The Specialists / Gli specialisti (Sergio Corbucci, 1969)

(Silvanito) #21

Bluntwolf, did you watch the dvd?

There is also an old vhs that is much shorter, and with a print that has really washed out colours.

(ENNIOO) #22

I do hope a fell length official release DVD with english audio (subtitles for any bits that were not dubbed into english), gets issued in the future.

(Yodlaf Peterson) #23

I think i have this in one of the Japanese boxsets but i haven’t watched it yet, i should do ive had it ages

(Bluntwolf) #24

[quote=“Silvanito, post:21, topic:243”]Bluntwolf, did you watch the dvd?

There is also an old vhs that is much shorter, and with a print that has really washed out colours.[/quote]

I have a tv-version, probably the vhs’s length !? But picture quality is good. Need to check the running time.

(Søren) #25

But only with Italian audio and no understandable subtitles. God, Italian language skills are wanted desperately :frowning:

(Yodlaf Peterson) #26

I haven’t got these boxsets out for ages, i knew there must have ben a reason i didn’t watch it.

(violentprofessional) #27

Under rated SW with Johnny Hallyday an early 60’s french singer who sold 100 million records in his time.I was very suprised how effective he was in a lead role as a notorious gunslinger.Corbucci got alot of Hallyday for the role of Hud.The setting of the film in the Alps subbing for the mountainous area of Nevada is magnificent.This film was a project last year with English subs that is worthwhile seeking out for the English speaking fan.This a film gem all SW should have at home,you won’t be disappointed.Does
Kinowelt still plan on releasing an English audio?

(Bill san Antonio) #28

Yes, first time I watched it I didn’t like Halliday that much but now that I recently rewatched it again I think he’s very good in the lead. But this film would still be definitely much widerly seen if there had been Franco Nero or some else “spaghetti-star” in the lead. Now I think it’s a little rarity.

(Stanton) #29

Yeah, it’s obviously a typical Nero role.

(Chris_Casey) #30

This is one of my favorite Corbucci films!
It certainly has weak points, but overall I think it works wonderfully.
I don’t have any problems with Halliday as the lead—but, I do often think how much better the film would have been if it had starred Franco Nero!
The chaotic shootout near the end is one of the most realistic gun battles ever staged in a Western film. Everyone is just falling around clumsily, trying to get out of the line of fire—great stuff!

The only things in this film that bug me are the score and the youth gang characters.
But, even those elements don’t keep me from highly enjoying this vastly underrated classic!

(Silver) #31

[quote=“stanton, post:16, topic:243”]I forgot.
A german DVD is announced for June by Kinowelt. It should be uncut and maybe it has also engl. audio, like the other Kinowelt releases.[/quote]

Did this dvd ever surface? I’ve wanted to get this film for a long time, but the only dvd i can see to buy is French audio only. I can pick out quite a bit of Italian but my French is absolutely useless!

(Hud) #32

One of my favourite SWs as some might have guessed from my name. In the “Corbucci canon” I have it in the top three with THE GREAT SILENCE and COMPANEROS, as kind of an underdog favourite that is sadly under-distributed and largely unknown (just as SILENCE was 15 or 20 years ago). No Corbucci films are without certain flaws and this one has some detective story elements that finally don’t seem to make sense. But the ironic, downbeat tone is perfect, there’s wonderful cinematography, some very tightly edited action and colorful larger than life characters. A technically skillful movie that has a full-blooded though eccentric western vision, but goes against the audience’s more conventional genre expectations (one of the things the spaghetti westerns did well), especially during the third act that’s both provocative and tragic. Hallyday’s acting range must have been limited but Corbucci made the most of it by making him a laconic and anti-social “something to do with death” Bronson type.

Some of the music is not that good but the main theme captures the overall bittersweet tone with a very memorable melody. I also like the more psychedelic arrangement that closes the English-language export version.

(scherpschutter) #33


It’s one of my favourites too, Hud (we seem to have a lot in common).

I’ve written on it on November 7 in the “Last western you watched” thread, in answer to some posts of people who felt confused about it. It is very allegorical, very political and for that reason some people, even Corbucci fans, dislike it. But it’s not dogmatic and the allegorical reading is not essential for enjoying the movie (it plays rather well as a straightforward - if eccentric - spaghetti), may only lead to a better understanding of the elements.

Hallyday’s acting range is of course limited, but he does quite well, with the exception of the brawl in the saloon (he’s obviously too slightly built to beat someone up!).

You talk about the English export version; is there a release I know nothing of or are you talking about a DVDr/VHS ?
I have the French disc; the image is glorious and I have no problems with my French, but the soundtrack isn’t that good, with shots that sound like crackers and without - what you call - that more psychedelic arrangement …

(Hud) #34

I had the good fortune of attending a theatrical screening. Maybe this has been discussed before but the English version THE SPECIALIST had cool, colourful end credits (different from the Italian and French releases I’ve seen) and the dubbing was mostly quite good.

(Tegh48) #35

I liked this movie very much. As was said before the characters were “larger-than-life”, the violence was pure Corbucci, and the story, although at times convoluted (the “Ave Maria”??), came to a thrilling, over-the-top gunfight. Frankly I feel that Corbucci’s political ideals are conveyed more clearly in this movie than in “The Mercenary” or “The Great Silence”, for we had the bickering burgeoisie, and Hud setting fire to their money. But his statement presents itself when the hippies are confronted by Hud, which, in my eyes, means that all their “newfangled” ideals have got nothing on the standing political order represented by Hud. My theory is open to interpretation, consider it as you may.

(Hud) #36

You’re on to something but I don’t think Hud (Hallyday’s character, not me) represents the standing political order. He’s just “representing” his dead brother (and the lone avenger architype), nothing else matters anymore… An outcast with some nobility, like Navajo Joe he can step in to defend the community that doesn’t welcome him, after giving them very hard time. The hippies seem to be there mainly as a no-good alternative to the status quo. This is one reason why THE SPECIALIST is interesting, it rejects the (back then) popular ideas of being rebellious but is also anti-conformist and not conservatively macho. Hard to label but intriguing.

“The anti-hippie sentiments” (Aurum Encyclopedia) of THE SPECIALIST aren’t one-sided, remember the film opens with the youngsters being humiliated and it’s clear that the sympathies of the filmmakers aren’t with the bigots - the young no-goods are also never really punished by Hud. Maybe they aren’t worth it, but the message seems to be “grow up” delivered with ambiguous coolness instead of patronizing.

(Tegh48) #37

Exactly what I was trying to put my finger on! Just couldn’t really explain it too well, since I tend to turn a blind eye towards politics.

(scherpschutter) #38

The new italian SW database review:

The italian text says (I only translate the second paragraph, the first one is a description of the film, full of spoilers):

<<The umpteenth masterpiece of Sergio Corbucci, who hardly ever seems to fail when making westerns. While in Navajo Joe and Django the director brought up the themes of genocide and racism, here the ideas are tackled of social oppression exercised by the rich and their attachment to money. Even the title The specialists refers to to the citizens of Blackstone, experts in lynching.
The film is helped immensely by Mario Adorf’s interpretation of the bandit El Diablo, a concentrated performance by Gastone Moshin as the town’s sherif and the presence of the legendary french singer Johnny Halliday, who’s perfect in his part. There are rumours that Corbucci wrote the part of the film’s protagonist with Halliday in mind.
One of the other curiosities, is the band of young adventurers, who take the city under siege during the finale, but run away cowardly when confronted with Hud. Some say they are a reference to the hippie movement, proposed by Halliday himself, who hated them enormously (actually he wrote a song called Long hair, short ideas); others think their presence is a historical reference to the historical ‘molasses gang’; personally I believe Corbucci offers us a mix of these two elements.
Noteworthy also is a brief presence of Toto, Mario Castellani, in the role of Blackstone’s judge.
All in all it’s a beautiful film, engaging and well-acted, with an inspired score by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino.
Actually a wonderful western.

Note: Halliday’s songtext to follow.

(scherpschutter) #39

Halliday’s songtext:

Cheveux longs, idées courtes
(Long hair, short ideas)

If mr Kennedy would come back today or mr gandhi would ressuscitate
They would be surprised when they were told
That to change the world, it’s enough to change …

Da-dam etc
And above all, it would above all be enough
To have long hair

To cry in a micro ‘I demand freedom’, To sit on your back side, armes crossed
Our parents and grandparents never thought of that
How much tears and blood could have been saved!

Da-dam etc.
But of course
Their hair was not that long

To write on your blouse 'The war must end’
To sit on your bum, your arms crossed
Those guys from Vietnam never thought of that
All they met with, was going up in smoke

Da-dam etc.
But of course, their hair was not that long

To cry is a shame, people die from hunger
Sitting on you bum, with arms crossed
Is that the solution? Is that the right way?
Anyway, the Hindoes will have to settle for that

Da-dam etc.
Before they will have found something else,
Their hair will be long!

If words were enough to realize everything
While you sit back, with your arms crossed
I know I’d sit back in a cage with the door locked
But I’ll never let anyone order me to enter the cell

Da-dam etc.
'Cause it’s not enough
To have long hair

Do you have to scream when making a speech?
Do you need a uniform to hate the war?
Can’t you sing about love when you want to be a man?
Do you have to beg for food
And no longer be proud?

Da-dam etc.
Do you need long hair
To be free?

(Lode) #40

I am looking forward to the german Kinowelt release next week! This is so great!
Pre-Order here: