The Belle Starr Story / Il mio corpo per un poker (Lina Wertmüller, 1968)

(Stanton) #21

Hey Phil, funny what one can find in older threads. I think you see the “Never did like him very much” part now quite different. Or am I wrong?

(Silence) #22

Now when this thread is anyway being digged up I can say that I quite like this one. Don’t mind it being slow.

(Phil H) #23

Yes indeed, very differently. Getting to see his better films made a big difference to my feelings towards Woods.

(Chris_Casey) #24

I haven’t seen this one for ages…and frankly all I can remember about it is how great Elsa Martinelli looked!
Thanks to a fine upstanding member of this group, I will soon be seeing this one again–and then I can give it a rating.

(John Welles) #25

I may be watching this one soon… I’ll let you know what I think of it.


Watched it today. Now that I’m thinking of it, I was focusing more on Martinelli’s ass than on the movie itself. Extended, sloppy and, ultimately, tiring use of flashbacks with some ridiculous narration and plenty of cheese on top, this is neither stylish nor great filmaking. If the bitch was more rotten, sleazier and more lethal, I wouldn’t mind the sloppiness, granted the romance was missing. But then that would be a totally different film I suppose… Only for those who are interested in the oddities of the genre. 2/5 because of Martinelli.

(John Welles) #27

The Belle Starr Story (Wertmüller/68)

“The Belle Starr Story” (1968) is, to my knowledge, the only Spaghetti Western ever directed by a woman, Lina Wertmüller (who was the first female to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Direction, for “Seven Beauties” [1976]). This fact somewhat overshadows this frankly bizarre movie that should probably be seen by fans so they can say at least “I’ve seen it!”.

The screenplay by Piero Cristofani is merely passable: Belle Starr (Elsa Martinelli) meets Larry Blackie (a fine George Eastman) during a card game, commencing a love/hate relationship coming to a head when both try and steal a diamond shipment from right underneath the noses of the Pinkertons.

The middle of the film is taken up by long flashbacks to Belle Starr’s past (which feature the ever reliable Robert Woods. He was originally going to have more screen time than he does, but he fell out with Wertmüller and thus his role was shortened); these are good scenes, but they rather unbalance the film and put the pacing off. The acting is mostly good, with Bruno Corazzari doing wonders in his small role. The direction is, like the cinematography and editing, solid but not inspired. Over all, an interesting oddity in the harsh desert of Spaghetti Westerns that aficionado’s will want to watch.

(scherpschutter) #28

Well-written, why not make an official database review of it?

(Silence) #29


(John Welles) #30

Thank you for the compliment! I might just do that.

(John Welles) #31

I was thinking: is Lina Wertmuller the only director to have made a Spaghetti Western and get nominated at the Oscars for Best Director?

(Gualixo) #32

Hi, there came a new DVD release for this. Who to update the Database page, follows one online store to view:


(morgan) #33

The other night I finished a novel named Embers at Dawn (2013) written (in English) by the Norwegian author JC Loen. The novel is about a foulmouthed and heavily armed young American woman named Lee, leading a small gang of outlaws in the aftermath of the Civil War. The only information I have managed to find about the author is on the website of an Oslo rifle and pistol club, where it says that she has studied literature and feminism at the University of Oslo.

Last night another woman’s take on spaghetti western; The Bell Starr Story. I watched it for the first time in a very bad copy during Spagvemberfest, and last night for the first time in good picture quality. And, ahem…, what a film. Only the audio on the Wild East double feature was really bad, so I have to search out one with a better audio…