Yankee (Brass / 1966)
Something a bit more cerebral for this evening’s viewing and a welcome re-watch of this visual feast. I wonder what his producers thought when Brass delivered this bag of close ups and jump cuts. Certainly not mainstream genre stuff. But it did well enough at the box office so I’m surprised he didn’t do another one. Maybe he figured he’d done everything he wanted with it? Who knows. It’s one of a kind though, that’s for sure.
Day 20. Movie 14. The Return Of Ringo.
Entertaining picture that checks off many of the Spaghetti Western boxes, including Fernando Sancho being himself, but with a touch of romance too. And Morricone. I think I’d watch 90 minutes of two people sitting in a closet if Morricone had done a score for it.
Day 20: Black Eagles of Santa Fe (rewatch)
Entertaining enough German western. I think that’s the same fort from Fort Yuma Gold but this was a year before. Certainly looks like the same general area, that region outside Madrid.
Non aspettare Django, spara - The Spaghetti Western Database (spaghetti-western.net)
A return to Tubi for another Edoardo Mulargia first time viewing. What starts out as a revenge film when Django’s (Ivan Rassmiov) and Mary’s (Rada Rassimov) father is murdered turns into a hunt for missing cash. The always entertaining Ignazio Spalla decides to align himself with Django and he turns about to be a great ally to have as he was apparently bullet proof.
Made with a budget that even Fidani would have scoffed at , this is truly bottom of the barrel fare. I can say that Spalla was entertaining, as usual, and some of the gunplay was entertaining but I found my attention often drifting to other places. All in all, I wasn’t a fan.
** Shango (1970)**
Anthony Steffen, born Antonio Luiz de Teffé von Hoonholtz and also known as Antonio Luigi de Teff, was born at the Brazilian embassy in Rome in what is known as the Pamphilj Palace. His noble family came from Prussia, with his great-grandfather being the Great Baron of Teffé and his father Manoel being a Formula One racer and a Brazilian ambassador. His grandaunt, Nair de Teffé von Hoonholtz, was the first female caricaturist of Brazil and wife of Brazilian President Hermes Fonseca. And yet his teen years were filled with war, as he and his family worked with Italian resistance fighters against the Nazis.
From 1965 to 1972, Steffen became the Italian Clint Eastwood, showing up in 27 Italian Westerns like Django the Bastard, Arizona Colt Returns, A Few Dollars for Django and Viva! Django as well as giallo movies such as Crimes of the Black Cat, The Killers Are Our Guests and Play Motel. He retired to a jet set life based out of Brazil.
He also wrote this movie along with director Edoard Mulargia, who also made Don’t Wait, Django… Shoot!, Tropic of Cancer and Escape from Hell, which is part of the two movies that make up Savage Island.
Shango (Anthony Steffen) has been framed for the death of a telegraph operator. That man just happens to be the only person that can inform a small Mexican town that the American Civil War is over, which allows Major Droster (Eduardo Fajardo) to keep the war going and lording over the people. Shango hangs from a wooden cage until Fernandez (Attilio Dottesio), his daughter Consuelo (Barbara Nelli) and son Pedrito (Giusva Fioravanti) help him to escape. Droster allows his henchman Martinez (Maurice Poli) to attack the people of this small Mexican barrio and this won’t stand. Shango must get his revenge and somehow goes from PTSD POV to avenging killing machine in moments. And it all ends in fire and self-sacrifice.
Giusva Fioravanti went from being a child star to — along with Francesca Mambro — becoming a leading figure in a far-right terrorist group, Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari. His brother Cristiano had joined a far right youth section at the age of 13 and Giusva joined as well to protect him. But even a year in the U.S. didn’t make him any less violent or devoted to the cause. Along with his girlfriend Francesca Mambro, they had no real ideology but still caused plenty of mayhem, including potentially being behind the Bologna Massacre in 1980 that killed 85 people. Today, Fioravanti is a writer for Il Riformista focusing on human rights and the criminal justice system in Iran and the U.S.
While I agree there’s nothing very memorable here, I rank it pretty highly as a western comedy goes.
I also agree that Morricone wasn’t invested, but I think he delivered one really fun and noteworthy tune with “Dal Sarto” which plays, I believe, when Bud is dressing up fancy. It’s just a surprisingly beautiful little melody.
Day 20 (film 15) - Don’t Turn the Other Cheek (1971)
An overly long revolutionary comedy finds Nero playing a role he’s done twice before and Wallach more or less playing a variety of Tuco. Lynn Redgrave’s character isn’t treated very well, and the vocal dubbing of her sounds even worse.
Eli Wallach devised the English title “Don’t Turn the Other Cheek” which is impressive since it is both a pun on where the treasure maps are located and fits in with Italy’s love of bizarre religious allusion.
Speaking of the above, how strange is it that 1974’s Blood Money also features maps branded on backsides? Are there any other westerns like this? Should this be a new spaghetti sub-sub genre? Pasta Posterior Western??
Spagvember Fest 2023 Day 20
First time watch
Su le Mani, Cadavere! Sei in Arresto
**** out of *****
Another excellent hidden gem I’m happy to have added to the collection. A little slow in spots, but otherwise very entertaining with a well crafted payoff by the end. One of the finer points of the film is that it features the Texas Rangers as part of the plot. They did get mentioned a few times in other films, but here they’re front and center.
Peter Lee Lawrence was really good here as the Sando Kid. His transformation from timid army medic to fast draw Ranger is well done and effective. I really liked the Zorro angle they worked in having Kid go undercover as a dandy Easterner. Lawrence got to be both rugged and debonair, which worked well in his favor.
Aldo Sambrell did an excellent job as the one handed nasty slime-ball Grayson. A little strange seeing him dressed in fancy duds instead of outlaw style clothes, but he pulls of the part nicely.
Herr Bruckner’s Explosive Media does it again with a good quality release.
11: Giuseppe Colizzi’s Dio perdona … io no! (1967)
After three fantastic days in Manchester, I’m back on the Spaghetti range. I had to skip four films in my top 30 countdown, all by Sergio Corbucci – Gli specialisti (1969), Che c’entriamo noi con la rivoluzione? (1972), I crudeli (1967), Navajo Joe (1966) – and watched Giuseppe Colizzi’s first Western last night.
Enzo Barboni’s slapstick Wild West films Lo chiamavano Trinità … (1970) and … continuavano a chiamarlo Trinità (1971) owed their great box office success to their witty title character, Trinità/Trinity (Terence Hill), and his powerful brother, (“Don’t call me”) Bambino (Bud Spencer), as well as (self-)parody and extended brawls. The exceptionally fruitful collaboration between northern and southern Italy, in the persons of Venetian Mario Girotti (Hill) and Neapolitan Carlo Pedersoli (Spencer), began in Colizzi’s bitterly serious Dio perdona … io no! (“God forgives … I don’t!”). In a convoluted story with intricate flashbacks, the grim insurance agent Earp (Spencer) and the shady saddle tramp Doc (Hill) chase the diabolical bandit Bill Sant’Antonio (Frank Wolff), who has faked his own death. One of the highlights of the film is the impressively staged, photographed and edited opening sequence, featuring a composition by Carlo Rustichelli reminiscent of “O Fortuna” from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.
In Dio perdona … io no!, the typical later Hill-and-Spencer antics are mostly absent, but the film was still very profitable in Italy. The following year, Colizzi made a sequel entitled I quattro dell’Ave Maria (“the four of the Hail Mary”) with his two leading actors and Eli Wallach and Brock Peters, which increased the comedic elements. This development reached its bizarre climax in the final film of Colizzi’s trilogy, La collina degli stivali (1969, “the boot hill”), which offers fun and games with Terry Hill and Buddy Spencer and Woody Strode and clowns, cancan dancers and trapeze artists and microsomia musicians, accompanied by Rustichelli’s eclectic score of jazz and circus music, structured by Colizzi’s idiosyncratic rhythms in editing sequences and juxtaposing images. A damned strange, at times visually fascinating film, in which Pedersoli’s Italian dubbing actor Glauco Onorato plays the supporting villain Finch (the two have no scene together) and in whose opening credits Woody Strode’s surname is spelled “Stroode” – Pappy Ford wouldn’t have liked that at all; he in turn dedicated a photograph of himself to “Sergio Leoni” (reproduced in Frayling’s Sergio Leone: Once Upon a Time in Italy, p. 166).
Next: Corbucci’s Mercenario (1968).
'Monta in sella!! Figlio di… (Get in the Saddle! … Son of a Bitch …) rough translation
aka, ‘The Great Treasure Hunt’, or in the UK, ‘The Great Chihuahua Treasure Hunt’
Very lightweight mildly amusing little heist flick … greatly enhanced by the gorgeous, Rosalba Neri … Starts off promisingly, sags a bit, picks up and then sags again (but enough about my love life !)
Positive things to say:
Bouncy soundtrack by Bacalov (some pieces from ‘Bullet for the General’) … nicely shot with the usual familiar Spanish locations (Northern Madrid) - Stan Cooper (Stelvio Rossi) does well, as Mark Damon’s younger stupid brother … I’d never really rated him much before seeing this … but he’s quite effective and likable.
Carambola’s Philosophy (Baldi / 1975)
Amazing really but the appetite for Hill and Spencer was so strong back in the 70s that even two obvious cheap rip offs of the originals were popular enough to merit a couple of films. To be honest, they carry it off OK but it’s almost non-stop slap stick and that gets very tiresome very quick. Not paying too much attention makes it easier to watch.
Grinders no. 21:
SE VUOI VIVERA … SPARA
I really like Sergio Garrones Spaghetti Westerns. Especially DJANGO IL BASTARDO, TRE CROCI PER NON MORIRE and UNA LUNGA FILA DI CROCI.
This one here is in the “middleground”. Nothing special but also not a complete waste of time.
The beginning and the end is good and inbetween average stuff. But this depends on the story which is nothing special.
In the lead there is Ivan Rassimov aka Sean Todd in a sympathic role. Some of the bad guys are Tom Felleghy and Giovanni Cianfriglia as bounty hunter. Garrones brother Riccardo is also in a main role as a womanizer.
The whole flick is serious but there are also some fun moments loosen up the conventional story.
One of the females is German actress Christina Penz who also did some movies with good old Fidani.
Note to myself: I still need to buy her biography
German Dub is very special because it was done by Mr. Brunnemann who is famous and notorious for “Patter dubbing”. Really special fun moments in German version that cannot be tranlsated
I have the German VHS and DVD in my collection that only have Widescreen image not scope. What a shame.
Also have reel 6/6 from 35mm copy but this covers only the last 8 minutes of the movie.
Here an image:
Here you may watch the Movie with English dub and in Scope. This is exactly the version I have watched now but with added German Dub from companero mailman.
I especially like the credits. The score was recycled for several Fidanis:
The Three Musketeers of the West (B. Corbucci / 1973)
A musketeers in the west is not a bad idea and the George MacDonald Fraser version with Michael York and Ollie Read showed that the theme could be made into a successful comedy romp but this one doesn’t quite hit the mark. It’s not bad but isn’t nearly good enough and of course the slapstick is laid on too thick as usual. They obviously thought they’d nailed it though as the closing credits roll over a non-ending saying they’ll be back. There’s confidence for you.
Day 20: No Room to Die (a.k.a. A Noose for Django) (1969) D-Sergio Garrone. Starring Anthony Steffen, William Berger, Nicoletta Machiavelli. Several months back, I had made an attempt to watch ‘No Room’ but wasn’t in the right headspace to finish it. This time I watched the whole thing, and appreciated it a little more. I thought the movie being based around human trafficking and immigrant workers was original and social commentary ahead of its time. Steffens and Berger are both bounty hunters who have been hired to to go after a Mexican businessman/human trafficker, named Fargo. Steffens is motivated by ideals while Berger is motivated by money. Both Steffens and Berger compete against one another. Fargo offers both of them both $20 thousand dollars to look the other way. Both bounty hunters accept the money. However, some things go down and the three go after each other for each other’s loot. Somewhere in all this, the beautiful Nicoletta Machiavelli (who had been Fargo’s lady-friend) grows to despise Fargo over killing all the people he was trafficking when the US cavalry are close behnd. Berger’s bounty hunter is thematic with him dressed like a preacher or priest and quoting Bible passages after killing someone. Steffens’s performance was…well, like his other ones. If there was supposed to be any romantic chemisty between the Steff and Machiavelli, I wasn’t buying it. Rating: 2/5.
This thread is a great way of getting reminders to check films off the ‘To do’ list … I’ve had a copy of this for ages, and just never got around to watching it … "To view or not to view, aye there’s the question … ’
Sangue chiama sangue (1968) - Director: Luigi Capuano - 3/10.
Though the film technically reworks the revenge formula in order to incorporate some twists and turns in the way the tale unfolds, the extremely stodgy execution proves largely sleep-inducing and makes the motion picture a real chore to sit through. The refreshing thing about the flick is that most characters stay in the dark as to the identity of their true adversaries and this is further complicated by the interminable scheming of Sancho’s concubine as well as everybody’s quest for the diadem, so the narration turns out quite convoluted and intricate in the way different allegiances play out and exert an impact on the narrative trajectory.
Whether all of that translates into a gratifying film-viewing experience is another matter altogether though and what evetually stymies some of film’s aforementioned assets is Capuano’s remarkably corny, one-dimensional directing the old-fashioned disposition of which is further compounded by De Masi’s customarily antiquated score. Moreover, the motion picture tends to put emphasis on drama at the expense of action which is something I am usually a fan of, but here just proves remarkably tedious and soporific in that the flick simply comes to be reminiscent of a soap opera. Sancho puts on a good show as always, other performers are fine for the most part, but there is simply no sidestepping the issue of the passé direction, the nondescript, insipid craftsmanship and oppressively mawkish drama.
Reverendo Colt (1970) - Director: Marino Girolami - 3/10.
In spite of the superficially decent craftsmanship apparent in the way the shootouts are staged, there is a streak of vexing ineptitude pervading the entire storyline and manifesting itself in every second scene in that characters are wont to say things no self-respecting writer with a modicum of common sense and good taste would come up with. Though Madison acts out this nonsense with a straight face, which is quite incredible given some of the lines he elocutes, most situations dangerously verge on becoming outright parodic. What is even worse, Chris Huerta turns up in a skirt, yet again impersonating an imbecile and playing the bagpipes much to my joy of course; oh well, he does not gad about topless or giggle like a girlie at the very least, so there is still something to be thankful for.
Suffice to say, the characters engage in some really stupid dialogues and perform inane actions on a pretty much regular basis insofar as it hard to tell whether the intended effect here is supposed to be serious or semi-facetious in nature. The situation is not remedied to any extent by the fact that essentially the entirety of the second half is dedicated to… well, nothing really, the depiction of protagonists basically waiting for some breakthrough to happen I guess, so they become spectators just as much as the audience watching them watching the horizon for some signs of a rescue team coming their way. At any rate, the narrative thenceforth goes totally down the drain and the final scene is so asinine I am at a loss for words. Despite the glaring shortcomings, it is still strangely watchable, though there is no gainsaying this is one heck of a turkey all right.
Spagvemberfest Day 21 - Film 11: Ben and Charlie
A fun one! I love both Gemma and Eastman so I’m surprised it took me so long to get to this one. Great soundtrack too. Loved the weird cast of bounty hunters, and Gemma’s trickshot of firing his pistol in the air and his bullet landing in a bounty hunters glass of whisky