fed up with me asking though :wink:


(scherpschutter) #5

Not at all

I have been working professionally 50 hours plus weekly for years
Today I only do some 16 - 20 still (I’m over 50, not hours tho’)
It’s time to enjoy life, and movies, especially western movies, have always been a major hobby, so a part of my life


(Phil H) #6

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:3, topic:918”]This film apparently was shot more or less back tot back with Leone’s FISTFUL
Both were productions of Jolly Film and the Lion’s share of the money went to Caiano’s movie, leaving some ‘leftovers’ for Sergio[/quote]

Interestingly, Caiano insists that the two films (though made simultaneously) were always seperate projects with seperate budgets and that neither was a ‘recoup’ for the other. At least that’s what he says in the interview featured in the extras on the RHV edition I have.


(scherpschutter) #7

I can’t find the full story of Jolly films right now
(Was it in a book? On the Net? - You know these problems, I guess)

I was just reading in Frayling this afternoon; he talks about LE PISTOLE … in chapter 5: The films - The sources (p. 147 in my book, 2006 edition); Frayling claims that even the same three companies were involved …

I’ll check these stories of course

The film is - according to your review - more or less like I imagined it to be


(SARTANA DJANGO BALLADS) #8

I have the Italian BOX SET LE PISTOLE NON DISCUTONO .

Included is GUNFIGHT AT HIGH NOON 63 RICHARD HARRISON and Mc Gregors SWs :smiley:
Interesting Review of this Superb Film LE PISTOLE 64 and further postings in this thread. :slight_smile:

ROD CAMERON USA Leading Man Western Star 1940s/1950s/1960s

ROD CAMERON a stalwart veteran Actor of numerous Classic/Quality Westerns was at the
centre of uproar when allegations were made that he had DIVORCED HIS WIFE :smiley:
so that he could MARRY his MOTHER IN LAW !! : ??? This turned out to be TRUE.

It was unclear if the Mother In Law was more “experienced” with the Cooking or
The SE-X :smiley: >:( :wink: or possibly neither !! That was the only “scandal” in Rod’s CV :smiley:


(Phil H) #9

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:7, topic:918”]I can’t find the full story of Jolly films right now
(Was it in a book? On the Net? - You know these problems, I guess)

I was just reading in Frayling this afternoon; he talks about LE PISTOLE … in chapter 5: The films - The sources (p. 147 in my book, 2006 edition); Frayling claims that even the same three companies were involved …

I’ll check these stories of course

The film is - according to your review - more or less like I imagined it to be[/quote]

Certainly I believe you are right about the same production companies. But apparently Caiano has often had it suggested that the films were deliberately arranged together so that one could ride off the costs of the other. He insists this wasn’t the case. Just two seperate projects made at the same time and that the only thing they shared was a couple of locations and the costume and arms suppliers.


(scherpschutter) #10

Still, if I have to believe some writers, that’s exactly what happened: two films arranged together (or one as a result of the other), so one could ride off the costs of the other

The story emerges in : Casadio - Se sei vivo spara! Storie di … (Ravenna, 2004) and he quotes (believe it or not) Giusto’s DIZIONARIO:

<< i Leone produces his film with the left-overs of Caiano’s budget [/i] >>

Casadio personally writes in his main text:

<< (talking about LE PISTOLE …): It’s a decent film, no more, that wasn’t succesfull, but one with a curious history. The left-overs of this film’s budget are given to Sergio Leone to direct PER UN PUGNO DI DOLLARI, which would have an enormous succes and gives the producers, so to speak, a bonus to cover the money they lost on Caiano’s movie >>

The story pops up again on the Italian spaghetti western database:

http://www.spaghettiwestern.altervista.org/pistolenodiscutono.htm

(I translate the beginning of the second paragraph):
<< The film is important from a historical point of view because it was meant to be a challenge to the American western, but instead “Jolly Film” decided to use the financial left-overs for this film for the production of a second one, mainly for accountancy reasons: PER UN PUGNO DI DOLLARI (…)>>

The question still is, of course: what or who is the original source for all this? An interview? With one of the Italian producers, Colombo and/or Papi? It’s a well-known fact that they had problem with most people they worked with, including Eastwood and Leone. Moreover people have selective memories, and some people’s memories are more selective than others. Add this to the fact that ventures in Italy - certainly ventures of this kind - usually are all but transparent. Often you hear things like : We have the money, nobody knows were it comes from, so we better spend it before somebody else does."


(Romaine Fielding) #11

Firstly, Phil H, that was an excellent review. You are a very good writer.

Like most passionate Spaghetti fans I, too, had heard some variation on the Fistful/Bullets story. I can’t hope to sort out the various versions but you guys have articulated them well. It reminds me, AGAIN, how much I suffer from not speaking anything but English.
One thing that I had read/heard was that Fistful & Bullets used the same set, costumes etc.
So, when I watched Bullets I expected it to LOOK more like Fistful than it did.
It reminded me quite a bit more of an American western than Fistful but it also looked, in a way, more foreign than Fistful.
Over the years it has been easy for me to take Fistful for granted. The look it created was so usurped and used by others that it looks now, well, familiar.
Bullets looked different and stranger to me.
Expecting to see sets and other stuff recycled from Fistful, I was surprised to see a Mexican town that I did not recognize from other Spaghettis I have seen. (Where is that, anyway?) It did not look like Fistful even in the small details. This is why, I suppose, that when watching Bullets I really felt like I was getting a window into LEONE’S genius.


(Phil H) #12

[quote=“Romaine Fielding, post:11, topic:918”]One thing that I had read/heard was that Fistful & Bullets used the same set, costumes etc.
So, when I watched Bullets I expected it to LOOK more like Fistful than it did.
It reminded me quite a bit more of an American western than Fistful but it also looked, in a way, more foreign than Fistful.
Over the years it has been easy for me to take Fistful for granted. The look it created was so usurped and used by others that it looks now, well, familiar.
Bullets looked different and stranger to me.
Expecting to see sets and other stuff recycled from Fistful, I was surprised to see a Mexican town that I did not recognize from other Spaghettis I have seen. (Where is that, anyway?) It did not look like Fistful even in the small details. This is why, I suppose, that when watching Bullets I really felt like I was getting a window into LEONE’S genius.[/quote]

That is exactly what I felt when watching this film too. The same basic ingredients were available to Caiano as to Leone but such a different end result was achieved it is all the evidence you need for Leone’s genius. The two films are like chalk and cheese. His visual style, his use of Morricone’s music, the completely different moral tone to the story. All these elements, which have been constantly highlighted over the years, become even more highlighted for me when you look at the comparison with Bullets Don’t Argue.

And don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Caiano’s picture. It was so traditional it harked back to the Poverty Row B Picture westerns I used to love as a kid. Ken Maynard and Bob Steele wouldn’t have been out of place in this film! But it does serve to put Leone’s revolutionary take on the genre in real perspective.


(Bluntwolf) #13

I’ve just watched this movie and must say I pretty much agree with Phil’s review, especially the part about Horst Frank. Great review Phil :slight_smile: !


(AceHigh) #14

Watched Bullets Don’t Argue today – A belated great review, Phil. – I enjoyed this film quite alot. Maybe because it was so 50’s B-movie western-like but not. Know what I mean? The music was terrific in my opinion, especially during the chase scenes. Thought Rod Cameron was totally miscast(not the classic leading man at his age) although he did a passable job and I always enjoy watching Mimmo Palmara. Horst Frank was truly good in this one and I was surprised that he didn’t make it further into the movie. Have to say though that the cavalry charge caught me by surprise.


(LankyFellow) #15

Saw this yesterday evening for the first time.
I off and on watch these early movies and must say this is a good one.
Clear,it’s completely different to his big brother ‘Fistful of dollars’ and it should be reverse at that time,but it arbitrate a nice spaghetti feeling,albeit it tells a american story.
The chase huntings of the mexican bandits with the great score from ‘Emil Morik’ ;D i enjoyed very much,also the song ‘Lonesome Billy’.
As it run out with that song and i thought about the fact,that a few weeks later at that time,a new genre was born,i felt a little bit melancholy.
Very good review,Phil


(Frank Talby) #16

Well written review Phil. I just watched it last night and I really enjoyed it. Yes it is not the Leone styled western that everyone knows and loves but I am enjoying the earlier westerns that came out before or the same time as Fistful of Dollars. Rod Cameron does well in the lead even though he does play the role as the kindly uncle. Horst Frank added weight to the cast as did Mimmo Palmara. I also loved Morricone’s score as well.

The movie was more about redemption than anything else - not every bank robber should be strung up and lynched like so many western cliches.

Also the RHV release is top notch.


(Frank Talby) #17

I have watched this a few more times over the last couple weeks. I really do enjoy it. I have liked most of the early westerns (the pre-Leone influenced ones) and this is one of my favorites.


(LankyFellow) #18

Absolutely agreed !


(ENNIOO) #19

I used to compare the earlier ones to the later ones as all I had seen was the later ones at one point. But having seen more earlier ones I know view them in their own right.


(scherpschutter) #20

Thanks to I…I…Idiot I could finally see this early SW, shot simultanously with Fistful of Dollars

Well-crafted and good-looking, but I can’t say I was impressed.
Makes you realize how brilliant Leone really was

The film is rather tame and I found it also pretty incongruous, with some good action scenes but a conclusion that felt a bit like a cross from a Hollywood western from the forties and one of those German Karl May adaptations (the Mexicans behaving more like renegade Indians). The character played by Vivi Bach strongly reminded me of a female character in The Beverly Hillbillies, a series that was very popular when I was a kid.

Quite a hodge podge of a movie. Horst Frank was the best thing about it, imo, and also the most ‘Italian’ aspect: without any doubt they deliberately chose a blond German actor dressed in black to play the heavy. Note that he is the one (and not sheriff Garret) who wounds his brother, who later gets (and takes) the chance to redeem himself by warning and helping the cavalry. I’m sure this was intended as a series of metaphors referring to WWII and read this way by the Italian filmgoers: the Italians like(d) to see themselves as victims of their German allies, who were later deserted and betrayed by them; They also like to think they finally redeemed themselves by helping the allied forces.