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

(Novecento) #282

I concur. Corbucci doesn’t always get the credit he deserves. If we only had a handful of his best films as examples of his work (essentially a similar output to Leone) then he would undoubtedly have gone down as one of the great cinematic auteurs…

I agree until the second occurrence of the word “scenes”, then I disagree. Leone’s style was different in terms of action - not necessarily either better or worse, just different. The Corbucci style would have felt out of place in a Leone film (there’s the hallmark of a true auteur).

(Stanton) #283

Leone directed some fantastic action, and he did this already in FoD, in all the smaller action scenes, but his big action scenes in FoD and in Giu la testa are only mediocre, and especially Giu suffers from this. But I have to say the same about Django.
In FoD the river massacre and the cemetery shoot-out are pretty lame, and this is not only a result of bad editing. Similar in Django there are some incredibly quick shoot-outs, but the big ones feel pale against them. In fact it was Il mercenario in which he learned how to edit the big action scenes, maybe only thanks his new editor Eugenio Alabiso. But then in Alabiso’s previous Spags this kind of scenes did not work either.

In Giu the directing of the ambush at the bridge is indecisive, and the final battle at the train is also a let-down, which makes it the only Leone western with a weak ending.

(Bill san Antonio) #284

These scenes were directed by Giraldi, weren’t they?


I know a 2nd unit quickly went and did the river massacre, but not sure of the other two.

(Stanton) #286

If so, it is second unit material, and it is the director’s responsibility to get from the second unit director what he wants to get.

Was it Giraldi, or was it … I don’t remember. Wasn’t it maybe Margheriti who claimed to have directed them?

(Novecento) #287

It was Franco Giraldi - although I don’t remember off hand the exact details of what he shot. I do remember Valerii making a big deal of it in his MNIN commentary

(morgan) #288

Watched the Kino Lorber release three times the last week, the second time with Cox’s comments. Great picture quality. I also liked Cox’s commentary. Expected him to have a more critical approach though, but instead he tries to put the film into perspective.

As for political approach, I think perhaps Columba rather than the male protagonists speaks for Corbucci here. Enter Columba, that’s where the film really takes off.

(Novecento) #289

That’s good to hear. When I finally get around to buying a copy of this, I think I’ll go with KL specifically for the Cox commentary.

Yes - it’s nice how Corbucci shone a light on the role of Soldaderas / Adelitas

(Sebastian) #290

Totally agree, and yet she remains underused in the film