When I 1st saw the 84 min full frame (with bad colors) german version in the 80s, I was disappointed. Called it a mediocre film and added it to Corbucci’s sloppy works.
After seeing a 2,35:1 uncut version (great colors) last year, this has changed a lot. It’s now one of my darling Spags, but thanks to several underdeveloped scenes (the sloppiness verdict wasn’t made without reason) The Specialists has not managed to make my top 20 (21 actual, #5 of the Corbucci SW euvre).
After making the year before the 2 films (The Great Silence, The Mercenary) which (except for a few moments) imo are his most perfect and his most intelligent, Corbucci seems to lose again his interest to make a complete inspired film. That’s a pity because this film had enough unusual ideas to become a classic. The whole end e.g. is a clever rendition/travesty of the classic and trendsetting AFoD finale.
And I like this unbelievable shot with all these naked citicens kneeling in the street, one of the most bizarre ideas in the SW history. Very unusual for it’s time, 6 years before Pasolini made Salo.
There’s much more to say about the since now widely unrecogniced merits of The Specialists. Many was said already in this thread.
But I can’t ignore all the flawed moments. Especially nearly every scene with Francoise Fabian is made in an astonishingly unimaginative way.
Worst are her scenes where she tries to seduce the bashful sheriff (it’s not even erotic), and of course the ridiculous way how she breaks with a horseless coach through the wooden wall of a barn.
But in The Specialists, like thereafter in Companeros, Corbucci’s visual skills, his often brillant composed pictures are dominating the film as a whole, whereas in his later efforts, beginning with Sonny & Jed, the process was sadly inversed.