El Puro / La taglia è tua … l’uomo l’ammazzo io (Edoardo Mulargia, 1969)


(Stanton) #1

Now here we have a real surprise!

El puro by Edoardo Mulargia. Aka The Reward’s Yours, the Man’s mine.
The latter one is a translation of the original italian title, but it doesn’t make very much sense according to story and film.

It’s an widely unknown SW, which wasn’t released in Germany.

The film is about a legendary, but now retired gunfighter (Robert Woods) known by the name of El Puro, who meanwhile became an alcoholic who bathes in self-pity. A 2nd plot introduces a gang of sadistic outlaws, who on the other hand have a taste for fooling people by playing childish diguising games, so that also the audience is sometimes not sure who they are and what they are.
These gang, complete with a near crazy leader, now tries to collect the bounty money on the disappeared El Puro’s head. By bringing pressure to bear upon all people who might know about El Puro’s whereabouts, they force him to come back to form again for a final duel.

After having seen nearly every “important” SW, and after having seen 4 (out of 9) not so interesting ones by director Edoardo Mulargia (Shango, W Django), I expected not much and got a lot.

This is an astonishingly unusual, often irritating SW with interesting, strange characters, well acted and well directed. And it has an unusual end too. Mulargia delivers interesting images with often very individual framings (the 1st scene e.g. seems to start in the middle of a scene) , combined with a feeling for typical western moments, which I haven’t noticed in other works by this director. (Must give them a new watch.)

And El puro has great music by Alessandro Allesandroni (he did many of the famous whistlings on several soundtracks since AFoD), which bears more than one resemblance to A Fistful of Dollars. In fact this is so close to the music of AFoD that it would be appropriate to give Morricone the credits for greater parts of this score. So if someone wants to hear the wonderful AFoD music in another context, try to get this film.

Bill San Antonio must have seen this film. Anyone else?

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


(Phil H) #2

Haven’t seen the film but heard Allesandroni perform the theme tune in Venice where it was an audience request. Yes, very similar to FOD but also very cool. I’d love to get hold of this one.


(Reverend Danite) #3

[quote=“stanton, post:1, topic:795”]Now here we have a real surprise!

El puro by Edoardo Mulargia. Aka The Reward’s Yours, the Man’s mine.

Bill San Antonio must have seen this film. Anyone else?[/quote]
Yeah. I read Bill’s, and your own, review of this. It’s a while since I’ve seen it. I agree with you both, it’s a lesser known gem. Woods is as gritty as they come (his best role since Black Jack?), and I remember being quite surprised when one of the bad guys gets a big (gay?) kiss from one of the others.
A great film - dark and serious. Probably one of my top 20 (one day I’ll get around to doing one.)
I’ll dig this one out - it’s due a second showing.
(I also enjoyed Shango tho’ Brother Stanton. Not as good as this one tho’.)


(Stanton) #4

Oh yes, yes. I forgot, it’s probably Woods’ best SW, and his best role together with Black Jack.

I like Woods, by the way. Should have made more good Sws.


(ENNIOO) #5

Not seen the film, but have the score which is superb though !


(Bill san Antonio) #6

Yes, this is one of my favorites. Definitely Mulargia’s best film (Well, I haven’t seen Vaya con dios gringo and Prega Dio… e scavati la fossa), strange how his films vary from routinely directed efforts to truly talented, great films. Don’t Wait Django, Shoot! is another Mulargia film I like quite much, nicely directed moody film.


(Silver Wolf) #7

True, but this goes to almost every SW director, I think. Much depends on budget, script, shooting locations etc. No matter how “inspired” Mulargia was when directing Brother Outlaw or Say Your Prayers and Dig Your Grave, these movies never had a chance of turning out as classics because of lack of resources. El Puro had decent production values, nice locations, actors and very original script. Most Mulargia westerns doesn’t have any of these. El Puro is in my Top 20, great film, as good as The Great Silence or The Taste of Death, with great ending. Good Luck, Gringo is very entertaining road movie western, not big budget but fast-moving and with good action scenes. It could be compared to W Django! Haven’t seen Say Your Prayers… but I have trailer on some DVD and it looks like Demofilo Fidani film, unsurprisingly, since it was produced by Mila Cinematografica.


(veda) #8

Does anyone know is there a DVD release out there?


(ENNIOO) #9

One at Xploited but French audio only:

http://xploitedcinema.com/catalog/el-puro-p-3127.html


(Stanton) #10

The French DVD seems to be uncut with 96 min in Pal.

Mine version from a TV or VHS source is about 94 min, also Pal I think.

How came this film is so seldom?

Maybe it could also crack my Top 20, but it’s up to this point not surfaced on anyones list, also the books don’t mention it.


(Silver Wolf) #11

Maybe so, but awful picture quality:

http://www.sundances.net/spaghetti/elpuroscreenshots.php

At least Western all’ Italiana: Book 2 has a review which calls it a masterpiece.


(Reverend Danite) #12

Brothers and Sisters - I’ve just checked my copy - which is a dvd-r of a (probably) video or t.v. release I picked up a few years ago (possibly e-bay) - and is in English and is not subtitled. Also the picture is pretty damn good video quality. The picture is cropped at the edges but the action doesn’t happen off-screen like it can with some. It’s better than fullscreen … a gnats-cock narrower than those screen-grabs for the French dub. I’ve checked the running time at 94mins.
If Brother Indio Black don’t mind too much - I’m presuming it’s all legal, therefore I’m happy to get this out to those regulars out there on this forum - even him ;).
I could either send a copy to one of the deps. or Seb to send out as they see fit to raise some Christmas cheer (or dollars for the cause) … or I could get some burnt myself - obviously on a give or trade basis - I ain’t no bread-head. My e-mail is in my details … reply here or privately. This should be seen! Surely a forum like this should enable us to do this and share this type of goodie? ;D Will someone let me know if this is o.k.?


(Stanton) #13

By me OK, definitely.

I think we have the same copy, Rev.

Sorry to hear that the french DVD is not so well. Looking at the screen shots, I would say my copy has better colours, VHS quality of course. But I think 16:9 is always a good compromise for a 2,35:1 aspect ratio.


(Reverend Danite) #14

Cheers Brother Stanton, Reckon we do … I also reckon we could be seeing new and revised lists - and hopefully a new entry into the top 20 in the not too distant future - if the word keeps spreading. Top film. Did you just get, or just get around to watching this - cos I’ve definately had my copy kicking around for a few years? Still not sure where it came from tho’… (even if I get a [bootleg] dvd, I might change - as in this case - the packaging, to more suit my sense of design).


(Stanton) #15

I got it a few weeks ago together with a few more SWs which weren’t released in germany. Without cover, so no guess from which source (VHS or TV I think) and out of which country, the DVD-R was originally made.
Have seen El puro twice since, and I will give it a 3rd watch before I change my Top 20 in the near future.


(ENNIOO) #16

There is a cover you can download at CD COVERS.CC if you do require a cover.


(Bill san Antonio) #17

[quote=“ENNIOO, post:16, topic:795”]There is a cover you can download at CD COVERS.CC if you do require a cover.[/quote]Thanks for the tip. I’ve been looking cover for this for some time already.


(ENNIOO) #18

My pleasure.


(Bad Lieutenant) #19

Thanks to a kind Reverend, who’s name I shall not mention, I got the chance to see this film.
To be honest, I’m not sure what to make of this one. Based on my first viewing I’d say it’s a slow moving, badly written spaghetti western of which the music is a barely concealed Morricone rip. However, I’d be selling the movie short if that would be all I had to say about it. Robert Woods is pretty good as the drunk title character. Coincidentally I found his character the most interesting. His intoxicated state is important and stressed throughout the movie. The viewer even gets some shots from a drunk point of view, with Woods looking for his booze. Nice. Woods really carries the move in my opinion. But there’s also a gang of idiots, that consists of fags and psychopaths, to provide some entertainment. The movie felt much like a Fidani movie. I think the only other Mulargia movie I’vee seen is W Django, which is technically better than El Puro and is more ‘fun’. With El Puro it’s sloppiness all over, while the morale seems low. At times it looks very uninspired, just take a look at the butt ugly opening titles, or listen to the Morricone ripped music. The editing is horrible at times. It does however have its moments and manages to deliver some memorable scenes. For instance the woman who got punched in the face repeatedly, like Scherpschutter already pointed out in another thread. Sometimes the movie bored me a little, but that was partially because I wasn’t in the mood for a less accessable movie like this. On the other hand I have to say that the story is pretty bad and won’t keep the average viewer sitting on the edge of his seat. Besides that, the film moves about as fast as a snail on weed. El Puro is definitely material for the ‘trained’ spaghetti western viewer. The average viewer would probably rate this one 2/10 tops. And I’d understand that, from their perspective. As for me, based on my first viewing, I’d rate it 5/10. It lacks a whole lot, but it’s mildly intriguing at the same time. I will watch it again soon, to get some more out of it and will probably crank up the rating a little. And then, I’ll also be reviewing it, here and/or on filmboob.nl.


(Reverend Danite) #20

Drunkards, fags and psychopaths … maybe it just reminds me of my congregation. But I feel at home with this one. I love the fact that it’s so different from others that I sometimes like to watch. Action packed, fast-moving ‘big character’ spaghettis (that don’t fall over into farce) are what I crave sometimes (maybe I’m thinking of such films such as ‘Professional Gun’ or ‘Adios Sabata’ here), and then I have this darker slice of melancholic magnificence for contrast. Maybe you will enjoy it more when the muse takes you - maybe not, but it’s still worth the watching. I for one, love to hear somebody having a different opinion to my own humble offerings. BUT … you are completely wrong of course - still, it being the season of good will, I won’t be calling down the Almighty’s judgement on your miserable soul 'til the new year. Time to repent yet. :wink: Anybody else (for the Hell-fires)?