The Specialists / Gli specialisti (Sergio Corbucci, 1969)

(JonathanCorbett) #181

[quote=“Novecento, post:179, topic:243”]I had heard this did not do so well in Italy, but I had not realized that Corbucci even urged people not to go and see it there given the cuts imposed by the Italian distributor:[/quote]

An interesting newspaper article.

The original rating, dated 21 November '69, was VM18 (with no cuts) because of violence and bad language: an appeal was immediately made but the rating was confirmed on 2 December.

So a few days later the production, provoking the wrath of Corbucci, submitted a second, significantly shortened version (from 2850 to 2520 meters or, if you prefer, from 104 to 92 minutes) which was rated VM14 on 18 December*.

Later another appeal was made, this time to obtain a T rating (all ages admitted, wish I’ve seen the director’s face), but the VM14 was confirmed on 20 November 1970.

  • The article is dated 20 January, not March

(Bill san Antonio) #182

Damn good film but like I said before on Corbucci’s scale it’s a mediocre film in his filmography. Film has a very distinct, beautiful look because of the Alps landscape. Too bad that this landscape makes the mexican bandits look really out of place. But then again so are the hippies, so film has this weird alternative West feeling. Corbucci makes once again stunning looking action scenes, the shoot out in the end is probably his best: very fast, chaotic violence.

Some have complained about the bullet proof armor being laughable but I’ve read that some people actually wore some sort of armors and vests in the Wild West. So, even though ring mail seen in the film wouldn’t really protect from bullets I’d say it’s plausible at least in a movie world.

Music is good, maybe bit too upbeat for the film though. Too bad Morricone wasn’t available for this film, he did all the other Corbucci westerns from Navajo Joe to What Am I Doing in the Middle of the Revolution so I’d imagine he would have been the first choice here too.

My rating: 8/10

(Novecento) #183

Reminds me of the end of Fistful of Dollars.

(Stanton) #184

Of course, as actually the whole ending is a clever rendition and travesty of the classic and trendsetting FoD finale.


Anybody got any idea what the castle in one of the last shots is about?? I find it more ludicrous than the presence of the hippies (or anything from any Corbucci movie for that matter) and would love to know what he was trying to say with the inclusion of it.

(scherpschutter) #186

No, I don’t think it has a special meaning. It’s the Castel Sant’Angelo, a towering building in Rome, near the Vatican. Its high position makes it very dominant in the skyline of the City. There’s no connection whatsoever with the hippy culture'Angelo

(Novecento) #187

I wonder why Corbucci would have included it in his shots then. Hmmm… maybe there is another political message going on here…

(scherpschutter) #188

Maybe, but I can’t see any.

Leone would have avoided such a thing, but Corbucci didn’t care. In virtually every Corbucci movie there are things that any other director (not only a Leone) would’ve avoided, it’s part of his special art.

(Novecento) #189

The thing about Corbucci is that he clearly did care quite a lot, but he gave across this nonchalance that made people believe otherwise. Perhaps there wasn’t much thought behind it apart from simply thinking that it wasn’t doing any harm since they already had all this other crazy stuff, but I don’t think he would have not bothered to avoid it out of sheer laziness.


Wow cheers loads Scherp, that’s pretty cool. I always assumed it was part of a set, never realised it was real. I definitely think Corbucci wanted it there, if you look closely it’s in the first shot after the opening credits although only slightly, but when it crops up at the end the shot begins with a close-up before zooming out, it’s not like it’s just a goof or laziness if you ask me.

It’s weird, the whole film has some kind of medieval undertone going on (to me anyway); the chain mail armour, lack of guns, snowy mountains and of course the castle. If you think about it from a point of view that it’s set in the west, it has the past (medieval connotations), the present (the west), and the future ( the hippy movement), all in one film. It seems a bit acidic truthfully, but for a man who openly despised hippies and drugs, and spent the majority of this very film ridiculing them that seems like a stretch. It’s baffling that’s all I know.

(scherpschutter) #191

Interesting view. Never looked at it this way.
I’m rewatching a lot of old favorites (and oldies that weren’t real favorites), so I think it’s time for a rewatch. i’ll try to keep this theory in mind.


I think you nailed it. (Id love to read more of your thoughts on it). The castle at the end is what did it for me and reassessing the film right after , Hud is a knight. Corbucci is playing with a lot of things in this film and I do believe it has just jumped into my top 15 (who to bump out?!) I just watched for first time today, favorite film so far this year for me. Gli Specialisti (2016- dir. Corbucci)

(The Man With a Name) #193

I haven’t seen this one before but I just got myself a fandub of the French DVD. I’m happy I’ll be able to watch it in English and in widescreen.

(ENNIOO) #194

Hope your fandub has subtitles for the non english audio parts.

(The Man With a Name) #195

It did, yes. I just got around to watching it. I enjoyed this one immensely.

(ENNIOO) #196

Good stuff, still not viewed this one myself.

(Novecento) #197

Am I correct in assuming that the version on the German and French DVDs is uncut when one takes into account PAL speed-up?

Is the English dubbing any good?

(Stanton) #198


(now we have 14 lille fuckers, still too much, cause there was a simple question, and the simple answer is “yes”, or should I have used the “like button” instead?) (notes from a confused member)

(Martin) #199

German DVD release of Gli specialisti: Fahrt zur Hölle, ihr Halunken (“Go to Hell, You Scoundrels”), Kinowelt, 2008; running time: 99 min 02 s (PAL), 103 min 10 s (film), 103 min 16 s (NTSC).

(The Man With a Name) #200

It’s a bit muffled now and then but it was fine most of the time. It seems like there was parts of it that had to be cut due to sound problems, so it goes into French for very brief moments and then back to English.