The Hills Run Red / Un fiume di dollari (Carlo Lizzani, 1966)

I rewatched it yesterday night because it was discussed on a facebook page. Didn’t like it at all when i saw it for the first time, probably 8-10 years ago, but my thoughts about it are more positive now. No masterpiece, by any stretch of the imagination, but a solid mid-tier genre entry. I noticed now that it’s a very good looking movie, beautifully shot, with several nice angles and compositions.

I’ll be reworking my old review and publish a new one tomorrow

Do you keep your older reviews?

I have them in my computer, yes. But i should probably save them for the sake of security.

But sometimes you notice that you just wrote something stupid. Not in this case (I just changed my mind about a few things), but it happens.

I hadn’t watched this for ages because I didn’t like the film back then but like Scherp says in his review it’s a film that will improve after seeing hundreds of sw’s. It’s a film that is often praised by critics but doesn’t have much love among fans (I think it’s only listed by 3 members in their top20). I can understand that because the “american style” but it’s not a bad film, actually it’s pretty good. Many have criticized Thomas Hunter’s performance but I thought he was very good, he plays his character in style you’ll almost never see in western let alone spaghetti western, an avenger who isn’t a typical silent type but shows his emotions and even yells from time to time. Silva chews the scenery with his laughs but his looks make him convincing bad guy anyway.
It’s a good looking film and I have to mention the horse herding/ambush scene which is one of the greatest looking scenes in any sw. Morricone’s epic soundtrack fits the film well. My biggest complaint would be the dynamite fight at the end. It’s spectacular and fun but it breaks the restrained “american” style and goes into Castellari territory.
I watched the Japanese Stingray dvd. There’s better releases out there but I’m happy to own this rarity.
My rating: 7/10

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Toscano…it is a good film…I’m glad that you enjoyed it…

Exactly, you don’t often see hero to be in such a state of mind. Very refreshing.

Great new article by @davidgregorybell

I took me couple of days to get through this big essey on Hills, but it was worth it :slight_smile:

Yes, Hills is one of the most fun spaghettis and I too prefer it over Lizzani’s other SW, Requiscant.

If it was lucky to receive the ending a la Great Silence (2 years before Great Silence), it would probably be considered cult gem nowadays like Great Silence. But, as I have already said in this thread, the obviously-tacked-on–by-studio ending it got adds to fun with campy madness of this movie.

More than 5000 words. In those days that I run a site of my own, I had as a rule, never write more than 800 words.

That is my rule as well. 800 is the maximum, with only a few exceptions for classics like Once Upon, GBU, Django, Great Silence. For not too well-known movies I even try to keep the text under 600 words. When I started writing for SWDB, my texts were too long, but I only noticed that when I started re-reading them after some time.

I guess this text by mister Bell was probably intended more like an essey/study than stanard magazine/website review.

That aside, I completely agree with you both on ‘less is more’. I write music reviews for quite some time for one website. I started to become satisfied with them and believe they are good when I mastered this art of trimming or autocensure if you will: That it is okay to decide to leave some thoughts out, that it in fact gives an article more rhythm and impact.

In other field, Bruce Springsteen said something similar about his songwriting. On his first two albums they tried to model him after Bob Dylan and his songs were very wordy. He found his true voice as a songwriter by his fourth album Darkness on the edge of town, when he learned to strip away the words to bare essence, leaving his songs with much better focus and stronger impression on listener.

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Silva and Hunter killed it. :smiley: I actually felt bad for Silva when he got shot. Such a fun character. I somewhat hoped he’d piss on Seagull (what a name :smile:) when things got tough and with laughter leaves to Mexico. I did not even see his character as a bad guy for this hilarious performance. Hunter overacts as well but strangely it is along with Silva’s overacting and the memorable score the highlight of the movie. Hunter looks and acts like he went nuts even in situations he has no reason for that which makes this movie special. I loved when he shouted his lines. Seeeeeeegulllllllll. If you say it sux I get it but honestly I don’t think I could enjoy the movie without that.

Rewatching this on BluRay and must say… yea, it is very American-looking and all that, but it is a totally solid flick with great action and production value. Just the overacting by some is a bit distracting, and the script is very shoddy, for example Nicoletta’s character isn’t more than a footnote…

I have a very weird relationship with this movie. Every once in a while a get tempted to watch it, because I really WANT to love the movie (for some reason), but then when I watch it the movie leaves me somewhat blank afterwards… I don’t know why. It has all the good ingredients but it lacks some kind of fun, it doesn’t have that comic book surrealism to it. There is none of the stylish visuals that Lizzani had such a good eye for in Requiescant. I find that majority of the more American-looking spags lacks just that…

This was a very solid flic. As others have already said, it does feel quite American but I don’t think that really hinders it in any way. Henry Silva looked like he was having an absolute blast in this - he sounds like a drunk man attempting to do a Scarface impression. I’m surprised Thomas Hunter only did 2 spags, he’s a really solid protagonist and his action scenes were great. I also think he looks a bit like Eastwood (if you squint your eyes a bit).


While I did like this film I don’t think it’s a patch on Almost Human or Manhunt, but Silva’s role in this was my favourite I’ve seen him in.


Anyone know how the newer Kino Lorber release compares to the previous Explosive, video quality-wise? I know Explosive features 3 dubs and KL only English - KL has commentary by Alex Cox. Haven’t seen much else comparing the two releases or any of the usual press by Kino about it being a brand new transfer!