The Mercenary / A Professional Gun / Il mercenario (Sergio Corbucci, 1968)


(Chris_Casey) #201

Correct, which happens before the sequence in the brothel. Which is why I found it obvious that the arms dealer was the same man.


(Stanton) #202

But that’s a bit puzzling. Why should he be an arm’s dealer? I thought he was one of the workers in the mine.


(Chris_Casey) #203

Well…I can see why it is puzzling, because all of the subplot with Pepote is handled very subtly. But, remember Paco gives Pepote money to buy guns for the revolution. He goes and buys some guns but then he ends up staying in the city and spending the rest of the money on women at the brothel. He sells the weapons he did manage to buy to the Pollack, so that he can have even more money to spend on wine, women, and song.
This is why Paco puts him on trial, later in the film—and why he says “but, you wont’ go with women anymore”, etc.


(Yodlaf Peterson) #204

I watched the Koch release tonight.

I was impressed with the print, i have’t checked my SPO disc but i’m pretty sure it’s better.

Seb, your being a bit harsh :wink:


(Sebastian) #205

haha well koch sets a high standard for itself :slight_smile:


(Ninja Warrior) #206

I hope this gets a proper release here in the states one day. I would buy the Koch dvd but I don’t have a multi-region player, so I should get a player that can. Also do players that you can break the code on also play PAL format?


(Sebastian) #207

they usually do, the only hurle might be if your TV doesn’t take the PAL signal… i’ve seen that a lot when i was in the states… because the players are usually made for all markets, but some US-made TVs just don’t take the PAL signal. some dvd players however do an actual conversion. which means a quality loss of course


(Ninja Warrior) #208

interesting…well I was able to get to a secret menu on one of my players. It is now in PAL mode and set to play any region. Now I just need to buy a different region dvd for once and perhaps PAL format as well. Time to get some more SW’s 8)…Crying freeman on dvd which was never released over here, and the aussie classic Razorback.


(Chris_Casey) #209

The Koch Media disc for this film is brilliant!
I, too, think Seb was being a bit overly critical on the visual quality.
I think the film looks GREAT!!
This, along with Mike’s Peckinpah documentary, are the best DVD purchases I have made in a very, very long time!


(frumaster) #210

Anyone know if you can get english subtitles for this? I have the Koch DVD, which is excellent, and the Italian audio track is of noticeably higher quality than the others. The problem is of course that it only offers german subtitles, and I know neither language. I’ve tried looking online, but can’t find any english subs…help!!!

much appreciated


(El Topo) #211

In English with will be dificult, only Spanhish or Portuguese, but I think that wont help


(Sanjuro) #212

I’ve now acquired the Koch DVD & watched it last night. Nice restoration & a great film. (I’d seen the film once before, a few months ago, on a terrible copy which really didn’t do it justice).

I agree with the comments further up that Mercenario & Companeros straddle the two genres of Zapata Western & classic SW very well. ZWs (the few I’ve seen anyway) tend to have their own range of set pieces - train robberies, machine gunnings, firing squads, raids on forts, etc. but can be short on classic SW elements such as climactic duels. But Mercenario & Companeros manage to combine the elements & styles of both.

Of the two, I still prefer Companeros, but they’re definitely two of a kind & both excellent.


(The Stranger) #213

[quote=“Sanjuro, post:212, topic:177”]I’ve now acquired the Koch DVD & watched it last night. Nice restoration & a great film. (I’d seen the film once before, a few months ago, on a terrible copy which really didn’t do it justice).

I agree with the comments further up that Mercenario & Companeros straddle the two genres of Zapata Western & classic SW very well. ZWs (the few I’ve seen anyway) tend to have their own range of set pieces - train robberies, machine gunnings, firing squads, raids on forts, etc. but can be short on classic SW elements such as climactic duels. But Mercenario & Companeros manage to combine the elements & styles of both.

Of the two, I still prefer Companeros, but they’re definitely two of a kind & both excellent.[/quote]

Yes, the Koch Media DVD is fantastic ! I am very glad to have this great movie on a good DVD. :wink:


(manilaman) #214

I bought the recent Koch disk on the basis of the very positive reviews here on SWDB. I enjoyed the film - its very entertaining and nicely phtographed.

But I was disappointed by the video quality. Although the picture is smooth and relatively blemish-free, the image is also undeniably soft in many places (I’m watching on a 37 inch display) and I found the frequent softness rather distracting. Also, it is too bad that Koch could not run to a stereo mix - the mono sound does Morricone’s brilliant score no favours.


(Stanton) #215

Better a good mono sound than a fake Stereo or 5.1 mix.

Films in those days were only mixed for Mono, with maybe a very few exceptions. Until 1966 most of the LPs were also mainly mixed for a Mono sound.


(mike siegel) #216

I would love to have stereo versions of MERCENARIO, SILENZIO and all those jewels.
Just watched FDM yesterday night again. And although 5-8 sound F/X are really overdone (and therefore
distracting), the music sounds great.
But KOCH is not MGM nor the international rightholder for MERCENARIO. Those Leone upmixes were really costly and done for an international market which they then can ‘exploit’ to recoup their money, while KOCH had to pay a
high license fee to get the film in the first place! Without Ulrich I guess we still wouldn’t have a decent worthwhile MERCENARIO DVD! So be reasonable and leave the high expectations to the world of dreams (to come true :))


(scherpschutter) #217

The Mercenary Koch: The image is a little soft, yes, and when you watch it on a gigantic screen (larger than, let’s say, 32") this might be a problem
I guess it’s the problem of the original source; the French disc seems to have the same problems, according to reactions (and screenshots) on the French western forum.

About the sound: just read an article about this 5.1 thing; more and more people return to stereo, 5.1 was a hype and it could be over rather soon. Theaters aren’t good places for 5.1 mixes (you have to be in the center of the speakers) and even in your home it might be difficult to find the right place to sit. There are also very little real 5.1 mixes, most mixes called 5.1 are in fact 3.1, with some surround effects added to give you the impression of 5.1. Another problem of those 5.1 mixes is that they tend to make dialogue hard to understand. People want clear effects, so ambient sound is often preferred over dialogue.

And then there’s the problem with 5.1 sets. If you want to spend, let’s say, 600 € for a set, you can buy a decent stero set (300 € for the receiver, 300 € for the two boxes), if you spend the same amount on a 5.1 set, you may end up with very average stuff. A good subwoofer alone, costs some 150 €, which leaves only 450 € for the rest of the set. Count at least 200 € for the receiver. This leaves only 150 € for 5 speakers. This is impossible, so most people fall back to inferior receivers and boxes, or buy an all-in-one set, which usually are of modest quality, to say the least

I have a surround set, decent quality, no more, it does the job, only … most of the time it doesn’t have a job. I have a stereo set too, which is of superior quality: a much stronger receiver, much better boxes. Okay, it’s not 5.1, but the sound is more powerful, brighter and clearer.


(The Stranger) #218

[quote=“mike siegel, post:216, topic:177”]I would love to have stereo versions of MERCENARIO, SILENZIO and all those jewels.
Just watched FDM yesterday night again. And although 5-8 sound F/X are really overdone (and therefore
distracting), the music sounds great.
But KOCH is not MGM nor the international rightholder for MERCENARIO. Those Leone upmixes were really costly and done for an international market which they then can ‘exploit’ to recoup their money, while KOCH had to pay a
high license fee to get the film in the first place! Without Ulrich I guess we still wouldn’t have a decent worthwhile MERCENARIO DVD! So be reasonable and leave the high expectations to the world of dreams (to come true :))[/quote]

Full consent.
I think the picture is not so bad. On the contrary, I was positively surprised by the picture quality. One must appreciate that the film is 42 years old.
I am very grateful Koch Media for this great DVD. And the great extras. :wink:


(ENNIOO) #219

Not going to get much better than the Koch disc, as already pointed out this is of course an old film.


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #220

Not only is it an old film but the dvd distributer does not have a million dollars on hand to spend on a digital remastering on par with what they did with the Leone films.