The Price of Power / Il prezzo del potere (Tonino Valerii, 1969)

(davidf) #61

saw this again, last night. i did see it some years ago on video and thought it was good. on second viewing, didn’t think it as good, but still like it. It is an attempt at something different in the genre, yes it is talky, but has a fair amount of action as well. Gemma is always good value, and the westerns he is in are always decently made.As others have mentioned this has a good cast, and i like the music.Even with the liberties taken with history, it is a watchable, reasonably engrossing film, even if you know what’s going to happen.

(ChristopherGrant) #62

There are a number of titles that I’m seeing for the first time and The Price Of Power is another of these.

Saw it last week and, while I agree with Man With A Name, in that it’s talky and you do know what’s going to happen, I rather enjoyed it.

Gemma is really starting to become the actor that I know I’m going to get quality performances out of, regardless of the story, right up there with Gian Maria Volente. I see his name, I know I’m in for a good time.

Van Johnson’s Garfield was extremely naive, thinking everything was going to be all right, simply because he’s the President and who would think of taking him head-on? I have no clue, sir, but apparently everyone in Texas, right down to whomever passed your wife a bouquet of red roses, instead of yellow.

All in all, even with the mangled history, it was worth at least four stars.

(dicfish) #63

Another nice DVD from Medusa Entertainment.
I loved Stelvio Massis camera-work and the main theme.
Even if I didn’t understand everything (because of my bad italian), i found this film quite entertaining…

  • Video: 2,35:1 (anamorph)
  • Audio: Italian (DD 5.1 & DD 1.0)
  • Subtitles: Italian
  • Special Features: Interview with Tonino Valerii (~10 minutes), Trailer




(The Stranger) #64

Wow, great picture quality.
The film is very good. Unfortunately, I have only seen a cut and bad version few years ago on television.
My Rating: 7 /10.

Thanks for the nice screenshots, dicfish.

(MetalGeorge) #65

Isn’t this one on the Fast The Saved The Damned collection? Just ordered that from Amazon, mainly for Massacre Time and Bounty Killer. :slight_smile:

(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #66

Unfortunately I’ve heard that the version of Massacre time included in this collection is not of the best quality.

(MetalGeorge) #67

Phooey! Ah well, it should serve me, at least, for the time being!

(John Welles) #68

“The Price of Power” (1969), directed by Tonino Valerii, is a Spaghetti Western starring Guiliano Gemma, Van Johnson, Fernando Rey and Benito Stefanelli. Made six years after the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy, it seeks to comment sharply on the situation, perhaps more bitingly than Hollywood wanted or was able to do at that time.

The plot is thus, with their 1963 equivalents blatantly obvious: in Dallas, Texas, 1883 an unpopular liberal President (Johnson) visits the city and is assassinated in a crossfire of lead. A black patsy is quickly found by the corrupt sheriff (Stefanelli) and is killed while in transit between prisons. The framed man’s friend (Gemma) seeks to find out the truth, variously aided and set back by a mysterious government agent (Warren Vanders).

Reading the synopsis, it’s pretty clear where Valerii is heading, and he does so with style and tension. Well-acted, photographed and edited, with some excellent gunfights, this is a Spaghetti Western that deserves a much wider reputation that the one it currently holds.

(Asa) #69

Bloody good movie, this. Mr. Valerii is without doubt a top-tier director and, as with “The Sergios”, the quality is immediately apparent in his movies, and The Price of Power is no exception. Great performances all round with Mr. Gemma in particularly fine form, and with a tense, brooding score from Louis Bacalov.

(Argento) #70

Surely I can’t be the only person who died a little inside when it was announced that the German blu ray did not have any English language options.

(gringo_bastardo) #71

I loved it, great plot and the cast is good, no weak performances. There is bit similar story in italian comic Tex Willer but in that assassination failed. With little more action this would be 5 stars, now 4.

Brilliant music, simple but so catchy. I am prolly humming it rest of evening :stuck_out_tongue:

(superfuzz) #72

Most characters in SWs suffer from bad dental work. But it is all true to that gritty era and all part of the charm…

(Mark) #73

If anyone cares there is a new copy of the Alfa Digital release available on ebay.


I sadly overlooked this and forgot its been sitting in my “to Watch” pile for quite sometime now, Shame on me, as Valerii is in top notch form behind the directors chair once again. On to the plot, of which we have two storylines, one is the story of Bill Willer who must find out who murdered is father, and the other involving a group of southern rebels discontent with the newly elected president. When the newly elected president comes to Dallas to speak to the people, he is nearly killed. The folks in Dallas don’t like the fact he proposes higher wages, which they say will increase production costs. They also don’t like the idea of higher taxes, or the idea of ending slavery, for which most of their industry depends on. All in all a great cast,score, and story.

(Novecento) #75

Yeh - Bacalov did a great job. I’d put it up there with “The Grand Duel” and “Django” in terms of his best and most iconic SW scores.

(Farmer_J) #76

Seeing as most of them speak English, I was suprised too.

(Martin) #77

What is the president’s name in the English-language version of Il prezzo del potere? Is he really called James Garfield? The Italian dub mentions only his given name, James; the first lady is called Lucrezia (Janet in the German-language version).

(Asa) #78

I think he’s just “The President”, “Mr. President” or, in one exchange, “Colonel”. Could be remembering it wrong of course.


about 99.9% sure it was Mr. President, and I can’t recall the name James or Garfield mentioned, however take a lok at this:

(Martin) #80

Thank you, I thought so. That the president in the movie is supposed to be James Garfield must then be considered as non-diegetic information. Many sources and commentators give Garfield as the name of Van Johnson’s character, e.g. Alex Cox in his 10,000 Ways to Die, the SWDb, the IMDb (a highly unreliable source of information on Spaghetti Westerns, as we all had to find out), Wikipedia or ANICA’s Italian cinema archive.