Keoma (Enzo G. Castellari, 1976)


(Chris_Casey) #61

[quote=“Ming, post:59, topic:311”]This is my first post, so I’d like to start by saying ‘hi’ to everyone. It’s good to see a forum where the users are not bitching at each other, even when having contrasting opinions.

Anyway…

I have to say that this is one of my favourite spaghettis - strange soundtrack & all.
It’s hard to find another SW that polarizes opinions as much as this movie.
Even though it’s slightly pretentious in places, I like everything about this movie & it includes my favourite Nero performance.

As far as the criticisms about the ‘Peckinpah’ slo-mo, I don’t see why people think that a technique can be owned by an individual. I actually prefer the slo-mo scenes in Keoma (in particular the bar scene) to the scenes in The Wild Bunch & I also prefer Keoma as a whole to The Wild Bunch - I can practically hear the gasps - but in my opinion The Wild Bunch is way overrated & quite dull until the final scene.

I think Keoma - with it’s flaws - was a great attempt at doing something a bit different & more symbolic than had been done in many SW.[/quote]

Hello, Ming!

Welcome to the forum, amigo!

I absolutely agree with your final statements regarding KEOMA. It is, indeed, a great attempt at doing something different within the context of the genre.

I can’t say that I prefer KEOMA over THE WILD BUNCH, though.
Perhaps, by today’s standards THE WILD BUNCH might be construed as boring, by some; but, there is no denying its historical importance to cinema. There had never been a film like it before.
However, that all said…
I sometimes feel it is overrated in some ways, too. Personally, I prefer Peckinpah’s RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY over THE WILD BUNCH…and frequently, I find myself thinking I like PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID just as much, or even more, than THE WILD BUNCH.

At any rate, I enjoyed reading your comments!
Again, welcome to the forum!


(Ming) #62

Thanks, Romaine Fielding & Chris_Casey, for your welcome.

I agree, Chris, with your comment about ‘Pat Garrett…’, there’s something about the vibe of that film that I really like.
I have to admit that I thought I might be risking starting a bar-room brawl over my comment about ‘TWB’. Don’t get me wrong - I do like the movie - but, as I said before, I find it a bit dull in places & I think it’s definitely overrated. But, as you stated, it’s an important film. It’s also been very influencial - and not just in westerns.


(Jack Burns) #63

This film has its moments but gets bogged down in the middle. As for the soundtrack, it’s the worst in cinema history. It’s a joke. Really detracts from a film that’s stuck somewhere between the classic spaghetti’s and 70’s era stuff. It’s a transition film.

And there’s more than a Cain and Abel element to it. It’s a Jesus film, with Keoma being the crucified son (on the wheel), saving the downtrodden, etc. Keoma sorta has a Jesus-do and the night on the wheel is of course analogous to the final night on the cross.

This film belongs either to the avant garde or the trash heap. I’ll go avant garde because of Nero’s performance, which is pretty decent.


(davidf) #64

have seen this once before and it turned up on " movies for men" and so taped it and watched it again last night. first time i saw it thought it was a decent effort and that hasn’t really changed. as already mentioned by others franco nero is good in this, and film attempts something different. i have changed my mind about the soundtrack though did not mind it on first viewing but this time it grated on the nerves a bit ( perhaps i was influenced by some of the comments on here).olga karlotas is attractive. overall rating 6/10 that’s for the film not for olga he he :smiley:


(scherpschutter) #65

http://imageshack.us

UN FAMOSO PISTOLERO MI HA SPOSTATO AL DATABASE …


(Bad Lieutenant) #66

Great review again. I’m impressed.

Interesting thought, Redford in a spaghetti western.


(scherpschutter) #67

The Keoma Review can now be consulted in the database:

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


(YourPallbearer) #68

I’m one of the few that think the soundtrack is great.

This is on my top 20 but I have to be honest, if not for the great camera work this wouldn’t even be top 50 material. The story is uninspired and ho hum.
This stays afloat for the good performances, camera work and music (I’m the minority on that one, I know).


(Pacificador) #69

[quote=“YourPallbearer, post:68, topic:311”]I’m one of the few that think the soundtrack is great.

This is on my top 20 but I have to be honest, if not for the great camera work this wouldn’t even be top 50 material. The story is uninspired and ho hum.
This stays afloat for the good performances, camera work and music (I’m the minority on that one, I know).[/quote]

I’m with you on the music - different but great! I understand why some would find it annoying but I loved it.

I actually liked the whole movie though… 5/5 for me. But to each his own, eh?


(YourPallbearer) #70

[quote=“Pacificador, post:69, topic:311”]I’m with you on the music - different but great! I understand why some would find it annoying but I loved it.

I actually liked the whole movie though… 5/5 for me. But to each his own, eh?[/quote]

I agree with you. Class “A” film but I was just pointing out the limitations of the story which isn’t imaginative. It even takes a chapter from the book of Django in the scene where Keoma,after saving the pregnant woman, asks for a key to a room in the saloon for her to stay in.

oh!..I forgot to mention the sets in this are really great! They really made up Elios studios to look very different.
The big watch tower where Keoma picks off baddies during the films semi-climax looks like something out of a medieval flick.

Hey! Anybody else notice that Olga Karlatos looks alot like Carrie-Ann Moss?


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #71

Now that you mentioned it. Yes! A good one for the bastard/offspring thread.


(korano) #72

I love this movie. I even love the music. As I said earlier, I find the later SW’s intersting since they have more modern touches to them. I love Slow mo gunfight s and almost evry gunfight is in slow mo. I just think it is interesting to see how they would fall if they were shot. For a later movie it doesn’t seem to use many squibs but thats OK. At least it ahs slow mo. 5 out of 5. ;D


(MunchhausenPL) #73

“Keoma” is a movie without script and… weak points. Definitely it’s one of my favorites SW. “Keoma” have a fantastic soundtrack, slow motions, scenes (four cents or when Keoma is running towards O’Brien) and actors. Franco Nero, Woody Strode, Donal O’Brien and William Berger in one movie. This is what I call a great casting!

I just think it is interesting to see how they would fall if they were shot

So do I! I can watch slow motion all day long :smiley:


(korano) #74

Yeah, I wish it was used more in Mannaja.


(Goodfella) #75

Ok, well lets start with the flaws.

First lets touch on the score. Which I must say isnt half bad. For the most part it works well. Though I could do without the vocals, I can say that about most original scores. Even still, the vocals arent an issue, in fact the music is rather catchy, at least until it starts getting really obvious that they are simply singing(obviously stating) about what we are seeing on screen. Even still not that bad, until the dude jumps in. Especially with his “wanna die”. Still the music wasnt enough to really hurt the film at all.

Then theres the fact that characters pop up out of nowhere once in a while, at the most opportune times(or not so opportune). And that brings me to the old lady? I understand she represented something more, but who exactly was she and why did she seem to magically appear constantly? Was she really there at all? I though that perhaps she didnt even exist, at least not in the physical realm but then that means he simply left a new born alone in the middle of nowhere. This possibly isnt even a flaw(at least in regards to the old women) since its very likely deliberate.

A couple other issues I had that didnt really detract from the film but still stood out were the fact that Nero sounded a bit to Italian for a “half breed” American and the open landscapes didnt really look like western USA.

Once again all small issues that didnt harm the film in the end too much. One thing that did though was the ending. But thats really based more on personal opinion than it being a flaw per say. With Keoma leaving home all the time only to return because he didnt know what he was really meant to do with his life, I felt a fitting ending would have been for him to realize that after all the killing and traveling he was meant to settle down and be a father to the child as his father was for him.

Just leaving the kid with a old women that cant take care of a kid really didnt fly with me. Neither did his freedom line since IMO it didnt really fit in with the themes touched upon throughout the film. But with that said, Keoma does always return home so maybe fate will bring him back and the next time hell realize hes meant to stay and take care of the kid.

Ok, now with the flaws(or personal opinions) out of the way lets get to the pros. Like for instance…The film was great. The dialog was actually pretty deep and meaningful, characters were developed nicely, the acting was solid, cinematography was impressive, etc.

I actually believed the emmotions and relationships in the film and actually felt a connection of some form. I was invested and moved. I also dug when the slow mo was used to show how fast Keoma was compared to the rest by showing him take out a number of dudes before another guy could even draw his gun.

Also I have to say Berger is one of the best actors in the genre Ive seen so far. Granted Ive only seen him in a couple of film but a Banjo is one of the best spag characters Ive seen yet and his performance in this was very good.

Anyway, great film, the only thing that kind of bugs me is the ending, but still a 4 star film. Id be interested in hearing other peoples takes on the ending. As well as on the old women.


(Bill san Antonio) #76

[quote=“Goodfella, post:75, topic:311”]Anyway, great film, the only thing that kind of bugs me is the ending, but still a 4 star film. Id be interested in hearing other peoples takes on the ending. As well as on the old women.[/quote]I like the ending. I see it more as a symbolic scene as well as the witch who appears every time there’s killings. The child is born at the same moment Keoma kills last oppressors of the village thus giving their freedom back.

Anyway you look at it, I can’t see those as a flaws. These things add some mystic sides to the film and leaves viewer little puzzled. I like it that way, some might not. Just a matter of opinion I guess.


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #77

Another flaw I can think of is that the film can be overly preachy at times. But overall I like this film alot. Top 20 stuff definitely.


(Goodfella) #78

I just watched it again with my Grandma. Shes always loved westerns so I turned her onto the spags knowing shed like them as well. She really likes Nero. She loved Django and now Keoma.

Anyway, after having seen it again and allowing the film to sink in I think this is now my favorite spag. It actually moved me, I wont lie…my eyes watered a bit.

Plus as I said, I never considered the whitch(“death”) a flaw, nore the ending. My comment was based simply on initial opinion. But after thinking about it, I like the old womens character(or lack of character if you will.) Its a powerful statement when she shows up before someone is about to die.

But in Keomas case, she leaves the choice to him. Death as given him the power over his own destiny. Like when hes tied to the wheel. Her look is asking him…“do you want to live or do you want to give up now?” The lyrics in the song express this as well. Speaking of the score I actually really dig it. Only the dudes vocals can get a little iffy but the womens voice is great.

Back to the which. Maybe shes not even “death” as in “the reaper of all souls”, but Keomas personal representation of death. Or maybe his spiritual guide? He is half Native American. Ethier way it gives you something to think about and I dig that.

I now also think his “freedom” line as nothing to do with “freedom” in the traditional sense, but freedom to make his own destiny. Freedom to live. The childs fate is meant to be the same as Keomas. Left alone as a child yet destined to survive. I also think Keoma will be back because “the world keeps going around” (by the way an amazing line…one of many).

You know this is not only my favorite spag but its simply one of my favorite films period. Its on a entirely different level then most of the other films Ive seen in the genre. This had something to offer plus entertainment, got to love the four cents scene. Thats cinema to me, moving the viewer and getting them invested in the characters and the themes while also entertaining them. The production values were also top notch. Though it still would have been great with less polish, it helps show how dedicated the filmmakers were. For example as great as The Great Silence is Corbbucis sloppiness does hurt the film a little. Plus I dig the overall themes and story of Keoma more. But don’t get me wrong Silence is great.

Anyway, while I wasnt very impressed by “Streetlaw” I now look forward to seeing more of the directors films based on the fact that he could make something this great. I can see why he considered it his best(as did Nero). I have “Any Gun Can Play” on the way now.


(Bill san Antonio) #79

[quote=“Goodfella, post:78, topic:311”]Anyway, while I wasnt very impressed by “Streetlaw” I now look forward to seeing more of the directors films based on the fact that he could make something this great. I can see why he considered it his best(as did Nero). I have “Any Gun Can Play” on the way now.[/quote]I got to warn you, Castellari’s films vary a lot. Any Gun Can Play is nothing like Keoma, more comedic nonsense actioner. You should try Johnny Hamlet which is beautiful looking and serious film.


(Goodfella) #80

Yea, I had a feeling that would be the case with his film overall. As it seems to be with many Italian “genre” directors.

I knew Any Gun was more comedic actioner already, and Im ok with that as long as its not Terrence Hill type comedic. Is it?

Ive watched the trailer and it looked decent, plus its the only other spag of his avalible on netflix.

Ill have to check out Hamlet some how though since Ive heard some good things.