Stranger, Say Your Prayers! / Straniero … fatti il segno della croce! (Demofilo Fidani, 1968)

Surprised to see this one didn’t have its own thread so, having just watched a fan dub from an Italian TV rip, I thought I should rectify the situation.

I have to say I think this has to be one of Fidani’s best efforts. There’s a cohesive story, some proper characters and a pretty nice feel to the film as a whole. It drops away a bit in the final 20 minutes as it seems to lose its way; ending with some pretty meaningless riding and shooting, but there is plenty in this to enjoy. Including some nice Sartana-esque gimmicks like the concealed guns in the water bottle and crutch. The usual Fidani faces are all there though mostly, except for Jeff Cameron, in smaller, less conspicuous roles. It was never likely to win any awards but shows that Fidani is far from the bottom of the Spaghetti barrel and next to someone like, say, Gianni Crea, was a relative auteur.…_fatti_il_segno_della_croce!

I agree with you, Phil, that this is one of Fidani’s best efforts.
It has been quite awhile since I watched this one; but, I distinctly recall thinking it wasn’t too bad.
I think I will give it another viewing in a few days (I have a DVD-r of it from CultCine that I’ve never gotten 'round to watching).
This one, and especially DEAD MEN DON’T MAKE SHADOWS, are two Fidani films that I have to honestly admit that I enjoy!
Yes, I really did use the words “enjoy” and “Fidani” in the same sentence! ha ha!

Just watched the CultCine DVD-R of this and I have to agree that it was pretty good. Southwood is not the best actor in the world but he’s got a great screen presence and he’s always likeable. As previously stated, it pretty much falls apart near the end but, overall, quite fun. The CultCine release is a good-looking, anamorphic transfer that runs just over 90 min. I notice that that running time is about 8 min shorter than the running time listed on the database entry on the film (and on the back of the CultCine box, too!) Anyone know if this is a cut version of the film or is the running time listed just simply wrong? I noticed that the trailer for the film that is included on the disc has an alternate take of one of the deaths in the film. When the mother of the captive family is shot, she is nude from the waist up in the trailer, but not in the film! Is this print an alternate “clothed” version, perhaps? I have another bootleg disc of the film lying around somewhere that I haven’t watched anything but the beginning of. I know it’s from a different source, however, since it’s full screen as opposed to widescreen. I’ll dig it up and see if it’s any different. But, as I said, a fun movie and I’ll most likely revisit one of these days…

Overall this is maybe his best SW.

Is this a 25FPS runtime? The Italian DVD - including the “clothed” version of the above-mentioned death - is only 87m 23s (equivalent to 91 minutes at 24FPS).

Viewed the same print as Phil. Charles Southwood looks pretty young in this one is the first thing I noticed. Not as much horse riding around the countryside, which made a change for the director. The egg scene is a standout in the film I thought, and just knew Southwood would eat an egg. So it surprised me he did not have a glass of milk in the saloon. Nice atmosphere running through the film, helped by the crippled guy who had a good role. A better one from the director without a doubt for me.

What a beautiful poster, thanks for sharing…

This is what I wrote about the film when i saw it for the first time. I saw the english version now but don’t have much to add. Game with eggs was a funny scene.

-Fidani's first film. Not among his better efforts but not the worst either. It starts pretty violently promising: during the bank robbery a woman is shot in the head, another older woman knifed to death and three children got crushed under the horses as the robbers ride away. Beginning of the film is also beautifully photographed and has some nice scenes but after the second half I lost my interest, mainly because I was watching Italian version and I didn't understood much of the plot anymore (if there was one). Lots of familiar Fidani faces: Amerigo Leoni, Dino Strano, Fabio Testi, Jeff Cameron and Simone Blondell are all in it. Fidani also continues the sw tradition of concealed weapons, this time the hero has a pistol inside his flagon and crippled man in his crutch.

Had not seen this one in quite a long time, even forgot what it was all about. Anyhow, I liked this a lot more the second time around. Not great, but for me this is a good ‘spagh’ that has style and atmosphere and a decent Charles Southwood who gets the job done.

It feels like Fidani wasn’t sure what the hero’s motive was supposed to be and then decided the bounty was all he needed somewhere in the middle of production. At the beginning, you get the impression that he’s familiar with the place and that he’s some kind of relative of Logan (we see him pause to read the grave). Did Fidani actually finish his screenplays before he made his films? This one really feels like he made it up as he went along. The music feels very out of place but I definitely enjoyed this. It’s a Fidani, so you know what to expect. I still think One Dammed Day at Dawn is the director’s best spaghetti. This might be a worthy candidate for second place. Southwood was very good in the role.

1 Like

Watched this in Spagvember and thought it surprisingly good. That was after some pints, though. Rewatched it yesterday and still think it’s the most well-made Fidani I’ve seen, except for the gruesome score. I still prefer Dead Men Don’t Make Shadows to this one, because of the feel and Gori’s fine score.

Seems that he camera operator, Joe D’Amato, took a hand in this one in more than one way.


1 Like

That’s D’Amato in that shot?

Yes, it’s clearly him in the egg shooting scene. At least it’s the same guy as on the DB’s category page.

1 Like