California (Michele Lupo, 1977)

(Mickey13) #141

I’ve watched this one. A pure masterpiece.
Magic, sentimental and very, very sad. Actually I’ve never been a die-hard fan of Gemma, but his performance here is simply marvelous. In fact everybody acts in this one perfectly. On the other hand I understand why so many people dislike this one. It’s not spaghettique at all and it looks and feels more like a drama.
Love it. It makes my top 20 with no doubt.
5 stars. :wink:

(tomas) #142

completely agree, Mickey :wink:

(Mickey13) #143

The only one thing I didn’t like was the pace. It was a bit too quick. It could last half an hour longer. Particularly the second part wasn’t very developed, but that isn’t a big flaw anyway. :wink:
Foggy, moody, gloomy, bloody and much more emotional than other works in the genre.

(tomas) #144

i was quite happy with pace, but, yes, second part was a bit simple …
great post-war sceneries, superb music (something for my taste), and Gemma´s character works very well for me (maybe more than his Ringo personas)
pity, that Caltabiano was totally wasted in this film, they shot him too soon

(SWreggie) #145

There is nothing more to say! 5 Stars!!! :wink:

(sartana1968) #146

one big 0 from me :o

(cochino) #147

I think this is one of the best 70s westerns, if not the best. Far much better than other downbeat ones like Four Of The Apocalypse, Mannaja or Keoma

(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #148

I like how this film was more of a drama and parts of it certainly had emotional impact but I didn’t like how the script seemed to fall apart over the final third of the film.

(Stanton) #149

For me there wasn’t any emotional impact in it. An empty film.

(Mickey13) #150

[quote=“tomas, post:144, topic:947”]i was quite happy with pace, but, yes, second part was a bit simple …
great post-war sceneries, superb music (something for my taste), and Gemma´s character works very well for me (maybe more than his Ringo personas)
pity, that Caltabiano was totally wasted in this film, they shot him too soon[/quote]
Agree. Music is incredible and post-war sceneries looks quite realistic.
Incredible movie, but I still have a feeling that the film could be much more developed.
Have to watch it again some day and I’ll see if it’s as good as it was the first time. A true work of art for me.

(sartana1968) #151

;D ;D ;D

(I love you M.E. Kay) #152

I love the idea of the twilight spaghetti western, dirty, decrepit, but beautiful, nostalgic and melancholic films made during the genre’s agony, or after its death, depending on how you look at it. I wanted to love California, but unfortunately it’s quite uneven, actually no, I’d say that thanks to the music, a mediocre start to the second half and a terrible last third it falls into the not-very-good category. California is a prime example of the importance of music in a film, not because it has a great score, in fact it’s just the opposite. Instead of feeling melancholic, it feel sappy - instead of feeling lighthearted, it feels silly - instead of feeling haunting or thrilling, it feels overdone and that’s when the music is not just plain inappropriate. I see that this soundtrack has gotten its share of love around here, well I think it’s one of the most damaging (as in it hurts its film) SW soundtrack there is (and I overall liked Keoma’s). Despite that the first half of the film is rather good, the actor playing Willy could have been a bit better and the important death scene (not to spoil anything) could have been executed better (he sure did leap from his horse!), but its strengths (Gemma, the look of it, the script up to that point) make up for it.

Things start to sour up when Helen is introduced, not a very good actress she is and from then on, until all goes down the drain, it’s just alright. The worse part is when California/Michael confronts Rope. Did I miss something? Why didn’t California just demand to know where Helen is? He has a freaking gun pointed at him! Rope doesn’t have any choice, he can either show him where the girl is (and it’s not like he has much reason to care about her) and not die or die right on the spot! But no, instead let’s go with the brilliant plan of gaining his trust by teaming up with him and having an active part in a robbery and the murder of a couple of men. Sure, that sounds legit! I’m seriously wondering if I didn’t miss anything there, 'cause if I didn’t that sure was retarded!

Oh, and bad dub, aside from Gemma. I sure hope the few other twilight spaghs are better than this!

(titoli) #153

Movie is too serious.
I know it is typical characteristic of the twilight (spaghetti) westerns, but without tongue-in-cheek humor or (un)intentionally funny cheesy elements, SW just looses its identity. Even the most somber SWs from the golden era (Grande Silenzio) still have campy fun in it, while California just tries to be serious western melodrama, but fails to engage me emotionally the way it should for that type of movie. And I agree with M.E. Kay that the reasoning for the whole ‘gaining trust’ part at the end was pretty unbelievable. But I still liked it better than 4 of the Apocalypse.

On the side note, I think SWDB main page of the movie is giving away too much in the synopsis (and it’s not that this movie is isolated case either). Fortunately I haven’t read it prior to watching, otherwise it would spoil that key shocking twist in the middle for me.

(Bluntwolf) #154

(pollicutt) #155

I liked the first part of the film but it kinda lost its way when Gemmas character arrives at his friends ranch about halfway through. Still really liked the bleakness of the first half 3/5

(scherpschutter) #156

Still in honor of the great Montgomery Wood:



(Mickey13) #157

This’s a wonderfully written review, Scherpschutter. Thanks! :slight_smile:

(LankyFellow) #158

Yep,another great one :slight_smile:

(Reza) #159

When i saw this scene “Giuliano Gemma and that guy were on the horse and he told:i have a sister and she will like u…”,i guessed all of the story … :-\

(Asa) #160

I just received this one today (part of the Westerns Unchained 25-film blu-ray), looking forward to giving it a watch at some point today or tomorrow (hopefully).