Fedra West (Joaquín Luis Romero Marchent, 1968)


(Stanton) #1

Fedra West by Joaquin Romero Marchent

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Io_non_perdono…_uccido

Melodramatic SW with an anaemic lust in the dust finale.

The 82 min VHS version I watched was taken from a totally bad 35 mm print full of jumps und cuts and other damages, so that even some important pieces were missing. Bruckner gives the original lenght with 90 min, but acording to massive rhytmic problems and characters appearing and going without explanation, the film gives the impression to be cut down from an 3 hour version or so.

Joaquin was probably the more talented director of the Marchent brothers, but somehow in none of his films he seemed to be able to focus on an interesting perspective. They all have some interesting moments or several good directed scenes, but none of them works as a whole.
Rafael made without doubt the better genre contributions.


(scherpschutter) #2

Never seen it, but looked it up in Giusti, he says 85 minutes for the Italian release, but also that there were a lot of censorship problems, bot in Spain and Italy (he doesn’t say for what reasons), so 90 minutes might have been the original running-time without the cuts made; This also explains the rythmic problems and characters appearing and dissappearing.

Second interesting note: the film is based on Racine’s play Phaedra (based on an ancient play of Greek origin), and was not intended as a western, but as a melodrama (but sold as a spaghetti western in Italy for commercial reasons)

Third interesting note: According to director Marchent, actor Philbook was drunk all the time


(Silver Wolf) #3

Does someone have uncut version in English language? Good film but sadly much of drama is ruined because of missing footage (Naushad DVD). Not only few seconds here and there causing “jumps” but whole subplots are gone like burning of the village… and final scene is badly cut also.

Surprised to hear that Philbrook was drunk ll the time, IMO great acting was one of film’s strongest points.


(autephex) #4

Not sure what version I have, as it has been sitting in the stockpile and I haven’t paid much attention to it yet. Will check it out when I get home

so is this along the lines of MPV, in terms of resemblance to a western?


(scherpschutter) #5

Well, I don’t know how reliable this Marchent is … there might have been problems between him and Philbrook, and then telling somebody was drunk all the time to a writer of a book on SWs is kind of a revenge … on the other hand, there were quite a few actors, especially Americans, known for their drinking problems, Lee, Guy Madison, Richard Harrison, Van Heflin, even Jack Palance is sometimes mentioned as a heavy drinker.


(Silver Wolf) #6

Palance is a weird case, I think he certainly had a drinking problem to some degree but stories about him being drunk when announcing oscars & giving it to wrong person and all that stuff should be taken with a grain of salt. Maybe many of stories of him being drunk on the set originated simply because when working with less professional directors he often overacted his part as if he was drunk. This is true to many of his spaghetti westerns.

It’s true that Italian & Spanish film directors are known for revisioning their past deeds and making up stories, I would never trust their so-called memories 100%. Just think of R.Deodato, S.Martino, J.Franco… these people should have been lawyers not film directors!


(korano) #7

My video store has a copy of this one but never got it myself since I knew little about it.


(Angel Face) #8

I’ve had an unwatched wide version of it for a couple years now. I’ll check the running time…


(Angel Face) #9

The color is very nice, but the print is pretty damn battered and beaten in some places especially at reel changes. The running time on this version is 78 minutes 20 seconds.

Ah, well, nevermind. Just checked the link at the top of the page and it’s the same one I have. Although I switched to 16:9 for my tv settings and it was full wide. The 4:3 setting squeezed the frame.


(Stanton) #10

No, this one here is definitely a western, albeit a melodramatic one.


(chuck connors brother) #11

I didn’t like this too much, I expected alot from the director of Cut Throats Nine. I thought the ending was amazing though.


(korano) #12

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:5, topic:1542”]Well, I don’t know how reliable this Marchent is … there might have been problems between him and Philbrook, and then telling somebody was drunk all the time to a writer of a book on SWs is kind of a revenge … on the other hand, there were quite a few actors, especially Americans, known for their drinking problems, Lee, Guy Madison, Richard Harrison, Van Heflin, even Jack Palance is sometimes mentioned as a heavy drinker.[/quote]William Holden died from a head wound which was the result of falling and hitting his head on a coffee table after passing out. Jason Robards showed up drunk on the first day of shooting of Once Upon a Time in the West.


(davidf) #13

saw this last night and as pretty much those who have seen it have said it is a scratchy print and has plenty of jump cuts.was not expecting much but quite enjoyed it . i thought it an intresting SW though for the most part predictable.Norma Bengell has an earthliness about her, and film although quite short in its length builds to a “Duel In The Sun” type climax. above average.


(Phil H) #14

I do have a soft spot for these Greek Mythology based westerns but I was still surprised at just how much I enjoyed this one. Great core cast, excellent score from Piccione (possibly his best one for a western?), satisfying Spanish locations and a gripping tragedy of a storyline that is, for the most part, well handled. No action fest by any means, in fact it is much more a family drama, so it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but it pressed a lot of good buttons for me and certainly ranks as one of Joaquin Marchent’s better directorial efforts in my opinion.

As mentioned by others, the available print of this is far from pristine and this, along with the distressing jump cuts, do not do the film justice. A complete and restored DVD release would raise its reputation no end I believe.

Also, Norma Bengell is on great form here too as in her other Spaghetti outing, The Hellbenders. Man I wish she had made more films in the genre. Such a strong presence.


(ENNIOO) #15

Do not mind this one myself. Norma Bengell is very watchable. Lets hope a restored widescreen print pops up one day.


(I love you M.E. Kay) #16

I haven’t seen this film yet (although, coincidence, coincidence, I’m planning to watch it this weekend), but I completely agree with what you said about Norma Bengell. She was amazing in The Hellbenders and she gave the best performance in the whole movie… by far!


(Stanton) #17

Interesting. I personally don’t like her looks and her acting. At least not in Hellbenders, and already don’t remember if she maybe was different in Fedra West.


(Phil H) #18

Really? I thought hers was the strongest performance in Hellbenders. A film I like a lot by the way. And she is top of the class in Fedra too in my opinion. I’m tempted to suggest you go back and give it another look Stan but then I’ll start to feel like I should rewatch Boot Hill just to make it fair. :-\


(Stanton) #19

Hellbenders hasn’t any good performances.

Don’t you have watched the widescreenish version of Boot Hill. At least it looks quite different. More clowns.


(Richard--W) #20

Has anyone seen the Global DVD from Australia?
Is that the one filled with jump cuts and a poor picture?

Richard