Dead Men Don’t Count / ¿Quién grita venganza? (Rafael Romero Marchent, 1968)


(Reverend Danite) #1

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Quién_grita_venganza

There seems to be a bit of warmth for this film amongst the forumites, yet no dedicated thread. Let’s put that oversight to rights…

I think that spaghetti newcomers might find this genre outing nothing too special, but to us hardened hombres it has an unexpected freshness to it. And that comes from the chemistry, interaction and ‘out of character-ness’ of it’s two stars - Anthony Steffen and Mark Damon.
I know nothing of their off-screen relationship, but they had shared the credits previously, in another successful pairing, in Train To Durango, and there is a casual naturalness about their acting in this as well. By ‘out of character-ness’, I mean that when I think of Damon, it is the cock-sure, cheesy grinning, hairy chested version that (unfairly ::)) springs to mind. I know he’s played some disparate parts well - from his excellent eponymous hero role in Johnny Yuma to being the theatrically camp villain in Requiescent - and this role as the awkwardly lovestruck sidekick to the older, more worldwise Steffen, does him credit again. Of course we get that famous grin at times, but it’s 41 minutes in before he starts to undo his shirt buttons, and everything just seems a bit more restrained than it could’ve been.

As for Steffen, well, he smiles a lot (!!!) and actually acts in this (as he does in TTD). Now, it’s on record that I AM a big fan of Steffen, and I have no problem with his ‘stiffer/Stiffen’ mode, BUT - it is great to see him so different in this. And he doesn’t even ‘roll and shoot’ … (surely that can’t be right - was it the cider playing tricks on me??).

It’s standard fare, storywise. The money-bags/big-shot character wants to force the land away from the homesteaders because he knows that the railroad will be coming through it on its way to his town of Blackstone. There’s a corrupt sheriff on his payroll, played brilliantly (of couse) by Piero Lulli, a couple of Lulli-alike (Luis Barboo) deputies (who aren’t corrupt), and generally good support all round - particularly from Damon’s love interest, and from her dad as well. Our heros play bounty killers turned lawmen, and despite some cold-bloodied killings early on, they light-heartedly play out their roles perfectly.

Raphael Romero Marchent directs this story skillfully, and at times very stylishly 8). The opening credits play over a shootout in the very photogenic ruins of an old monastery(?), and look great. The action overall is well considered, and just when the film’s ‘comfortness’ is getting … well too comfortable … it gets nasty! We’re over an hour in now - and it’s turned into an altogether darker slice of spaghetti-pie.
Now, this particular black-hearted Reverend would have liked it to have soured some more, and here I think this film had the potential to be something special - but it would have been a difficult act to pull off. In the end, it hits a stylish and more comfortable middle ground, and I wasn’t too disappointed. There’s a sort of twisty-turny bit built into this from the beginning, whereas we’re led to believe that Damon could be the long lost son of Mr. Moneybags’ double crossing wife. So will he be, or won’t he? Anyway, the final bit put a big grin on my face, and I went to bed feeling that I’d been fully entertained by a sw that was not likely to rattle my top 20, but had given me just what I want from the genre - the comfort from watching a film playing within its conventions, but with an extra bonus of being unpredictabe at other times.

The version I watched was a nice wide-ish print that run in at 86 mins - which is a lot better than my old copy which was fullscreen and fuzzy and had foreign subs, and only ran for 76 mins. (But, where is the 94 min. version mentioned in the database?)

4 outa 5 buttons undone on this shirt, for the Rev - and a big cheesy grin to boot :D.


(Stanton) #2

If your version is a Pal version the runtime is already between 89 and 90 min.

The 94 min are from an Italian archive. If such a version really exists isn’t sure before an Italian DVD or TV recording with this runtime comes to the surface.


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #3

Nice review rev. I liked this film too as you said the chemistry between the two stars is a highlight. Fans of more lighter hearted westerns will dig this, although alot of people die so its not that light hearted, the ironic ending is great too.


(Reverend Danite) #4

Cheers chaps - something I noticed though on a different note :P, regarding the music.
Our database has it credited to Marcello Giombini… as does the ropey version I have.

However, the other version says…

???
Now, I’m no expert on the musical side of things - so…? :-\


(Stanton) #5

Ha ha, that’s pretty tricky


(Reverend Danite) #6

Now, where’s Brother Ennioo when we need him! :slight_smile:
[Edit - or Soren?]


(Chris_Casey) #7

I like this film, as well, Rev.—and that’s a nice copy you have!
I will have to check my older fullscreen copy (no subs on it, though) and see how long it runs.
Will let you know, just to compare, hombre!


(Silence) #8

[quote=“Reverend Danite, post:4, topic:2151”]Cheers chaps - something I noticed though on a different note :P, regarding the music.
Our database has it credited to Marcello Giombini… as does the ropey version I have.

However, the other version says…

???
Now, I’m no expert on the musical side of things - so…? :-[/quote]
What does the non-Giombini version say? I don’t see nothin’ but a black border, a tiny little piece a film and a big gray thing!


(ENNIOO) #9

According to Soundtrack Collector no score has been issued to the film, but does list Marcello Giombini as composer:

http://www.soundtrackcollector.com/catalog/soundtrackdetail.php?movieid=54963[/url]

But IMBD lists Riz Ortolani:

[url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063853/fullcredits#cast]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063853/fullcredits#casthttp://www.soundtrackcollector.com/catalog/soundtrackdetail.php?movieid=54963


(Silence) #10

I trust Soundtrack Collector more, IMDb is often wrong.


(Reverend Danite) #11

Really ??? - I think Ennioo’s just answered it anyway - “Musica - Riz Ortolani”.
Anybody of you music buffs wanna take an educated :stuck_out_tongue: guess? Would one of 'em be more obvious than t’other?

Anyway, on a more serious note - Steffen’s got himself a nice new leather braided strap for his (large) hat for this one, instead of that tatty bit of rope he usually has. Stylish 8)!


(ENNIOO) #12

Will have to give this one a view Reverend as not viewed in a long time.


(ION BRITTON) #13

Don’t remember much about it, but I do remember it as a fairly enjoyable one although a 4/5 rating seems a bit too much for it


(Reverend Danite) #14

My ideosyncratic rating is contextual, as I’ve said before :). It’s partly about expectation and partly related to quantity/quality of ciders drank :P.


(ION BRITTON) #15

Fair enough Rev :wink:


(Chris_Casey) #16

Just checked the version I have…and for what it is worth, it runs about 82 minutes (NTSC) and also has the Marcello Giombini credit for the music.
Frankly, there is no doubt in my mind that the score is by Giombini and not Ortolani. The music is definitely in the Giombini style (the way he uses trumpets is unmistakable, for one thing) and is nothing like the way Ortolani would have done it.
So, once again IMDB is wrong (and Soundtrack Collector is right).
Funny about that widescreen print carrying a credit for Riz Ortolani, though. I wonder what the story is behind that…


(Silver) #17

After all this talk of the film i rewatched it myself last night. This time the audio dubbed version of the Spanish dvd. I like this one a lot, and remember looking at Anthony Steffen in a different light after viewing. As to the composer, i have to concur with Chris. It’s definitely Giombini’s style and parts of it are very similar to Garringo, in fact i noticed two sequences that were actually from Garringo (or the other way around as i don’t recall which of them was made first!)


(Silence) #18

Garringo was made in '69 so I believe Garringo has taken from this one.


(Silver) #19

Had a feeling Garringo was later :slight_smile: Definitely some of the same music though!


(ENNIOO) #20

Nice banter between the stars in this. The fan dub of the Spanish disc is very nice quality.

The style of guitar, banjo and organ work on the soundtrack gives me no doubt the score is by Giombini like Silver and Chris mention.

On a side note. When characters say er / uh (or something that sounds like this in Spaghetti westerns) on the english dubs, it makes me smile and I say to myself they are at it again ! Anyway I watched a Spaghetti with Italian audio with english subtitles the other week, and a few of the er / uh were on the Italian audio. Surprised me as I have had this believe for some reason or other the er / uh was added to the english dub, when the english dubbers were not sure what to dub the Italian audio.