Take a Hard Ride (1975/Margheriti)

[quote=“Bad Lieutenant, post:80, topic:347”]Free Studio:
http://www.dvdvideosoft.com/free-dvd-video-software.htm[/quote]What about it?

[quote=“Bad Lieutenant, post:80, topic:347”]Free Studio:

Does the DVD burner decrypt security on this system BL?

Yeah, my bad. This was a rpely that belongs in a different topic.

@ phil. Don’t know, I only use one feature of the program, the youtube mp3 ripping part.

Watched the film (on two consecutieve nights) for the first time since I saw it cinema, I suppose in '75 or so

Like Stanton, I had the idea that a diet of average spaghetti had done the movie, or my reception of it, some good
At least during the first half, which is far from outstanding, but still rather enjoyable

But then, somewhere halfway, it all goes wrong and the film never really recovers from it; characters are killed abruptly, and only because the screenwriters didn’t know what to do with them any further, and all this nonsense about Lee assembling a hunting party, becomes totally obnoxious.

Never seen Lee so unhappy.

The Koch Media DVD looked as good as the Canary Islands locations
(And at least I know now who and what Catherine Spaak is; I had forgotten all about her in the meantime)

I find many situations happen for no reason.
For example, are this two black bounty hunter, where with Jim Brown (Pike) and Fred Williamson (Tyree) confused. They are there to disappear again. And then 10 minutes to appear again in the story. Completely pointless, right?

Lee’s scragly hair at the back makes me want to give him a haircut.

[quote=“The Stranger, post:85, topic:347”]I find many situations happen for no reason.
For example, are this two black bounty hunter, where with Jim Brown (Pike) and Fred Williamson (Tyree) confused. They are there to disappear again. And then 10 minutes to appear again in the story. Completely pointless, right?[/quote]

Right, it didn’t make any sense
I found Catherine Spaak’s dead scene rather ridiculous too. That whole thing with the machine gun was pointless; I had the idea the thing was in the movie because there was one in The Wild Bunch too. It was introduced in a rather similar way (on a wagon, first covered).

But I’m glad I watched it again.

Yes definitely not a classic or a great film for that matter, but one that at least gives a reasonable enjoyable view, not for the story but cause of the main actors, its the kind of film I miss from my old weekend matinee days, I would most probable liked to watch something like this during those days.

The story is just too plain basic, lacks some more complexity, and that just makes the film to drag a bit more than necessary for its own sake, mostly towards the end, and some of the characters are introduced by force to the story falling from parachute to the film, like the one played by Catherine Spaak and also the other black duet, even the racist preacher appeared out of nowhere just to fill more screen time, and that Is always a sign of weakness in a film.
I did like the main characters, Lee Van Cleef looked tired and sad, but that fitted his part well, his less iconic look, made him more human I guess, also his ambiguous character kind of a mix between Angel Eyes and Blondie was something positive for me, Fred Williamson was mighty cool in the usual blaxploitation pimp style part (the snakes were a nice touch), and Jim Brown for someone who started as a professional American Football did became a reliable actor (way better than O.J.), couldn’t understand Jim Kelly part a black raised by an Indian tribe who knows kung fu, but let’s just cut some slack on that, for coolness sake.

Cleary oriented for the US market, apart from Lee Van Cleef character, in my opinion there’s no SW feeling of whatsoever in the film, even the possible blaxploitation feeling is missing, for that you needed another director, and some funky music. More kind of a blend between a US classic western with some adventure flick, so kind of hybrid film, classic Western, usual blaxploitation actors, a very classic score and a character taken out from the Almeria desert.

There’s some nice twilight scenes filmed in counter light, even a scatological moment, and the action sequences are mostly OK, with people falling from high places, but Margheriti failed to present a good film only made a viewable one. Must say the man not among my favorite directors of the period, his best SW God said to Cain was pretty good (top 20 stuff), but he clears lacks a Django in his resume, still I prefer most of his older films, got the feeling he could have done a lot better in many of his films.

The strong points of the movie are the relation between Brown and Williamson characters, and Lee Van Cleef down to earth humanity, also liked the Canary Islands locations (been there several times, lovely place to visit), should been used more times, liked the Goldsmith score, it brings some class and momentum to the film even making it more epic, where there’s no trace of such thing in the all thing (apart from the landscape), but the story just too basic and most of the characters are just hot air.

Because of the weak script the film seems to be dragging to its explosive final (where once again dynamite saves the day, in a cartoonish style). Another irritable aspect was the preachy stuff, just wasn’t necessary, Lee Van Cleef and preachy stuff just don’t belong together, If I was Spaak’s character I would have tried to run with money. I Think I understood why Lee Van Cleef Kiefer character acted like he did in the end, maybe his change of heart could be explain by the scene when he saw the thugs that tried to rape Spaak dead in the road, and one buried (Spaak’s husband), and he did save Jim Brown life once in the film, but then again too preachy stuff for good old Lee that we know.

Maybe an American director and not task maker Margheriti would have done better, but this work only reaches the 3 stars level, which is a pity with the names involved. Like I said stuff I would love to watch in the cinema, in the days that for me going to the cinema just mean that, going to the cinema.

I enjoyed watching this but, I was honestly disappointed in it. There’s a really strong cast that includes Lee Van Cleef, Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, and Ricardo Palacios but a lot of their performances fall flat due to the script and direction (with Brown being one notable exception). With a cast like this, I wish they were given a better film.

As an aside, despite being a less than stellar movie I do have to thank folks at the “Spaghetti Western Digest,” for mentioning it in their third issue all the same. Like I said, I had a good time with it.


This movie’s page in the SWDb has been upgraded to the new 3.0 format. Please check it out and let us know if you see anything that we need to correct or of you can add information, texts, links or images.

For those interested, there’s a new poll for Take a Hard Ride on the original post at the top of the page. :arrow_up:

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