Deaf Smith & Johnny Ears / Los amigos (Paolo Cavara, 1973)

My words of wisdom(?) on yesterday’s viewing…

Database link


Set in 1830’s Texas, Erastus ‘Deaf’ Smith (Anthony Quinn) is an ageing but trusted spy for the president, despite the obvious handicap of being a deaf mute. His friend and companion is the sexually charged Spaniard Johnny Ears (Franco Nero), seemingly on a constant mission to obtain another notch on his bed post (or should I say, someone elses!). Infact, unlike your usual Spaghetti Western hero, he is probably more likely to be found in bed than in a bar brawl or gunfight.

The two have been sent by the president to halt the uprising down south, where a rebel by the name of Morton is rallying a rebellion to create independence and domination, with the help of German backing.

The whole emphasis of the story is the great bond between Nero and Quinn, which is quite enjoyable throughout. Comically, Johnny Ears is constantly throwing stones at the laid back Smith in order to get his attention. Ears’ relationship with the luscious local whore Susie (Pamela Tiffin) is also a fine display of character play, as their interplay changes from flirtation to sexual tension, and from lust to love. Hell, by the end, Ears seems willing to quit his womanising ways and settle down with the blonde beauty.

There are entertaining one-liners throughout (all obviously left to Nero, who is in fine comic form). As for Quinn, the whole idea that a deaf gunhand can survive and be held in such esteem is entertaining in itself (as he walks away completely unaware of the explosions metres behind him, and sneaks up on opponents oblivious to the fact that the bells on a whores garter - given to him whilst he awaited the return of the promiscuous Ears from the local brothel - are jangling together).

Aside from these highlights, the film is fairly average fare. At times Smith’s inability to communicate can be as frustrating to the viewer as it must be to Smith himself. The Director does however highlight this disability to some effect, with silence at any time when the story is shown from Smith’s eyes. Too much weight is also placed on the final action-packed climax, which goes on for an age with a maximum explosion count (although it does contain a priceless moment when Ears is unable to operate the enemies’ machine gun - a skill mastered to great effect by Nero’s Django).

In summary, this is an entertaining little film, high on cheese but low on substance. And there are days when that is exactly the sort of “popcorn” movie that you want to watch. If you are in that mood (I was) you will probably enjoy it (I did!). But it is definitely more “watchable” than “recommended”.

a very nice film. i ejoyed it a lot. too bad the film is not as high quality as the acting :slight_smile:

Anyone know if there’s an English dub? I’m sure I saw one many years ago but since then all I’ve seen is Italian language with English subs. An enjoyable film, but whoever was responsible for Nero’s wardrobe should be tarred and feathered.

Sure, there is an english version available. I have a copy in english (probably from TV).

I gave four stars to the movie.
It’s a pretty good movie with excellent actors. It’s nice to see Anthony Quinn in a spaghetti western. :smiley:

You sure its supposed to be 1830’s Texas? All the guns would have been flintlocks & machine guns were not invented, lol.

They would have had weapons like in “Guns For San Sebastion”.

Yep. It’s supposedly set in 1836. So they should have been using either flintlocks and the newly developed percussion lock. They would have been single shot muzzle loaders. This is the same year that Colt patented his first revolver, so it’s impossible that Nero and Quinn would be using later model Colts! But when have SW script writers ever really cared about historical accuracy?

I completely agree ! I liked “the final action-packed climax” very much. The rest is routine stuff with good actors…

Overall enjoyable !

Anthony Quinn is really likeable playing a deaf guy… and Franco Nero is his usual self. I thought the ending was creepy as well. It was a nice surprise, I hope mgm release it.

Having been raised near “Deaf Smith(yes, he was a real person) county,” I’d always had an interest in seeing this film. In my opinion, it was a bit better than average on the spaghetti scale and alot better than I had anticipated. Quinn is good playing the deaf mute and, as stated above, ‘Nero is his usual self.’ Quite a few of the standard spag supporting actors and bit players are in this also. This is a movie that would be better received with a different title. Overall, you can’t go wrong with Quinn, Nero, and the wonderful landscapes(IMO.) Recommended.

Ace High, you continue to educate me. First “Fuzzy” St. John and now “Deaf Smith” (as a real person!)
I have a crappy dvd-r of this. I may try to watch it later today. You’re right about Quinn & Nero!

[quote=“Romaine Fielding, post:11, topic:136”]Ace High, you continue to educate me. First “Fuzzy” St. John and now “Deaf Smith” (as a real person!)
I have a crappy dvd-r of this. I may try to watch it later today. You’re right about Quinn & Nero![/quote]

The AceHigh Institute of Higher Learning ;D ??? :wink:

You folks know your western shit down thar in the Panhandle. :slight_smile:

A review is available at Fistfull of Pasta:

Thought it was an enjoyable movie but a little slow despite my sppreciation for the build up film structure.

There is a Spanish DVD by Llamentol. With English audio !!!
I have transferred the data into the database:,_Los/DVD

I found it quite boring and a bit silly at times. If it wasn’t for Nero I don’t know if I would have finished it…

do you have a link to the site were it can be purchased?

Sure. :wink:

For example here:[/url]

Or here: [url=]

thank you very much!