Challenge of the McKennas / Un dólar y una tumba / La sfida dei MacKenna (León Klimovsky, 1970)


(Farmer_J) #41

Just won the Spanish tape on Ebay ;D.


(morgan) #42

As you all seem to have been over everything years ago, we who are new to the Forum are often left with cold threads. But I should really like to join in the praise of this one. It’s a really beautiful film.

I notice from the thread that some of the Forum members are puzzled, even a little bit offended, by this elderly man having a love affair with a younger woman. It might be because of young age, lack of experience, or both.


(Reverend Danite) #43

Reckon I’m one of the ol’ members (‘ere stop messin’ about) who had some stuff to say about this one back in the day. Like you, Brother Morgan, I found it a goody then, and have been wonderin’ about a spag to get me back from a recent hiatus from the genre.
This had been dug out a while back since, and has been gathering dust beside my rocking chair for quite a while, so on your recommendation/review I’m gonna dust it off and stick it on now.

I’m sorta wonderin’ how it will stand up again, but I reckon this is a good one to revisit - and I’m gonna try and see the old man/younger woman relationship through my old, tired, religion-weary eyes, and try to empathise with Sir John about this.
I’ll let ya know… :slight_smile:


(Reverend Danite) #44

Duly watched - and it stood up well to a third viewing over a 7 year-ish period.

Well - she certainly ain’t lacking experience of men - Maggie is the outwardly cynically cash-hungry and shrewd seller of booze n’ ladies - but as Phil says is also the “whore with the heart of gold” - particularly in relationship to Jones, and him having stood up for the hung suitor of Barbara - both of whom were respected by Maggie.
She sees in him something noble and maybe that is what she wants. After telling him he’ll have to pay like all the rest she changes her mind. But she’s already espoused her philosophy on love earlier on - basically “falling in love is like being hit with a bullet - you don’t know what’s happening 'til you’re dead”.

The poetry is interesting - some observatioins…

It is Maggie that owns the poetry book that Jones reads Wild West Wind from, (whilst in the bath), and Jones finds it surprising that she should like poetry.
It is when she doubts that they should be about to do the do, that Jones gives her the Hound Of Heaven quote and surprises her right back (and gets his poetic payoff).

(I don’t know when this somewhat unusual spag is set historically - and although Shelley was certainly published by now, Thompson’s wasn’t about 'til 1893… not that this is really an issue though.)

The first time Jones uses the “I fled him down the nights and down the days” stuff was certainly not poetic panty-play, as it was to Don Diego, and it was meglomaniac Don that throws in the “I was created in his (God’s) image” line that Jones elaborates on later when he uses the “I’m a human being, made in the image of God - I can kill anything” in relation to his love-life.

Enough of this, as poesy-ishly thought provoking as it may be. This is a rare spag to makes a study of love and power (from both ladies perspectives) a central motif, and for it to work so well in this genre. And it does work - because the acting is really rather good around it. The emotionally nuerotic Chris is wonderfully hammed-up by Woods, and Maggie is an unusually strong character (and maybe because I’m the same-ish age as Jones) I do believe in his ability to get the younger woman in this instance. ::slight_smile:
There’s some great one-liners to chuckle at as well.

In terms of action - there’s just enough to glue the sharp dialogue, witty one-liners, and gritty melodrama together, and keep it flowing well - and I just love the bit when Squinty Ken misses the wagon he’s meant to jump onto.

And I also wonder how much Woods’ manipulation with Mulargia had into the direction of this. It ain’t an El Puro - but it is another unusually offbeat outing that surprises (still).

The copy I saw was the pretty grainy and washed out Badlands Drifter copy that many seem to have … and this is crying out for a better print.

Still 4 poetic points on the Reverend scale… it’s a goody.


(morgan) #45

Well why not? She surely had her fill of other things, then along comes a guy who reads poetry!
Yes, it would be nice with a good release of this one. I have only the same as the one currently on YouTube named Challenge of McKenna.


(scherpschutter) #46

A couple of days ago, I was shocked - and at the same time relieved - by this message on Robert Woods’s Facebook page:

"(Robert Woods:) I am joyfully recovering from spinal cancer and I am certain the thoughts and prayers you so generously sent were part of the beneficial solution I am experiencing and I thank you all with all my heart for your concern and healing effort…God bless you all…

I thought it was time to re-watch, and re-evaluate and re-view some of his best movies, starting with this one:

https://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Challenge_of_the_McKennas_Film_Review


(ENNIOO) #47

Spinal Cancer, never heard of that one before, sounds nasty.