Thanks - seems like the Italian BD is still the way to go then for the correct audio…
Can’t believe I’ve never seen Duck, You Sucker, considering I grew up with the Dollars trilogy and they remain my favourite films.
However, I have just purchased the Italian Blu-ray, as I understand it is the most accurate version in terms of the audio track. But I’m aware there are issues with the sound syncing.
Is anyone aware of where I can get either this corrected audio track or a fan fix of the film itself? I wouldn’t want my first time seeing this film to be diminished by reduced scenes or incorrect Morricone tracks. Cheers!
This one was broadcasted in the Netherlands last week so i took the opportunity to re-watch the movie as I saw it probable over 25 years ago.
The movie was a bit better than I remembered but I have mixed feelings about the movie.
I think this is mainly because of the Juan character. I do not know why but it is a mix of the actor, dressing and character setting
- He always looks neat and clean throughout the movie. From the very first moment we see him to the last scene. He looks likes he has come from a barber and shower with new clothes in every scene which does not fit him
- He claims throughout the picture he loves his family but in 2 scenes (first dynamite scene and the bank robbery scene) he loses some of is “gang” without showing any emotions. This is shown only at the “grotto” scene
- Probably mentioned before, his accent does not suit him, does not sound Mexican at all. This annoyed me throughout the movie.
Coburn plays a decent role and made the best out of it.
I think other actors with some own insights about this character would have helped the movie a lot. Clint Eastwood made the “man with no name” work because of his thoughts about this character. I think the same about Eli Wallach with “Tuco” and the roles played by Lee van Cleef. Their mannerism and acting style made them work.
I do not see how where camaraderie between John / Juan was based upon. A bit more character building in that sense would have improved the movie IMHO. Now we see 2 people who more or less have been attached to each other due to the revolution that is going on.
There are some very nice scenes in the movie but this one is not my piece of cake. I prefer other Zapata westerns over this one.
Just a side note about Peckinpah influences: when John is on the train with Dr. Villega, I had to think about “Cross of iron” where Steiner (also played by Coburn) telling Stransky where the crosses of iron are growing. But this movie came 6 years after Duck you sucker.
Yes, that’s pretty inconsistent.
The sudden emotions after he learns about the death of his sons clash with his emotionless reaction to the earlier losses.
Leone was actually not very good in creating “real” characters, and the intended Character drama in DYS does not work that good.
Steiger was a boring choice who would never have gotten that role if it wasn’t for his In the Heat of the Night Oscar.
This was disappointing on first viewing … but as the years have passed, I have a special affection for the film.
I agree with all points made here … but for me it’s like the unloved child that needs a little more respect and attention.
There’s lots of stuff wrong with it … and yet I watch it as a piece of film making history, rather than viewing it as a film on it’s own merits.
That’s very likely … as most would agree that Eli Wallach should have had the part, but perhaps he didn’t have the perceived Star Power back then ?
PS: A contact from Spain says that Steiger’s accent in the film is more Cuban than Mexican … and as an Irishman, I can guarantee that Coburn’s accent is from some mythical version of Ireland, only seen and heard in the movies.
Coburn was a great actor, but maybe accents weren’t his thing. His “Australian” accent in The Great Escape isn’t convincing either.
Terrible! He sounded English the entire movie.
Perhaps he’d never heard a real Aussie accent in 1963 ? … Richard Harris’ attempt at Aussie at the beginning of ‘The Guns of Navarone’ isn’t much better, and there are a few real Australians in that scene … couldn’t they have coached him ?
Yep, the studio ‘needed’ two big Hollywood stars in the roles that ruined Leone & Eli’s friendship.
Imo, Anthony Steffen should have been in the Steiger part and John Phillip Law in Coburn’s. Either way this Spagh sucks for me.
I do very much enjoy this film. It is, rather jarringly, a film in two halves. The anarchic joy ride John and Juan share ends at the explosion of the bridge. The proceeding melancholy scene of the Cavern Massacare is pervasive over the rest of the picture. The start of Leones dramatic panning shots and extreme close ups of the pile of bodies - with the sound of Juans gunfire going on outside- that ends with a silent, shocked John looking on at something that HE knows he played a part in - is one of the strongest and dramatic emotional scenes in Leones whole body of work. Unlike in any of his previous work, the characters and the tone of the film completely changes. It enters a zone of maturity that he unfortunately never really explored again. For me, that is the strongest part of the film.
What I do not not like about the film is the lack of exposition between the changes of location in the first half of the film. The characters change locations so much that it becomes confusing to follow - from desert, to town, to rebel camp in the forest, to train, to town. I know that this was not Leone’s fault - a lot of the film was cut to length so that more viewings could be had by the audiences in the cinema. But it gives the pre-bridge explosion part of the film a very rushed, incoherent feel.
Leone was so good in For A Few Dollars and The Good The Bad And The Ugly, at the 'road movie’e element - of physically transporting his characters across vast distances from A to B and making it entertaining, and giving the films incredible levels of continuity. Here, in Giu La Testa - this does not happen. John and Juan suddenly appear (sometimes together / sometimes not - again, something that is not explained) in a different location with no verbal or visual meaning as to why they are there. It leaves the film wanting. It could have been more.
So, what’s the best release for this movie so far? I have the Special Edition R1 DVD and the Italian Blu-ray. The mono on the R1 disc is quite poor and it has different music playing at the end. I am guessing this was one of the errors MGM made, so does that mean the mono is just a downmix of the newly created 5.1 track? As for the Italian Blu-ray, the audio is very good and sounds much louder and clearer than the DVD. It does, however, switch over into Italian language at the end, so I don’t have a definitive version yet.
Watched the Italian Blu-ray. The picture quality is better than my DVD (not sure why there were so many complaints) and the sound is excellent in comparison with the other releases, so I’m happy with this for now. Only problem is that it goes into Italian briefly in the middle and the end. Hopefully a better release will surpass it in the future.
As for the film itself, my opinion is that it is Leone’s third best. I honestly like it more than The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and it’s also my third favourite spaghetti. Like with many other Zapata westerns, I do have difficulty placing this within the genre sometimes. It stops being a western after the first hour and transforms into more of a war film. It feels like a very unusual picture. Even though it was marketed as just another spaghetti western, I do think that Leone was trying to move out of the genre and create something different. Anyway, I really like what he did here and it’s a pity it isn’t appreciated as much as his other films.
The scene in the rain and the the flashbacks in the pub are excellent.
I called in to Toners pub yesterday to take a few shots - see below shots then and now.
I love these old Dublin pubs that have hardly changed over the years. The 6 beer taps in the photos are the originals (not used now).
“FIST FULL OF DOLLARS” was filmed there too? Cool.
Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing them.
I didn’t even notice the mistake on the photo!