In the Dust of the Sun / Dans la poussière du soleil (Richard Balducci, 1971/1973)


(Reverend Danite) #1

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

Although Balducci sounds like he should be Italian, he is in fact French - as is this film. So, as a Eurowestern maybe it shouldn’t be tucked up here. But, whether or not there is any Italian connection regarding its production, it is a Spaghetti Western in ethos - if not so in geographical terms. And it is in Weisser’s book - although he doesn’t even attempt to ‘make up’ a synopsis of “this seldom seen French production”. And it is a lot closer to Italy than South Africa … and a review of 3 Bullets for a Long Gun also resides (quite rightly imo) within these hallowed walls.
And it’s got Lorenzo Robledo in it for Phil.
And it’s got a catfight for RF

so …

As usual - WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS (and nudity … so go on then …)

Dust or Lust … it’s got 'em both!
The opening scene is of a poor fellah, tied to a tree, being whipped by a gang - and then being dragged to his death through the aforementioned (Almerian) dust.
Feeling good about this bit of nastiness, we then witness a gratuitous rape of a peasant girl amongst the cactii - and that’s gotta be nasty - as well as reckless. This is not turning out to be a pretty film - and is thankfully as far removed from the seventies silliness that permeated the genre, as it is possible to get.
As I mentioned though, this is a sw in ethos - it just has extra stuff as well …
… lots of nudity as the French and the seventies dictated
… and some arty slo-mo ‘dance of death’ stuff at the end - which is rather effective.
Other than that it’s just yer average sw revenge, fucked up family stuff we’d expect …
that is - if you expect this sort of scenario …

Our main protagonist is an extremely handsome, cross-wearing blue eyed blonde hippyish-looking youth called Hawk (Daniel Beretta), who we are to believe is innocently ‘simple’ and who chooses not to speak, and so is effectively mute throughout the film. However he does choose to be in an incestuous relationship with his mother :o! That is made relatively obvious, but is also refererred to again when the 2 catfighting saloon gals bitch at each other - one referring to the other as being the ‘age he prefers’.
He is also pretty damn handy with a gun - and there’s some fine gunplay to be had eventually!
It seems everybody quite fancies the young blonde boy’s looks and wants a go on him, but none more so than the beautiful blonde daughter of the sheriff. Maria (Karin Miere) makes her love for him quite obvious, particularly in a (marvellous) nude bathing scene - but our fellah’s having none of it … (yet), and chooses instead to dump her, completely naked, back in town. This 'treat 'em mean - keep ‘em keen’ attitude only makes her (and my) heart beat faster … so maybe not one for the feminists, eh?

To cut a long story short, the dead fellah was his dad and the murderer was his uncle (who now wants to marry his mum) - and with the accidental death of the sheriff (at Hawk’s hand), Maria’s gunslinger brother arrives to settle the score with Hawk - but she’s not gonna be happy about that now she and Hawk have finally swapped some juices. Fucked up families or what!!?
Great!!

You just know that it ain’t gonna end up with everybody gathered around the family dinner table having a laugh.
Oh yeah Phil - I’m not sure what killed Lorenzo this time - whether it was the bullet in the guts, the fact that he was a walking fireball, or that he drowned in the horse trough - take yer pick really! :smiley: :wink:

So, all in all - a highly entertaining flick, with copious amounts of that nasty nihalistic stuff and naughtiness.
Imdb reckons that there could be a Hamlet type link - regarding a play within it that is changed by the actors to ‘expose’ some villainy. And in spaghetti-terms, it even has an equivalent barroom brawl - during the play.
Anyway, I wouldn’t know a Hamlet if it bit my bum, but all that family wonkiness does seem Shakesperean I suppose?
Anybody else for this?

[Oh yeah - edit … an’ Francis Lai did the soundtrack - certainly sounded like him in bits - effective as well.]


(scherpschutter) #2

To cut a long story short: this is Hamlet in a nutshell, rev


(Phil H) #3

You beat me to it Scherps :smiley:

No doubt about it Rev. The plot you have just reviewed is Hamlet down to a tee (including of course the ‘play within a play’ stuff). Sounds right up my street too. Hell, any film that has my man Lorenzo getting it three different ways has got to have some genre street cred ;D


(scherpschutter) #4

I’d say this myself, if I hadn’t seen it
I saw it a long time ago, somewhere in the '80s, and I don’t remember the film scene for scene, but I do remember it was bad
Some nude scenes, otherwise not much action until near the end
I would watch it again if it were on TV or so, but it’s not worth looking for


(Reverend Danite) #5

There’s talk on another thread recently about what makes a spag worth watching and it was mooted that OUATITW requires a commitment beyond what can be mustered on an average viewing eve. I agree wholeheartedly. Sometimes all I want is a genre film that works within the convention, and does what it can with its small budget. If there is a freshness or originality about it that works, all well and good. If it’s nihalistic and nasty - even better. Tits are a bonus.
This had all of the above.
It was pretty crappy in places, but it was ideosyncratically ‘spaghetti’ in feel overall, and therefore it did the job I wanted it to, admirably. It washed down well with a couple of ciders, and I didn’t even have to know the Shakespeare connection. And that even makes it multi-layered to a cleverer chap than myself.
Can’t be bad scherpy! :wink:


(ENNIOO) #6

A couple of beers and a low budget film…works for me ;D.


(Reverend Danite) #7

I hope this one does - cheers :wink:


(Romaine Fielding) #8

[quote=“Reverend Danite, post:1, topic:1533”]http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Dans_la_poussière_du_soleil
And it’s got a catfight for RF[/quote]

Meow.

Heehee. Poor Lorenzo.


(Phil H) #9

Well, doesn’t come close to Johnny Hamlet as a Shakespeare adaptation but it was reasonable fun in a ‘bit crap’ kind of way. Robledo’s death by bullet, fire and water trough was probably the highlight for me. The ladies were all very comely but the gratuitous breast blubbing and ‘they like it rough’ insinuations left a bad taste I’m afraid. I expect a bit of misogyny in spaghettis. It’s par for the course. But I always feel a bit uncomfortable with the 1970s approach whereby it seems that women only enjoy sex if they’ve struggled a bit first. Prudish? Maybe. But there you are.

My other major gripe was the choice of the lead actor. I don’t know who the hell he was but he didn’t have anything like the screen presence to carry off a central character who doesn’t speak through the whole film except one inocuous line 10 minutes before the end.

That all said, I’ve seen far worse and it was nice to see Maria Schell. (best actor in it by far) And I’m always interested to see how these Shakespeare adaptations work out and how the film makers involved change them from the original or not. Oh yes, and also nice to see Texas Hollywood used so much. Apart from the odd scene it looked like the whole film was shot there.

Cheers Rev


(Bill san Antonio) #10

Didn’t like this one that much, it has potential to be better film but it’s missing the right kind of feel. Also it looks like they didn’t know where to go with the plot, there’s the Hamlet stuff but after the inevitable theater play the plot changes and we have this ridiculous killing of a sheriff. Ending is quite effective though but also a bit laughable because it’s soo seventies ending.

But then again, there’s a lots of nudity which is always a plus in my book.


(PJayBe) #11

This sounds great fun to me, a major fan of spaghettis and filmic versions of Hamlet ;D ;D

Does anybody know where I can get hold of a copy at all??? Even movies4men don’t seem to show this one…

Philip


(carlos) #12

And all in all, I’m with the Rev on this offbeat western. I can see why it might not be to everyone’s liking. Here’s hoping a better print than the one I viewed becomes available.


#13

I’ve just tried to find out when Dans la poussière du soleil was released. The usual online sources can’t decide between 1971, 1972 and 1973 (Wikipedia, IMDb, various French film sites). Kevin Grant (pp. 133, 172, 458) and Alex Cox (p. 280) as well as Thomas Weisser (p. 103) give 1971 as year of release. A short article in French magazine Ciné Revue would suggest the film was shot in 1970. In Italy it was released in 1973 – or at least approved by the Italian censors.